The University of Wales Trinity Saint David is delighted to announce that Côr Ifor Bach will be competing in the ‘Côr Cymru’ finals over the weekend, a choir competition broadcast on S4C.

A year ago, a group of students from the UWTSD Wales Academy of Voice and Dramatic Arts came together to establish a special youth club for young people living and working in Cardiff.

With the support of Academy Director Eilir Owen Griffiths, they saw success at the Urdd National Eisteddfod in Llandovery, with five members taking first prize in the vocal ensemble competition. There are now 40 members, and the choir has reached the finals of ‘Côr Cymru’, having won in the Youth Choirs category.

‘Côr Cymru’ is one of Wales’ main choral competitions on S4C, and the competition aims to maintain and raise the standards of choral singing in Wales. The competition has five categories: Children’s Choirs under the age of 16, Youth Choirs under the age of 25, Mixed Choirs, Equal Voice Choirs and Show Choirs.

Aelwyd Ifor Bach is a collection of students studying BA Performance, BA Musical Theatre and BMus Vocal Performance courses at the University’s Cardiff campus, along with other individuals living and working in the capital.

The students decided to establish the club as extracurricular to their studies in order to socialise, sing and compete together through the medium of Welsh.

Eilir Owen Griffiths said:

 “In a very short space of time, this small group has pulled together amazingly to develop not only as a choir but as a close community as well. We are just getting started, but reaching the finals of Côr Cymru has given us a big boost. It’s a pleasure meeting the group every Thursday night and working on a very wide range of music.”

The choir came out on top in the youth choir category, and they will go head-to-head with the other competition winners on the 12th of May in Aberystwyth.

BA Performance student Jona Milone, who is a member of the choir said:

“Competing in Côr Cymru was an incredible experience with such intense competition! It is truly magical; the moment where you stand on stage with the ensemble and take that first breath – before going on this journey with your fellow singers.

“Eilir has shown us how Côr Ifor Bach is much more than just singing as an ensemble, it is about incorporating emotion, storytelling, and performance. Most of us are studying the arts and therefore enjoy this expression of performance.

“Thanks to Aelwyd Ifor Bach, I have become even closer to the people in the choir, which brings people together from the university and further afield to sing as one, as a group of young Welsh people and to celebrate our love and passion for the craft.”

Another student, Becky Timbrell, said:

 “Being part of Côr Ifor Bach is like being part of a huge family that continues to grow. Originally, our aim for Côr Cymru was to enjoy more than anything else, and reaching the final has given us strength as a group, not only as performers but also as peers. We give our thanks to Eilir for what the choir has provided us.”

The Côr Cymru final can be viewed on S4C next Sunday night, 12th May at 7.30pm