Episode 1 Llangollen

Episode 1

Sara Edwards presents highlights of this colourful annual festival of music and dance, founded in 1947 to promote peace and understanding between nations.

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Welcome to Llangollen and the first of two highlights programmes from


the 2011 International Eisteddfod. The pavilion is getting ready for


tonight's concert. There is a week's worth of events him at


Llangollen, and he was a taste of what is becoming tonight's


programme. Our pick of the coral and dance competitions. We meet


this year's star performers Lulu and Russell Watson. We will be out


and about experiencing the magic of Llangollen. What better way of


starting our highlights then that the colourful opening parade


through the town. Worry from? Bradford, in West


Yorkshire. Have you been before? came two years ago. How does it


compare to last time? It is brilliant. Whereabouts? Perth.


Hello, whereabouts in Canada after you from? Alberta. How long are you


here? 16 days. Is at your first visit? This is the second time we


have been here. It is great to see Hello, welcome to Wales. Hello.


do you say hello in your language? What do you think of Llangollen?


is a very beautiful town. I love Wales. What does Llangollen mean to


you, do come all this way? It is such an honour to be here. We are


so excited and the children are so excited to give America this


Welcome to Wales. Are you having a great time? Yes, great time,


thousands of people. What are you doing in the competition? Singing,


of course. We are from Slovakia, singing in three categories. It is


not just about the parade. Llangollen is an all-inclusive


Dancing Music singing experience and for the people who watch it as


well. What do you enjoy about it?


colour, the music, it is so inspiring. I can't sing or play


As well as attracting international competitors, Wales has always been


well represented at Llangollen and taking part for the very first time


this year Cor Ysgol y Strade and we followed their preparations for the


children's competition. It is such a privilege, competing at


Llangollen with the other groups and they are from different


countries. It is an honour to be there, when we found out we were in


shock. When we think of Llangollen has just the world. We have been


practising every day, every dinner time, after school. We don't see


the light of day. Never, not really. Keeping them indoors and to on


their toes is Christopher Davies. Since we were able to compete in


Llangollen, it has been non-stop between concerts and recordings. It


has been quite a challenge to fit everything in, to be quite honest.


Mr Davies is amazing. He is really fun. Really good. He makes us laugh.


He is nice. He criticises us sometimes but he gives us words of


praise. It is a scary feeling to be completing a with kids choirs from


all over the world. It makes you wonder if we are good enough.


pressure is on. There accompanist is the head of music. The school


children will gain valuable experience in this international


festival. I think it will be an experience that will stay with them


I expect we are going to have really good fun, nice food. We're


going to enjoy it and we're hoping And after all of that hard


rehearsing, here is CoA is gone Ystrad Rhondda stage. -- Cor Ysgol


Apology for the loss of subtitles for 48 seconds


Now to Perth, Australia, and the I am delighted to say I am with, in


the very middle of the Young Voices of Colorado, and we have Victoria


and police. I am right in thinking you have a very in rock -- a very


strong Welsh collection, haven't you? Yes, most of my family is from


Wales and my grandma is from Wales and here today. It must be like


coming home to you? Yes, it is Five years ago a 10-year-old girl


took the Llangollen stage by storm and since then she has starred in


Britain's Got Talent. Soprano Faryl Smith is back in Llangollen and


supporting Harold -- old choir, masquerade, with whom she has also


appeared here. The last time I came, we won. It was quite a nice way to


end it. We know you now from your solo career, which is going great


places. You have been sharing the billing this week in the Tuesday


night concert with Russell Watson, but today, you are supporting


Masquerade. They are fantastic, it is fantastic. Now, it is a two-way


thing. You are her Grace's fans come aren't you? -- greatest fans,


As part of a very strong competition this year, the senior


children's choir from Croatia appeared on the stage after


spending two-and-a-half solid days And so to that all important


announcement. And the marks. Methodist Ladies College, total 170.


Young Voices of Colorado, 164. Children's Choir Brevis, Croatia,


178. Masquerade, England, 174. Cor Congratulations to Croatia, first


place to them. And a very proud second place to his glory strap. --


Cor Ysgol y Strade. How you feeling about it? I'm very


proud of them. It is a relatively new choir? It is a normal school


choir, we will be back next year. We will be waited with bated breath.


Well done, all of you. They do. we're at one of the most iconic


places near by. After six years of campaigning the


great Llangollen aqueduct can shut -- can proudly stand shoulder to


shoulder with the Great Wall of China, Stonehenge, as a World


Heritage Site. One can argue that only in gamble -- and Llangollen


can you get such a dramatic backdrop mixed with a dance group


The Dance Group was formed in 2002, to promote gunmen culture. They


have ambitions to establish their own international festival, their


version of the Eisteddfod in Ghana, perhaps. The dances inspired by the


The President of the International Eisteddfod is Terry Waite and his


many responsibilities during the week includes welcoming all the


nations to the Llangollen pavilion Terry, it is lovely to meet you.


is very nice to be here, even though today is a little damp. It


has not dampened the its spirits of the Eisteddfod, as you come here


with the children in the background. It doesn't. What does Eisteddfod


mean to you? A great deal. Ordinary people from here, and from Wales,


build on what is natural to Wales, which is music and the language of


music and news that to work for peace. Because here, in this little


town in Wales, people come from every part of the world and young


people especially and they form relationships across cultural


boundaries come across religious boundaries, which last a lifetime.


It is 20 years ago this year that you were held hostage in the


Lebanon. It is 65 years ago this year at Llangollen was born, so all


of those things have a special resonance, don't they? That is true.


I don't tend to remember days very well but I do remember when I came


out and I came out into a world that was still confused and it is


still confused today. I do think we live in an age when people tend to


go to walk too quickly, rather than talk and rather than get together.


I think for instance of groups that came here, the Chechen children,


they came from the most appalling background. Wonderful performance


they put on. I spoke to those kids, there wasn't one child who hadn't


had a relative who hadn't been either killed or injured in the


conflict, yet they came with that marvellous vivacious spirit. It was


drawn out from them by the rest of it. I think the future is good. I


dashed by the Eisteddfod. It will continue to attract people from all


over the world and with the spirit that has emanated from this place


since 1947. We will do it. When I was invited to be President I said,


you don't want me, I'm not Welsh. They said, this is the


International Eisteddfod and it is Wales'' contribution, one of


Wales'' contribution to the world. I'm very proud to be associated


with it. Over the years the whole host of celebrity artists have


performed here at Llangollen, from Pavarotti, Katherine Jenkins, to


Shirley Bassey. Rocking her way I am so thrilled to be in


Llangollen. This is a very famous festival. You have the most


unbelievable people here. I am very honoured. I have been performing in


front of Welsh audiences for 47 years. That is since I was 15 years


old. The great thing is that, it is actually not so great, the


audience's sing better than I do. But I like it when I hear a Welsh


boys because there is nothing like a Welsh boys. Surrey, Glasgow! -- a


Welsh voice. Sharing the stage was the Eighties pop Blair don't, Rick


It was kind of strange because my first song, I was lucky to have it,


it was a bit hit around the world. It can become a bit of a stone


around your neck, because far a long time I was, not sick to death


of it, but I had had enough of it. The past five or six years, I have


got into singing publicly again, not just at friends' weddings. I


enjoy singing the old songs again now. When I hear the intro, it


This is what makes me tick. I am 62, and I will probably do this until


the day I die. It is all about the music. The Welsh a know about


singing. You know all about how important it is too... It is a


muscle, and if you do not work it, it will get smaller and not be so


powerful. All my secrets, I have given new! I have met Lulu before


but I have never sung with her. She sings for six or seven hours. I


have said to her that she will have be stopped doing it. If there is a


microphone there, she was saying. Her voice is amazing. She goes for


The Llangollen International Music festival was established in


reaction to the second world war, to help heal the wounds of war and


to promote peace and understanding bit dreamy nations. Culture, music


and dance can play a part in rebuilding relationships. Tent-


pegging was initially division of Harold to death. He took his vision


to Llangollen where a musicologist receive the idea with a great deal


of enthusiasm. In June 1946, a public meeting was held at the Town


Hall in Llangollen and the new international project was announced


with invitations sent to choirs Is anybody here who understands


music? Yes! Just give me a hand to move this piano. They came and they


have been coming here since ever since. As the visitors arrived,


they needed somewhere to stay. afternoon. Can you help us to find


some accommodation? Yes, I think we can help you. While we are waiting


to see if you can help these girls, perhaps you can tell me how many


people you have accommodated this year? Our private accommodation has


accommodated, I should think, well over 600 people. One or two nights?


You can decide tomorrow? I have to decide today because someone else


might need the accommodation tomorrow. I believe you have some


camp bed accommodation? I am in charge of the camp bed


accommodation. We have approximately 600 camp beds in


various buildings. Excuse me. Hello? Yes, what a breath?


Llangollen has been a welcoming home for groups of 65 years and in


the period, it has witnessed a huge social and cultural changes


including a South African group, reflecting the new post apartheid


era. We have become a rainbow nation and we have come into the


international Rainbow. We have come to enhance the rainbow of the


nation and we are very proud. Am I right? Yes! In 1955, a young tenor


came to Llangollen as part of a competing male voice choir from


Italy. Require one and the fires -- the choir one and the tent-pegging


left a lasting impression on the 40 years later, Pavarotti returned


to the International Pavilion in a spectacular gala concert, welcoming


him back to a stage that meant so APPLAUSE.


It is the first day of the tent- pegging and it is children's day


and we have local schoolchildren promoting a message of peace and


goodwill. We have a whole pavilion full of children getting to enjoy a


world-class performances. One of the most colourful performances


came from disquiet from the Ukraine. I like to St. It was really good


I like watching the people dance because I have never seen at that


APPLAUSE. Not only do they get to enjoy the shows, schoolchildren


from the Llangollen area get to It was a really good show. We got


the audience going more this year. It was really fun. It made me get


up off my seat and go like this... It was really fun. The star of the


show was this man. Here's the former chairman of the Notting Hill


Carnival. Have you been here before? This is my third time. It


is so beautiful. I like it. And why do you keep coming back? A the


management invited me here to take over at what they were doing and


what I did with the Notting Hill Carnival. Let us see how we can


I am here now and I am looking forward to next year. Why they are


told to -- while they are talking about the Olympic, let us make an


international song and dance their Olympics here. Bring people from


the smoke and fog of London and bring them here. Thank you very


much. Wicked, so stuff. PC! standard of the instrumental


soloists is always very high. At just 13-year-old, the skull from


Apology for the loss of subtitles for 48 seconds


Hong Kong was a very accomplished With me now is a special guest who


has been keeping an eye and the tapping their feet watching the


first dance competition of the week what adults here at tent-pegging. I


am sure many of us recognise her. Welcome. We know that you know that


you know what you are talking about. What were your impressions of the


competition? It was a very high standard. It is always beautiful,


the costumes are fantastic. There is such a variety. I think, to be


honest, I would have hated to be one of the judges because the


standard was so high and it is hard to compare. They are also good


within their own styles. How do you compare them? Who stayed out?


first group that took my type were from India. They had beautiful


costumes, red and gold. They were very elegant dancers, they had a


very slow approach and they were A group from Newcastle, they were


very impressive. They had very specific skills and the way they


interacted with each other and the skills that they had a with props


were incredible. They were very agile men.


It is not just about agility, each dance that tells a story, doesn't


it? Yes, you want to be taught and educated about whatever style you


are watching at the time. The more information you can get, the more


you are going to enjoy it. The dancers from the Ukraine, they were


such an exciting group of girls To Watch, there were so many of them,


they were beautifully dressed. The energy needed for this style of


dance is huge. The group from Northern Ireland,


they are always impressive and this year, they were better again. They


are always so professional and they make everything look so easy and


barefoot work is so technical. I do not really know how they all


managed to do it. We have been all around the world. What about the


group from Wales? They were lovely. They really managed to capture the


Welsh spirit that we had, the fairground feel, it was such a


relaxed environment, very enjoyable. The standard of the clog-dancing


was very high. It was lovely. you had to choose, if you were the


judge, who would win top prize? I said, I would not want to be the


judge, but if it was my personal opinion, I would go for... Let us


It was actually this dance groups from Brittany who received the


first prize. A surprise? Yes, I am surprised. They were not so much to


my taste. I can see why the judges would have been impressed by the


Here we are, live backstage with the performers of tonight's concert.


Terry Waite himself is appearing as the voice of God. There will be


Live from the International Eisteddfod field in Llangollen, Sara Edwards presents highlights of this colourful annual festival of music and dance, founded in 1947 to promote peace and understanding between nations.

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