Episode 2 Llangollen

Episode 2

Highlights from the 2012 Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod. Presented by Sara Edwards and Wyn Davies with specialist contribution from Wynne Evans.

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Welcome to this, our second highlights programme from the


Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod we are on stage about to


start a special piece concert including a performance of Karl


Jenkins' chorl work, The Peacemakers and what better place a


stage to concert than in the International Pavilion here at


Llangollen, a festival built around peace.


In tonight's programme, we will have some of that memorable concert,


performances from Valentina Nafornita and the colour and and


spectacle that makes Eisteddfod so special culminating in the Choir of


the World. As Llangollen prepares for the


landmark The Peacemakers concert, we will be talking to Terry Waite.


Five years, no books, no no papers. Who communication, I used to tap on


the wall my name and you regret your name is Terry Waite when you


do that. Let's take a look at the colourful


performances on the Eisteddfod stage in the Folk Dance Competition.


This group are The Heritage Dancers And Ukraine is the home for this


group performing like all the other groups in national costume and


representing a traditional folk Don't they look beautiful? This is


the dance group from the Ukraine. Did you enjoy your time on stage?


Yes, it was great. The feeling is unbelievable. Amazing. We tried our


best. We did all that we can, 100% and even more.


APPLAUSE And from Turkey, this group was the


winner of choreographed children's Well, if you were watching last


Friday's programme, you will see that I have a new fellow presenter,


Wynne Evans. Wynne went to meet a choir in Cape Town who were just


about to make the trip here. Cape Town, South Africa, a bustling


modern city of skyscrapers nestling in the shadow of the mountain. The


golden beaches and restaurants attract thousands of people every


year, but if those attractions aren't enough to tempt you, what


the voices of the of the Chamber Although they sing about the beauty


of the mountain, the reality of life for the choir's members is


quite different to the wonders of central Cape Town. Their home is in


a township 15 miles from the cafes where 80,000 black residents scrape


a living. I was invited into the home of one


of the choir's tenors. This is where I sleep. His early


day notice township were a challenge. The choir provided him


with an alternative. I survived in a lot of bad things,


doing drugs, of course, I almost got into those things. I will be


honest because I had a lot of friends who are now, some of them,


passed away because they were using drugs and some were criminals.


One of the choir's lead sopranoes is just as shocking.


Having to go to bed without any bread in your stomach and having to


wake-up in the morning and go to school.


Often, fathers are absent from homes. HIV and AIDS are rife and


children have to grow up very quickly.


My story today isn't one of pain and poverty, but one of hope where


music really does work its magic. Back in the days of apartheid music


was banned from black schools. Black people were considered not to


be clever enough to handle mathematics and music and music was


too expensive so it was scratched off.


In this township, the music teacher offers people a new path. Since the


dark days of apartheid he has seized every opportunity to develop


school choirs, youth choirs and church choirs, but his true baby is


the Chamber Choir and I was invited to join in.


Township life is a life that nobody would envy from any other person


because it has a huge amount of challenges. Challenges that range


from poverty, to violence. There is this particular code of ethics and


code of conduct that they have to follow. These life skills are rules


should translate into how they should lead their lives.


Valuable skills indeed. Every sing neither choir is either in work or


in education. Many of them in the world of music.


Ah, the choir did a lot for me, but most importantly, it gave me focus


in life. It taught me respect. It disciplined me and it gave me all


of this. Now I'm in my fourth year at University of Cape Town pursuing


my dream and hopefully I'll become famous and a good teacher as well.


The translation of the choir's name is achievement. Here promise offers


hope and achievement, so what choir is more deserving than a place in


the line-up at The Peacemakers concert?


Terry Waite is a popular figure here in Llangollen as Eisteddfod


president and he has a special interest in South Africa and the


struggle against apartheid. I spent a lot of time in the past


working in South Africa along with Desmond Tutu because we have been


great friends and in subsequent years, of course, I worked with


that problem with the problem of apartheid until it came to an end.


I heard how it came to an end in the very unusual way. I was in my


cell in Beirut and I had no communication with the outside


world for years, five years, no books, no papers, no communication.


I used to tap on the wall at night my name one for A, two of B and


three for C, you regret your name is Terry Waite. The taps came back


from the people in the cell next door. They heard me and they


replied to me. They brought me the news of the end of apartheid and I


thought goodness, I never expected to see that in my lifetime and it


always taught me that we've got to be optimistic. Things look dreadful,


economically at the moment, it doesn't look good for us. There is


warfare on our doorstep, you know, our troops are being involved in


conflict over the world, but keep hope alive. That's what kept me


alive in those years. I had five years when I had nothing and high


to live for the day and keep hope alive and that's all somehow,


summed up in this Eisteddfod, giving people hope. Use your


talents. Use your gift of music. The people in Wales have done it.


Putting on The Peacemakers concert has involved forming an orchestra


and a massed choir made up of children and adults from all over


Wales. There can't have been many more


people to see tonight's performance come to a successful conclusion.


This must have been the culmination of many, many months of


collaboration? This was one of the concerts I started putting together


back in October. There has been something with this concert all


along and it is fantastic to see the jigsaw come together. I am


quite emotional about it really and to think the south African group


turned up about ten minutes ago and the jigsaw is complete. I would


like to say my work is done, but there is a lot of work to do this


afternoon and I'm looking forward, I have looked forward to this


You made it, I was glad to see you here. It was a mammoth task. We


were on the road for 24 hours, believe it or not, but coming here,


it was worth all the effort. Yes, we really are enjoying our stay


here so far. And the choir will have quite a


part in the peace makers, the new work by Karl Jenkins. Karl, when


you composed the Armed Man, you said it was with a hope of looking


forward to a century of peace, but sadly nothing much seems to have


changed. That was 12 years ago to the


Millennium Commission 2000. As you say, nothing has changed.


There is conflict somewhere in the world always, unfortunately.


So with The Peacemakers, what you have got is texts from some of the


world's greatest peace leaders? Gandy, Mandela, Martin Luther King


and Terry Waite. Sometimes we think that peace can


only be brought about by those in political office, but one thing is


is clear, those in political office know how to get us into war quickly,


but peace actually has got to begin in the hearts of everybody. Karl


aids that process through his work. To conduct it is a challenge to put


it together. It is well rehearsed. The choirs rehearse in isolation


and then it comes together on the day when they come together with


the orchestra. But the live performances are different and they


Apology for the loss of subtitles for 57 seconds


have a certain spark hopefully when Here is another section from The


Apology for the loss of subtitles for 57 seconds


I am really being spoiled this week at Llangollen.


Look who we have got here, another Wynne, it is a win, win situation.


So you have been listening to the choirs for us with an expert ear,


we are coming to the climax of the competitions with the Choir of the


World competition. What are your impressions of the choirs so far?


As always in Llangollen, it has been fantastic because you have got


choirs from all four corners of the world coming with different sounds


and different interpretations to different songs and it is like a


festival for your ears and a festival for your eyes because with


the different costumes as we can see here, sadly I didn't bring my


sequins with me today. That's a shame. Wouldn't you like


to see him in sequins? Yes. I might have my sequins on


underneath! We look forward to seeing you later.


One of the singers is the soprano, Valentina Nafornita. She wowed


Wales and the world last year as the runaway winner of Bebecar


difficult singer of the -- BBC Cardiff Singer of the World.


I love to be here. I am not talk being the weather, but the area is


really, really beautiful and I hope to enjoy this beautiful evening.


Is it the first time you have performed with Karl Jenkins? Yes,


it is my first time to perform with him.


Is it an interesting process to go about learning the work? It is


really interesting and it is really easy because the music is really


beautiful and you can very quickly learn it.


And we will hear Valentina Nafornita in The Peacemakers later,


Apology for the loss of subtitles for 57 seconds


but here she is with a performance Llangollen is for everyone of all


ages and it is time for the younger competitors to take centre stage


now for the Junior Children's Choir # Drip, drop, rain


APPLAUSE And that's a fantastic win for the


choir and their leader. The children have put their


loyalties to one side for a performance of Be Joyful.


# Be joyful # Clap your hands together


# Be joyful # Be joyful #


APPLAUSE Llangollen is really for everyone,


whatever your age and with me is Mervin who at 88, Mervin, is a


finalist in the folk song competition. Tell me about when you


first started coming to Llangollen? Well, I came in 1965 and in ten


years I had plucked up courage to go in the folk competition so I


entered a folk song in 1975 and I won it. So I had a go the next year


and I won it again and I thought this is dead dead easy, but I


haven't won it since! # The small things fell off her


# And into bed tumbled # And I'll leave you to guess


# How that young couple fumbled # Sing riddle diddle day #


Mervin didn't win this year, but at least he can say he appeared on the


same stage as Alfie Boe. # The hotel California


# What a nice surprise # Bring your alibi


What's your impression, what's the standard like? We started this


evening with the National University Choir of sing Singapore.


If you were to take the bookies favourite, these were the bookies


favourite and they started this evening with a piece called Wings


and you could hear a pin drop. The And the next choir was a choir from


Belgium? Yes, a choir from my grandfather's homeland. The one


thing you notice is their tights, green, red, blue, they started


their programme with a song called Gossiping Women.


It was a brilliant portrayal of a And the next choir is the Barbe


Shop Choir. It is the battle of the sequins.


All he can smell when then come on stage is the smell of hair spray.


The White Rosettes started with the theme tune from The Muppets and it


was absolutely brilliant. And now the female choir, the girls,


how did they do? This was the surprise of the evening for me. It


was ap women's choir from Kettering in Northamptonshire and they sang


And finally the male male voice choir, what did you think of them?


This was hotly contested with ten choirs competing. The winners were


from Germany, it wouldn't have been my choice and they sang and brought


a programme that had real humour. The song was about a drunk man


singing and he was being answered by the rest of the choir and they


finished their programme with what they described as a non-sensical


song and it was complete with funny hats, I felt, that they treated the


music with a little too much respect that they had white gloves


on. I wanted them to go for it a APPLAUSE


The last the male voice choir won this competition was in 1990, so


who knows. Well, let's see who is going to win.


The winner of Choir of the World 2012, the choir from Germany.


Does it feel good? Oh very good. And a nice big trophy? It is heavy.


It is very heavy. Well done all of you. It has been a


wonderful week here at Llangollen and a feast of international


Highlights from the 2012 Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod, featuring the best of the choral and dance competitions, including highlights of the prestigious Choir of the World competition. This programme will also feature excerpts from Karl Jenkins's new choral work, The Peacemakers, performed at the International Pavilion, conducted by the composer and featuring BBC Cardiff Singer of the World winner Valentina Nafornita.

Presented by Sara Edwards and Wyn Davies with specialist contribution from Wynne Evans.

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