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
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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,
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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.