Nia Llewelyn Jones
I am delighted to be working with the NYCW in this historic year. It is a pleasure and a privilege to be working on such a varied selection of Welsh music.
Some of the pieces remind me of sounds from my own childhood including Mervyn Burtch’s imaginative settings of three Welsh Folksongs, and Mansel Thomas’ nostalgic Cennin Aur. Others are new to me - the evocative piece by Tŷ Cerdd’s Composer in Residence, Hilary Tann, and of course, Paul Mealor’s eagerly anticipated commission.
The musical challenges we face are varied: capturing the light rhythmicity of Mathias’ idiom; executing the precision of Brian Hughes’ and Karl Jenkins’ choral writing; and conveying the sumptuous sonorities of Hector Macdonald’s Christmas miniature. But perhaps our greatest test is simply conveying and communicating the beautiful sounds of our language to our audience. This programme, juxtaposed with Camilo’s Spanish selections will result in an exciting musical experience for the choir, both at home and in South America; a true celebration of both our musical identity, and our links with Y Wladfa.
It's a pleasure to be enjoying the adventure of building one more bridge between Wales and Latin America, through music. Previously, working or studying I've been many times in the UK before. I had the pleasure to attend the Charterhouse Summer School of Music, to visit many "musical" places and venues around England, Wales and Scotland. But now I have a very special reason: I'm invited to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the first landing of Welsh people in Latin America. This we will do by singing music from Wales and from Argentina, Brasil and Cuba. It will be a pleasure to shae the programme with Nia. And we'll be performing in Wales and in Argentina!!! So we'll be taking part all together in a great celebration and we'll be sharing, through music, the spirit of those immigrants that one day decided to cross the ocean to discover a new life, a distant land that would became their new home. Welsh people are very close to us, and we are very thankful for what they have done in Patagonia. There was almost nothing there but they founded cities, and they shared their culture with the indigenous peoples, learning from each other, making a peaceful mix of cultures.
In Buenos Aires, we'll be singing in Colegio Nacional de Buenos Aires, which is the main school of our country. It's a state school, one of the oldest of the country, and still remains as an example of a very high achieving school. Then, we are going to sing in Teatro Gran Rex as part of the Mozarteum midday concerts’ series. It's a very well known theatre and it always attracts excellent audiences, so we'll enjoy a great concert there. Then we move to Patagonia, where the Welsh people made their homes, and we'll do some concerts in chapels and theatres there also.
So I look forward to seeing you very soon!!! We'll enjoy some great music and great moments. Thanks for your welcome and I promise to do my best to make you love the experience of sharing our music. See you in Wales!!!