Our area continues to produce world-class talent and Johns’ Boys are yet another example of this…
Johns’ Boys Male Chorus from Rhosllanerchrugog have gone from strength to strength over the past six months. Competing at the highest level choral music has to offer.
They formed three years ago when members from two choirs banded together to celebrate the lives of their former conductors, John Glyn-Williams and John Tudor-Davies in a Noson Lawen. Conductor Aled Philips saw more in this small group of singers. He brought them to compete in BBC’s Choir of the Year. In their debut competition, they broke records by becoming the first male voice choir to make the final of the competition.
March saw Johns’ Boys first major success of the year. Beating Cor Meibion Machynlleth and Cor Bro Taf in S4C’s Cor Cymru. The adjudicators praising their diverse programme, especially their ability to perform contemporary music alongside that of Verdi and Robbie Williams!. Classical Soprano, Elin Manahan-Thomas, praised the choir after their performance, describing their soloists as “top notch”.
The focus for the choir quickly moved onto Llangollen International Eisteddfod. The highlight of the choral calendar in Wales. After battling through preliminary competitions, Johns’ Boys topped the rankings in the Male Voice Competition. Competing against choirs from England, Sweden and Costa Rica!
Success in this competition sent the choir to compete in the prestigious ‘Choir of the World’ for the chance to win the Pavarotti Trophy. The highlight of the International Eisteddfod. It was down to the final five: ETSU Chorale from the USA, Cor CF1 from Wales, Belcanto from England, Suanplu Chorus from Thailand and also Johns’ Boys.
When Dr Rhys Davies, chairman of the Eisteddfod announced that Johns’ Boys had won. The Pavilion erupted and Johns’ Boys became the first Welsh male voice choir to take the title.
Rehearsing didn’t stop as Johns’ Boys went on to triumph at the National Eisteddfod of Wales in Llanrwst. Winning the Male Voice Choir competition against 13 other choirs from every corner of Wales. The adjudicators praised their confident programme and artistic interpretation.
Johns’ Boys are regularly praised for the variety of their repertoire. Competing with 14 pieces in seven different languages over the course of 2019. Their affinity with opera allowed them to perform ‘O Isis Und Osiris’ from Mozart’s ‘The Magic Flute’ in German, ‘Soldiers Chorus’ from Gounod’s ‘Faust’ in French, ‘Rustics and Fishermen’ from Britten’s ‘Gloriana’. Also, ‘Evviva Beviam!’ from Verdi’s ‘Ernani’, their final piece in Choir of the World. Other winning pieces from ‘Choir of the World’ include ‘Last Words of David’ by Randall Thompson, ‘Surge Illuminare’ by Brian Hughes and the traditional sea shanty ‘What Shall We Do With The Drunken Sailor?’ performed with a routine from the choir’s choreographer Paul Drake.
Johns’ Boys’ success looks set to continue with upcoming performances at the Six Nations in Cardiff. A concert series across Wales and at the National Conference of Choral Music in Poland.