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Delta's Rehoboth choir starting performance tour in Wales

MusicMichael DouglasCatherine Zeta-Jones

Cor Cymraeg Rehoboth, the performance choir affiliated with Delta's Welsh church, begins its concert tour of Wales on Monday. From July 1 through 9, the 35-voice choir will sing in concerts with Welsh choirs and participate in competitions.

"Although we represent the Delta community and its heritage of the area's early Welsh settlers, we shall also be presenting a musical repertoire of American selections which exemplify our nation," Glenn Grove, choir president, said in a press release.

Cor Rehoboth performs in joint concerts with Cor Bro Ogwr of Brigend, Wales on July 3 at Tabernacle Chapel in Cardiff; with Cor Cantorion Creigiau of Rhwbina on July 4 in a Cardiff suburb; and with Cor Bro Aled Male Voice Choir on July 7 at Trinity Church, Llandudno.

By invitation, the choir also will compete in mixed choir competitions at the Cardigan Festival on July 6. Members will take part in the 20-voices hymn singing contest, and they will also participate in the 30-voices-plus contest of two contrasting pieces of music. In that, they will sing the modern "Passsage" based on a Walt Whitman work and the spiritual "Walk on Children."

Cor Rehoboth was formed in 1984 as a link to the historic Rehoboth church, and, on an initial concert tour of Wales in 1992, it won a prize at the National Eisteddfod, Wales' renowned singing competition.

Cor Bro Ogwr performed jointly with the Delta choristers in a performance in Lancaster and at Delta's annual spring Gymanfa Ganu in May 2013. As in Lancaster, the July 3 concert will feature the two choirs singing excerpts from Joseph Parry's oratorio "Emmanuel," as well as traditional Welsh and American songs.

The 35 members of Cor Rehoboth traveling abroad next week come from Delaware, Maryland and the District of Columbia, as well as other areas of Pennsylvania and the Delta, Pa., region.

In the past, the choir has performed in venues in England, France, Nova Scotia and locales throughout the American East Coast. The choir was featured in the 2010 summer Smithsonian Folk Life Festival, as well as the Maryland Folklife festival this month. Cor Rehoboth was also featured at the movie-star wedding of Catherine Zeta Jones and Michael Douglas.

Director of the choir is David Tramontana, and accompanist is Paula Roberty, who are both from Harford County.

The choir's repertoire for its 2013 Wales tour will portray the history of American music from the earliest songs of the country, through spirituals and Gospel numbers and up to present-day Broadway numbers. It includes four Welsh pieces, two of which are to be sung in Welsh, and "Hallelujah Amen" from Handel's "Judas Maccabeus."

During the choir's Wales tour, various members will visit choristers of the Pendyrus Male Choir, a group with strong ties to the Delta region due to being hosted by Rehoboth church and the community during its own U.S. concert tours in the 1980s and 1990s.

Various businesses in the Delta area assisted Cor Rehoboth with financial contributions to defray the expenses of the director including Delta Discount Grocery & More; Glackin's Highway Service; Harkins Funeral Home, Inc.; Peach Bottom Inn; Delta Pizza; Ferranti's Italian Ristorante and Taylor's Service Center.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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