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Welsh concert choir slates Bel Air concert Saturday

Welsh concert choir slates Bel Air concert Saturday
Cor Cymraeg Rehoboth, the concert choir affiliated with Delta’s Welsh church, will perform in “Music from East and West of the Irish Sea” at 3 p.m. Saturday at Calvary Baptist Church in Bel Air. (Courtesy photo)

Cor Cymraeg Rehoboth, the concert choir affiliated with Delta’s Welsh church, will perform in “Music from East and West of the Irish Sea” on Saturday.

Set for 3 p.m. that day at Calvary Baptist Church, 206 Courtland Place in Bel Air, the concert will also feature the Irishman’s Chorale from Baltimore. The event is free, although a free-will offering will be collected.

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The two choirs will sing individually and then join in at least one selection.

Côr Cymraeg Rehoboth (Rehoboth Welsh Choir) is a mixed-voice choir dedicated to maintaining the tradition of Welsh harmonic singing and the preservation of the Welsh language.

Similar to the Rehoboth choir, The Irishman’s Chorale formed in 1985 and is dedicated to the preservation of Irish history and culture through music and song. It is one of the largest all-male Irish choruses in the United States, and its 50 members are primarily from central Maryland.

Following a visit to Delta in 1984 of the Pendyrus Male Choir of South Wales, the Rehoboth choir was formed. It is affiliated with Rehoboth Welsh Church and performs at that chapel’s annual spring Gymanfa Ganu on the first Sundays of May and the similar singing festival on the second Sunday each October.

Cor Rehoboth is one of few Welsh language choirs remaining in North America. Its repertoire includes familiar American and classical pieces, in addition to Welsh songs and hymns. The 30 choir members come from Pennsylvania, Maryland and Washington, D.C.

The choir has taken three performance tours to Wales and Europe, and, in the last several years, the choir has sung by invitation at the Smithsonian Folk Life Festival in Washington, D.C., the Maryland Folk Life Festival in Baltimore and at Carnegie Hall in New York City.

The choir won a special recognition prize at the National Eisteddfod in Wales during its 1992 tour. That Eisteddfod is a weeklong celebration featuring competitions in choral and solo music, dance, poetry compositions and recitations.

It also sings bi-annually at Longwood Gardens during its Christmas exhibit. Notable wedding performances include the nuptials of actors Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta Jones at the Plaza Hotel in New York City in 2000.

The Irishman’s Chorale, Amhranai Na Caeilge, just completed an 18-performance schedule during March.

Its repertoire is comprised of both traditional and contemporary music by Irish composers and lyricists and includes a variety of patriotic, spiritual and entertaining songs, as well as sea chanties and ballads.

It performs annually at major Irish functions in the Baltimore area, such as the Maryland Irish Festival, the Baltimore St. Patrick’s Day parade and special Masses.

The chorale performs also at senior centers, nursing homes and Baltimore-area churches. All monies from performances and CD sales are donated to Irish and Catholic charities in Maryland, and to date more than $30,000 has been contributed.

Chorale members conducted a musical tour of Ireland in 2002 and, while there, performed at Dublin’s St. Patrick’s Cathedral.

Cor Cymaeg Rehoboth is directed by David Tramontana of Havre de Grace and Paula Roberty of Forest Hill is piano accompanist.

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