In October 2019, Aber Valley Male Voice Choir celebrated its 60th anniversary and was preparing for a busy schedule in 2020.
But the coronavirus pandemic stopped the choir in its tracks – with shows called off and choir members unable to meet up or practice together.
“Everything literally stopped. We couldn’t do anything”, the choir’s secretary, Trevor Davies, told Caerphilly Observer.
At the time, the choir had been raising money for people affected by last February’s Storm Dennis flooding before the coronavirus outbreak ground the world to a halt.
Mr Davies said the choir didn’t attempt to use video conferencing apps, such as Zoom, after seeing other choirs struggling to get to grips with the technology.
However, fast forward to the present day and the choir is back in action once again – albeit with coronavirus safety measures in place.
The choir began practising again earlier this summer after restrictions were eased, and has been performing in the stand at Caerphilly Rugby Club’s Virginia Park ground since.
Choristers are required to wear either a mask or a visor, and have been keeping a two-metre distance while practising.
“It’s been challenging, but it’s more to get the choristers back together,” said Mr Davies.
“We started running through the songs we were comfortable with the last time we were together. The first session was hard but the singing is getting better now.
“It feels excellent to be back. It couldn’t happen soon enough – we’ve missed it.”
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The choir will be looking forward to getting back in front of crowds once the situation allows.
In its 62-year history, the choir has performed alongside the likes of Tom Jones, Shirley Bassey, Cliff Richard, Bryn Terfyl, Charlotte Church and Max Boyce.
The choir was founded in Senghenydd in 1959 by David John Evans, and has performed at the opening of the Millennium Stadium, in front of the Speaker of the House of Commons, and even in front of the Kray Twins.
During the 1970s, the choir entertained touring rugby teams from the southern hemisphere, such as Tonga and the All Blacks at Senghenydd Rugby Club.
The choir has also performed across the globe, including in France, Belgium, Republic of Ireland, Spain and the Czech Republic, as well as a tour of the USA and Canada in 1988.
Anyone interested in joining the choir can call Mr Davies on 07443 591381 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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