Ryan at the Rank

Ryan a Ronnie

20 Great Welsh Classic Melodies

A Nation Sings

Massed Male Voice Choirs of North Wales

Pontarddulais Male Voice Choir

The Crusaders

Themes and Dreams of Wales

Best of Welsh Comedy

Black Mountain Records

The Great Welsh Choral Collection

The Crusaders

1000 Welsh Male Voices
(Volume 6)

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Great Welsh Choral Collection
Famous Welsh Choirs
Best of Welsh Comedy


1. Martyrs of the Arena 6. Comrades in Arms
2. Crossing the Plain 7. Pilgrim's Chorus
3. The Crusaders 8. The Saracens
4. Mawr Yw Yr Arglwydd 9. By Babylon's Wave
5. Nidaros 10. Psalm 100


If one had to recommend to a visitor what would be regarded as the greatest expression of ‘Welshness’ which everyone should experience at least once in their life, then I would have to say the 1000 Welsh Male Voices at the Royal Albert Hall! Or as Harry Secombe wonderfully remarked ‘The night has a 1000 Dai’s’ (playing on the words of the great 50’s song).
(Interesting that such an experience has to be found in another country, but there has never been a venue in Wales that could accommodate such a force).

This (now sadly-decreasing) ‘pilgrimage’ to one of the world’s great auditoria has been held for over 30 years by the Welsh Association of Male Voice Choirs. This event, featuring nearly 25 choirs, has been responsible for emptying many of the smaller villages in Wales when you take into account the amount of support each choir brings with them to London.

The commitment shown by each choir to such an event is immense, from the Committee, to the Musical team & each individual chorister
(and, of course, we must not forget the Ladies Committee!). Rehearsals would start in earnest up to 18 months in advance, for in many cases a whole Concert’s worth of new material would have to be learnt. And as the event draws closer, then you would add regional rehearsals to the timetable for this would be the first time that each group would be performing together. You start to get the feeling of a logistical nightmare starting to develop!

To use an Athletics analogy, the ‘baton’ would be handed over to the Musical Director of the event, Alun John, who has the unenviable job of pulling together 25 various interpretations together into one cohesive force. However, I’m sure the many frustrations that Alun must have faced along the way were washed away when he stood proud in front of his regiment of 1000 vocal warriors. The sense of the sheer power & control he must feel as he lifts his baton resulting in this musical avalanche of sound………to use a current term, it must be have been awesome!


The 1000 Welsh Male Voices has always performed a varied & wide-ranging repertoire from popular music to spirituals, traditional hymn tunes to opera. But the high point of such evenings has always been the male choral ‘tours de forces’.

Now these musical pieces have acquired some affectionate nicknames over the years with some from the choristers being quite colourful (to match the degree of musical difficulty within each piece)! I leave you to make your personal choice from ‘Potboilers’ or ‘Warhorses’ or ‘Choral Masterpieces’ or Musical Roller-coasters. They all help to convey the spirit of the compositions – or in current context, if Meatloaf was ever to record choral music, this would be his choice!

Basically, they would ensure that the full 1000 would be put through their paces, constantly changing the mood and the texture of the music, ending with the Choir in full voice (invariably with an AMEN) –although not all deserve a religious assignation as some of the lyrics are not exactly politically correct! However, at least the music guaranteed to raise the roof and there is no finer roof than at the Royal Albert Hall!

I mention the 1000 Voices as the engine-room of this superb sound with Alun John acting as Captain. But there are two lieutenants who play a very important role – I refer to the late Bryan Davies on piano & Huw Tregelles Williams on the superb Royal Albert Organ. If Alun John is the Captain then Bryan’s role is using the sextant a.k.a. the piano (a small delicate instrument which tells you which way you’re going) and Huw Tregelles Williams who is in the engine room with an oil-can  - which ensures that all the 1000 moving parts of the engine room are enveloped by the product from this piece of equipment & therefore making sure they continue working to their best ability. Otherwise they are sunk!

Black Mountain’s GREAT WELSH CHORAL COLLECTION has included this special release in its series. Taken from over 30 years of Royal Albert Hall recordings, you have the opportunity of experiencing the exhilaration felt by every member of those audiences present at these wonderful Welsh musical occasions. Turn the volume up just this once and you can share in that ‘once in a lifetime experience’ which I heartily recommend.

Over the years, the following choirs have greatly contributed to the 1000 Welsh Male Voice Extravaganza:

Aber Valley
Afan Glee
Builth Wells
Burry Port
Cwm Garw
Dublin Welsh
Dyffryn Twyi
Garndiffaeth Gleemen
Garndiffaeth Orpheus
Mynydd Mawr
Nicholas Singers
Ogmore Valley
Pelenna Valley
Pembroke & District
Port Talbot Cymric
Rhos Cwmtawe
South Wales Burma Star
Tredegar Orpheus
Victoria Welsh
Ystrad Mynach




1. MARTYRS OF THE ARENA          Laurent De Rille         5’17”

2. CROSSING THE PLAIN               T. Maldwyn Price        6’45”

3. THE CRUSADERS                       Daniel Protheroe        6’43”

4. MAWR YW YR ARGLWYDD          Morgan Nicholas        4’38”

5. NIDAROS                                   Daniel Protheroe       8’17”

6. COMRADES IN ARMS                      Adolphe Adam          5’06”

7. PILGRIM’S CHORUS                     Joseph Parry            8’16”

8. THE SARACENS                                David Elias              2’45”

9. BY BABYLON’S WAVE                   Charles Gounod        7’30”

10. PSALM 100                                George Stead           5’38”    

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Black Mountain Records 2010