Musical Visits in Brecon
1999 saw a continuation of the musical heritage of the Saline-Brecon relationship. In June, Saline's Fiddler's Philharmonic toured Wales and Scotland and highlighted their tour with a June 29 concert in the Brecon Theater. Just a fortnight later, Measure For Measure, a Mens Choral Society appeared on the same stage during a tour of Wales and England. The Measure For Measure Concert was a reprise of the joint 1992 Saline joint concert with the Aberhonddu & District Male Voice Choir.
In June, Saline's premier youth performance group, Fiddlers Philharmonic, stopped in Brecon as part of their tour of Scotland and Wales are were received like old friends. New Mayor Chris Walsh extended a warm greeting to Fiddlers director Bob Phillips.
Deputy Mayor (and Brecon web site contributor) Michael Gittins and Cllr. Arthur Bowley welcomed the Fiddlers at a special reception at the Guild Hall.
World famous professional fiddler and Saline native Bonnie Rideout headlined with the Fiddlers as they performed at the beautiful new Brecon theater
by ARWYN EVANS, Brecon Wales
(reprinted from The Saline Reporter, July 29,199)
Michigan's men's choral society Measure for Measure stunned their Brecon, Wales audience on Monday singing in the Welsh language, but they reserved their biggest surprise for vice president Don Shelton. The choir, which had traveled to Saline's twin town after competing against choirs from all over the world last weekend in the prestigious Eisteddfod Cydwladol Frenhinol Llangollen, the Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod, joined with Cor Meibon Aberhondu, the Brecon Male Choir, in a concert at Brecon's new $6 million theater. The theater, which was opened two years ago by Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales, and which fronts the terminal of the 200-year-old Brecon to Monmouth canal, was the regal setting for Measure to Measure president and former Saline resident, Richard Frank to leave Shelton speechless. On a still, warm night Frank paid tribute to the former mayor of Saline's vision in steering the society two years ago towards the Eisteddfod. Frank, who now lives in Gregory, presented Shelton with an inscribed gold alarm clock on behalf of the 60-strong choir. The society did not win a prize at the Eisteddfod but was the only non-winner to be asked to sing at the closing of the international festival - a tribute in itself, said Frank. Shelton later admitted that there were few occasions when emotion left him with little to say. Earlier he had welcomed the audience in the Welsh Ianguage and it was in that language that the choir opened the second part of the concert in the evocatively beautiful Lisa Lan by foremost Welsh composer, Alun Hoddinott. The society presented mix of traditional spiritual an folk songs and ended the brief visit to Brecon with J.Jerome Williams' A Parting Blessing on Tuesday morning as a tribute to host families, before heading for concerts in Wales and England, culminating next weekend in London.
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