Come and Sing in Llangollen When Wales Meets the World

Choir of the World iconsAn appeal has gone out to choirs from Wales to compete for the UK’s biggest choral prize.

The Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod is looking for an even stronger entry next year to compete for nearly £30,000 in prize money – the biggest pot on offer in choral competition in the UK – and they’d like to see a strong home challenge.

That’s especially true of the event’s blue riband event, the Choir of the World competition for the Pavarotti Trophy.

Eisteddfod Musical Director and acclaimed choral conductor and composer Eilir Owen Griffiths is determined to encourage more entries from North Wales and is throwing the event ‘open’.

That means next year’s Choir of the World could be a rock choir, a gospel choir, a jazz choir or a barbershop chorus and the Musical Director is also considering extending the Eisteddfod bursary scheme so that home-based choirs can get financial help to compete.

He is finalising plans for next year’s International Eisteddfod which takes place from Tuesday, July 8, to Sunday, July 13, and which will offer a new range of choral competitions to encourage a greater variety of choirs to take part.

But he is looking for more entrants at all levels and for choirs and individuals who just want to be a part of one of the UK’s greatest cultural events.

He said: “This year’s winning choir were from Australia and were wonderful and last year’s winners were from Germany while the only two-time winners are from the Philippines.

“It wonderful that we continue to attract the best choirs from around the world and that underlines out status as certainly the premier choral competition in Europe but I would like to see the country with the greatest choral tradition of them all, Wales, give our international visitors a run for their money.

“That’s why there are exciting changes being made so that the Choir of the World promises to be bigger and better than ever.

“But Llangollen is not just about competition, it is about the experience of simply being here, being part of this wonderful event and performing at this fantastic venue.”

This year’s finalists for the Choir of the World, with the winners able to scoop a £5,000 purse, will come from five categories, Men’s, Women’s, Mixed, Youth and a new Open Category.

This will be open to Barbershop Choruses, Jazz, Rock, Gospel or even Folk Choirs and the Mixed Choir Category will have a minimum 16-voice requirement which would allow Chamber Choirs with mixed voices to compete.

The Children’s Choir of the World will again be the main feature on Wednesday afternoon of Llangollen 2014 – last year’s winners were from the Philippines – and again the Eisteddfod are looking for more home grown talent.

Eilir Owen Griffiths said: “This is your opportunity to showcase work undertaken by choral directors and young choirs on a world stage. It is an experience no young performer will ever forget.

“It should whet their appetite to compete in the Choir of the World one day and the development of the Open Category, which genre-specific choirs can enter, makes the Choir of the World title achievable for so many different choirs who may never have thought of entering before.

“It will make the whole competition more interesting and exciting because you will never know what kind of choir you will get competing.

“We will expect the same high standard of choirs but the category allows for flexibility and the unexpected.”

The Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod will also offer individual competitions with the most prestigious, the Voice of the Future, offering a £2,000 prize, among a variety of dance, instrumental and vocal events.

There will again be a Dance Section and one of the successes of Llangollen 2013 was the introduction of the Dance Champions of the Festival award and this returns to Llangollen 2014 and will be the pinnacle of the dance competitions.

As part of the Eisteddfod’s commitment to preserving culture and traditions their will be competitions for Children’s Dance Group, Adult Folk Choir and Cultural Showcase.

But there’s innovation too and Eilir Owen Griffiths said: “For the first time ever we have introduced Songs from the Shows for under 18’s and kept the Barbershop Choruses Competition and the Show Choirs competition and are looking to introduce more original dance competitions.

“We also have a non-competitive section for choirs, dance groups or individuals unsure if they are ready to compete but keen to experience the Festival as a performer.

“We will organise performances for them in a variety of settings, on the Festival field and within the Llangollen town and surrounding areas. Many groups who performed in this section at Llangollen 2013 enjoyed the experience and felt that it gave them the confidence to consider a competitive entry in years to come.

“We feel that Llangollen 2014 offers once-in-a-lifetime opportunities for performers from around the world to come to this wonderful stage and be part of something special.”

For more on Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod go to or check out

, , , ,

Leave a Reply