A care organisation has come to the aid of one of North Wales’ longest running music events that will be celebrating its 60th anniversary next year.
Every Good Friday since 1964 the Tremeirchion Bach Choir and Orchestra have performed a special production of Bach’s masterpiece, The St Matthew’s Passion, only missing one year due to Covid.
Singers travel from all over the world to take part in the well-known community occasion, which for decades was held in the Corpus Christ Church in Tremeirchion, attracting crowds of people each year.
But when the pandemic hit, the legendary event had to be postponed, and even when lockdowns were lifted, social distancing rules and spacing in the church put public safety at risk – raising a question mark over the future of the production.
Generously, Rev. Nigel Williams, the Dean of St Asaph Cathedral, offered use of the cathedral for the 2022 event at no cost, giving the choir more space, sound quality and comfort and allowing more people to attend.
The concert is being held at the cathedral once again this year, however, it costs thousands of pounds to stage it there, relying on ticket sales, fundraising events and local sponsorship.
The cash boost from the arts loving Pendine Park care organisation through its Pendine Arts and Community Trust (PACT) will help immensely as its main sponsor.
The trust was set up by Pendine Park proprietor Mario Kreft MBE and his wife, Gill, to support arts and community events and has supported countless community organisations and events over the years, including the Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod, Welsh National Opera and North Wales International Music Festival which is also held in St Asaph Cathedral.
Its sponsorship of the concert is “a huge deal” to Tremeirchion Bach Choir and parishioner Mair Dowell, 75, who has sung in every Good Friday performance since 1964 said everyone is grateful.
“To perform The Passion in St Asaph Cathedral is such a wonderful experience and we’re so lucky the Dean allowed us to do this, but of course we need more money, so this sponsorship from Pendine Park is amazing.
“A lot of people travel miles to perform with us and we only see some of them once a year, it is such a special event to so many people,” added Mair, whose father helped set up the choir at its inception.
“Those Covid years were so awful so that’s why we are so grateful to keep the performance going. So many things have been lost with Covid and we definitely don’t want to lose this special community event,” she said.
Mario Kreft feels it’s important to help keep cultural events alive and described sponsorship of the Good Friday concert as a “great opportunity” to do something for the local community.
He said: “The Pendine Arts and Community Trust is all about making things happen in communities and we thought this was a great opportunity to support what is a very important local event.
“The arts in general and music in particular are a golden threat that runs through everything we do at Pendine and this wonderful annual event chimes perfectly with our ethos.
“We are extremely supportive of things in the community that make a difference to people’s wellbeing. This wonderful event brings people to the cathedral and really is important for cultural wellbeing, this has never been more important,” he added.
Tickets for the special production of Bach’s masterpiece, The St Matthew’s Passion, at St Asaph Cathedral on Good Friday cost £15 and can be purchased by calling Mair Dowell on 01745 583543/07768630055 or from Cathedral Frames on High Street, St Asaph.