AN ALBUM of Welsh music to raise funds for this summer’s Monmouthshire and District National Eisteddfod is aiming for chart success following its official release.
Lleisiau Mynwy/Voices of Monmouthshire went on sale on St David’s Day (Tuesday 1 March), with proceeds going towards the cost of hosting Wales’ premier artistic event in Abergavenny.
The annual National Eisteddfod, a unique celebration of Welsh language and culture, is being held at Castle Meadows from 29 July-6 August and returns to Monmouthshire for the first time since 1913.
Monmouth MP David Davies championed the idea of putting together a fundraising CD featuring local schools and choirs in collaboration with Nimbus Records.
A network of community appeal committees has been set up across the county to collect £300,000 for the festival, of which Mr Davies is an honorary vice-president.
Recorded at Wyastone, the concert hall of the Nimbus Foundation on the outskirts of Monmouth, the album includes tracks from King Henry VIII Comprehensive School in Abergavenny, Ysgol Gymraeg Y Fenni, The Singing Club, The Chepstow Chatelaines, Chepstow School Folk Group, Caldicot School, Caldicot Male Voice Choir, Haberdashers’ Monmouth School for Girls, Monmouth Comprehensive School and Monmouth Male Voice Choir.
Chepstow Male Voice Choir contributed a track recorded live at St Mary’s Priory Church, Chepstow, in 2013 during a concert celebrating the silver jubilee of the founding of the choir.
“I am incredibly proud that Monmouthshire is hosting the National Eisteddfod after an absence of more than 100 years,” said Mr Davies, a fluent Welsh speaker.
“I hope this album, filled with voices of young and old from every corner of the county, will remind us all of Monmouthshire’s Welsh heritage whilst raising funds to ensure the 2016 Eisteddfod is as successful as its predecessors.”
Every penny above the material cost of a blank CD will go straight to Eisteddfod coffers after Nimbus Records waived its usual production charges.
Mr Davies added:
“I wish to express my sincere gratitude to Antony Smith and his team at Nimbus who not only donated time in the recording studio, but did a huge amount of work on editing and producing such a high-quality album.
“This fundraising project is potentially very lucrative for the Eisteddfod and I trust the county will now get behind it and purchase as many CDs as possible.
“If enough people buy the disc, there’s a good chance we’ll be able to get it registered as a specialist classical product and entered into the charts.”
Antony Smith, business director at Nimbus Records, said:
“A disc covering music making from across the county and delivering a range of modern and traditional Welsh songs will be very appealing.
“We would really like to see the community support this great venture as every penny raised will directly benefit the Monmouthshire Eisteddfod, which in turn benefits all music makers in the county.”
Priced at £10, Lleisiau Mynwy is available to buy at Monmouthshire County Council’s One Stop Shops in Abergavenny, Caldicot, Chepstow and Monmouth, as well as via County Hall in Usk.
DS Music in Monmouth will be stocking the CD for the next fortnight. Orders can also be placed directly with the treasurer of the Monmouth and District Eisteddfod Appeal Committee, Alun Thomas, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Robin Davies, chair of the Monmouth and District Eisteddfod Appeal Committee, said:
“How fitting that there should be a permanent reminder of the rich vocal talent in Monmouthshire as we prepare to welcome the National Eisteddfod to this part of Wales after a long absence.
“A huge thanks to all who made this imaginative idea happen.”