Choir Trip to Langenau, Germany. November 2017.


Yes, it was truly a wonderful choir tour to Bridgend’s twin town of Langenau, in Southern Germany, accompanied by members of the Town Twinning Association. It was a busy week. On our first day we took part in the Reformation Anniversary Service (500 years) in the nearby Martinskirche where we were welcomed by the clergy and congregation.
During a day visit to the medieval city of Ulm, we sang two Welsh songs in the impressive Lutheran Minster, which boasts the tallest church spire in the world. This was a cappella to the delight of the tourists visiting the Minster. Lunch was taken in a typical Swabian restaurant in the heart of the ancient Fishermen’s Quarter.

Another memorable visit was to Stuttgart, visiting Ludwigsburg Palace and as a contrast, the Mer-cedes Benz Museum.

For our main concert in Langenau we sang with a local choir Liederkranz Albeck and their Junior Choir, the Jugendchor. Our soprano, Erin Alexander, had the audience on their feet with her solo items and when we all joined together to sing Mendelssohn’s “Verleih Uns Frieden”, with words by Martin Luther. Most appropriate during the week of Remembrance and much appreciated by the audience. We were made most welcome by the town. The local family hotel where we stayed couldn't have been more helpful. On one evening the town Burgermeister hosted a dinner for all 53 of us with entertainment from one of its residents, Manfred Strobel, a local Hurdy Gurdy player. The Mayor of Langenau, Daniel Salemi, gave the opening speech. In excellent English, he remarked that the world today is focussing on our differences, whereas we should be celebrating our similarities. The choir has always found that, wherever we travel, music is a common language. On one of our free mornings, Manfred Strobel took a group for a walking tour around the town, ending up in the oldest pub there, where the group was offered lunch - wiener schnitzel, of course!

Our last day was spent visiting the ’fairytale palace’ of ‘mad Ludwig’ in Neuschwanstein in the mountains near the Austrian border. Sadly, this was the only day it rained and the views were rather obscured.

It was a memorable trip, meeting people who remembered visiting Bridgend many years ago when the Town Twinning link was very active. Members of its Association who travelled with us hope that our trip marked the start of a renewal of exchanges between the towns. For a selection of photos of our trip, visit our Facebook page -
 "Guten Tag" - Cor Bro Ogwr

Choristers are busy practising their German phrases prior to their tour to Bridgend's twin town of Langenau in Southern Germany over half term. During the week's visit we will be taking part in the 500 years Reformation Anniversary at the Martinskirche in Langenau, giving a lunchtime concert in Ulm Minster and joining a young "Gospelchor" for an evening concert. There will be time for a visit to the famous Neuschwanstein Castle, which served as the inspiration for the Disney Sleeping Beauty castle and a visit to Stuttgart. The Langenau Committee will be hosting an evening reception and a party. There's also a trombone concert! Our conductor Rosie Howarth will have no trouble making herself understood as she is a fluent German speaker. Glenn Crooks, our accompanist, will be coming too, plus some choristers from Rosie's other choirs.

Looking ahead to our next concert, our programme will contain excerpts from Handel's Messiah and a lively variety of contemporary songs and carols. This will take place on Dec. 9th at All Saints' Church, Porthcawl, at 7pm. Tickets £10 at the door or tel. 01656 653326.

 Conductor and Accompanist face the Choir
In a change from their usual roles, our conductor Rosie Howarth and accompanist Glenn Crooks faced the choir to showcase their special talents at a recital to raise funds. Tabernacle Church resounded to the organ as Glenn played a number of pieces, both contemporary and classical. Souza's "The Liberty Bell March" even had some enthusiastic members of the audience actively participating. We knew Rosie had a beautiful voice, having heard her at rehearsals, but we were all bowled over by her range and dramatic interpretation. She sang a well balanced mixture of classical pieces, Mozart, Strauss and everyone's favourite, Purcell's "O Mio Babbino Caro", followed by songs from the musicals - Cole Porter, Hammerstein, Lloyd Webber. A wonderful evening of music and we feel very fortunate to have such a talented duo to accompany and conduct us.
Our summer concert is entitled "A Summer Evening at the Opera", and accompanying the choir will be three soloists; soprano Kate Reynolds, tenor David Powton and baritone Adam Jondelius, who will be also be performing opera arias. A light hearted, fun evening. As always, there will be the interval bar to assist with the atmosphere.
  Porthcawl Festival of Music and Flowers 2017
 The choir performed a half hour spot at the Festival of Music and Flowers at All Saints' Church, Porthcawl recently. A light selection of short pieces gained the appreciation of a large audience, who had come to see the beautiful flower arrangements and listen to the variety of music throughout the day. A most enjoyable and successful afternoon. Thanks to the choristers who were able to take part, and our accompanist and conductor who also gave up their Saturday afternoon to be with us.


  Annual Choir Dinner - April 2017
 Fairways Hotel, Porthcawl, was the venue for a most enjoyable choir dinner. There was a good turnout of choristers and partners and we were delighted to welcome Alun and Rhiannon John. The food was excellent, the company sparkling and the raffle table heaving with prizes. The evening concluded with a tuneful rendition of "For she's a jolly good fellow", sung to express our thanks to Rosie for all her hard work and a successful spring concert.


 Spring Concert 2017
 The sun came out for our Spring concert at All Saints' Church, Porthcawl. Conductor Rosie Howarth had put together a varied programme of music which was enjoyed by audience and choristers alike. The first half featured Mendelssohn, Handel and a romantically musical contemporary setting of "Love Divine" by Howard Goodall which the choir sang with real feeling.
Soloist Sarah Jane Griffiths, well known locally, performed two songs from Faure and Schubert. To round off the first half the choir performed "Zadok The Priest" with huge gusto and enthusiasm.

The second half featured John Rutter's "Requiem", written in 1985 in memory of the composer's father. It's a small scale work, underlining a theme of light and consolation and accompanied by restrained instrumentation; five young students from The Royal College of Music and Drama joined harpist Angharad Edwards to form the CBO Rutter Ensemble especially for the evening.

Now we are starting rehearsals for our summer concert, which will be a lighthearted and joyful journey through well known opera choruses.


Photos by courtesy of Ewart Davies. Many thanks.

 Die Fledermaus
 Members of the choir went to a most unusual production of Die Fledermaus on Sat 1st, to support conductor Rosie who is assistant musical director of Opera'r Ddraig. The production took place at the "Spit and Sawdust" in Cardiff, a skateboard centre, the action playing around the skate ramps and the audience who sat at small tables enjoying food and drink from a pop up Mexican café outside. A great night out!
  Singing to a Different Tune!

 Choir members and guests found themselves singing heartily to the accompaniment of members of The Porthcawl Ukele Band at a fund raising social evening in February. The Band entertained with a variety of songs, all familiar; The Beatles, Rock and Roll, skiffle tunes - with a lot of humour and jokes along the way. The evening took place in St. Mary's church hall, Bridgend, and 'cafe' seating with drinks and nibbles helped it all go with a swing. It was a great night.

The fundraising committee has worked hard for many months.
Fashion show Oct. 3016 raised £406.62
Jewellery evening November raised £242
Trip to Bath Xmas market raised £201
Thank you Joan Jeffries and all her helpers.
  Making a Joyful Noise - Christmas Concert 2016

 From slow and serious to light and sparkling, our Christmas concert presented the audience in All Saints' Church, Porthcawl, with music to delight all tastes. The opening "Christmas Cantata" by Daniel Pinkham was accompanied by a brass quintet of young students from The Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, who then went on to play a selection of well known Christmas music put together for brass by John Iveson. He called it 'Christmas Crackers" and it certainly lived up to its name. The main piece of the first half was Benjamin Britten's "A Ceremony of Carols", with harpist Angharad Edwards joining our accompanist Glenn Crooks on the organ. The opening piece, "Procession", was sung by our two soloists, Catrin Raymond and Grace Wyatt, who started singing at the back of the church and proceeded down the aisle, raising hairs on the back of the audience's neck. The final piece, also sung by the soloists, had them returning to the back of the church, their voices fading away beautifully. This was a challenging piece for singers and harpist; Angharad's fast fingering was most impressive.

The second half of the programme featured Welsh and English carols, some with a twist; "Jazz Carols" by contemporary composer Will Todd and a version of "Tua Bethlehem Dref" which conductor Rosie Howarth married with a very familiar accompaniment from "Walking through the Air". Yes, it worked well! Soloists and harpist delighted us with their own chosen pieces, and the evening ended with everyone joining in "Hark The Herald Angels Sing".

This was our first concert with our new conductor, Rosie Howarth, and it was a most enjoyable, colourful evening. A lively, varied programme, talented students from the RWCMD - a night to remember. We were delighted to see the Mayors of Porthcawl and Bridgend Town, Bridgend County and their respective partners. We always appreciate their support.
Our thanks go to Canon Masson, who always make us welcome and who mans the interval bar which warms the audience too. And thanks also to the backstage and front of house helpers. The unsung heroes and heroines!
 Summer Concert July 2016
 In spite of distinctly cool weather, we certainly created a very warm atmosphere for the audience with our summer concert. The first half celebrated a Welsh miscellany, featuring a number of arrangements of well known songs by our conductor, Edward-Rhys Harry. He had composed a new work, "Don't go Chasing Shadows" to commemorate the Aberfan disaster 50 years ago this October. Dedicated to 'his friends at Cor Bro Ogwr', it was a moving tribute and we were proud to sing its premiere.
The British Sinfonietta produced an amazing sound as it accompanied us in Karl Jenkins' 'Stabat Mater', music which stretches both voices and orchestra. A late cancellation by our mezzo soloist, due to illness, saw our soprano, Angharad Davies, kindly stepping in to help out with some mezzo singing too.
It was a pleasure to see All Saints' church so full; the Mayors of Porthcawl, Bridgend and Mayoress of Cowbridge all attended, while Canon Masson manned the interval bar.
It was of course an emotional concert as yet again, we said goodbye to Edward-Rhys Harry. But I am sure we will see him in the future; he will be keeping an eye on us as we start a new term with our new conductor, Rosie Howarth.
 "DON'T GO CHASING SHADOWS" and the Aberfan Commemmorative Events.
 This was such a beautiful song that Edward had composed, that we looked at ways to present it to a wider audience. Our concert photographer, Ewart Davies, was booked to video it, but contractual issues meant we could not manage to put it out on social media.
However, it was useful to be made aware of this in case we decide to try again.
 Guess Where We Are?
 Choristers from Cor Bro Ogwr were in a different choral uniform the weekend of May 8th, when some of us joined 1400 other singers at The Royal Albert Hall, London, for a performance of Verdi's Requiem. Organised by The Big Chorus, keen singers came from 12 countries for the experience of rehearsal and concert under the baton of Brian Kay. It turned out to be the hottest weekend of the year but we kept our cool as the conductor put us through our paces. We all agreed that the orchestra and soloists were wonderful and the sound of so many choristers was spine tingling.
It was also a social event of course; we stopped at Newbury for lunch on the way there, had time in London for whatever took our fancy - museums, theatre, shopping or just walking in the park, and visited Windsor for a few hours on our return. Unfortunately it was raining as we arrived back but our spirits weren't dampened!
 Annual Dinner 2016
 The choir's social life continues with their annual dinner, this year held at The Heronston Hotel. In a week's time a coach load of our choristers will be joining other choirs from all over the country at The Royal Albert Hall, London, for a Scratch performance of Verdi's Requiem, under the baton of conductor Brian Kay. This is an event organised by 'The Really Big Chorus' and it's always exciting to meet and sing with so many others. Cor Bro Ogwr was formed 18 years ago following a performance of the Requiem by what was Eisteddfod Choir in Bridgend, so this work holds many memories for us. And there will be plenty of time to "do London", with a morning stop at Windsor on the way home.


 Conductor's Farewell Concert
The choir's "Mainly Mozart" concert in All Saints' Church, Porthcawl, was a fitting tribute to its conductor, Nicholas Bromilow. Choir, soloists and orchestra combined to give a magnificent performance, the highlight of which was Mozart's Requiem, sung with passion and confidence. It was pleasing to see such a large audience, with Madeleine Moon, Carwyn Jones (our President), Wyn Griffiths, Town and Borough Mayors also attending.
At the end of the evening Nick thanked choir and audience, paying special tribute to our long time accompanist, Glenn Crooks. He told the choir committee that he had never met such a hardworking group, and thanked chairman John Trotter personally for his help and encouragement. Recently Nick has taken on more choirs and studies and felt no longer able to give Cor Bro Ogwr the time it deserved. He expressed his gratitude for the experience the choir had given him and under his baton, we too have learned much. Our former conductor, Edward-Rhys Harry, is stepping in for the summer term while the choir auditions for a new conductor. For more information tel. 01446 775356.
Next concert Friday 15th July All Saints' Church






 February / March News 2016
 Two very enjoyable fundraising activities took place recently. Mike 'consonant' Clubb from our bass section gave us another interesting talk, this time on the Bridgend Arsenal. Contrary projectors gave Mike the opportunity to pepper his talk with even more humour than usual; his talks are always entertaining and informative, and more than a few members of the audience had relatives who worked in the Arsenal and remembered their stories. Wine and nibbles contributed to the enjoyment and organiser Joan Jefferies went to a great deal of trouble to present Mike with a basket of appropriate goodies as a thank you.

A quite different event was the recital given by our well loved accompanist, Glenn Crooks. One half on the organ, the other on piano, it was an evening that showcased his talents. It was a really varied programme, from well known Debussy to excerpts from G & S and the Radetzky March (and yes, the audience clapped to the chorus ) to a piece from Zamecnik, known for his silent screen music. We could almost see the ghost of Charlie Chaplin. Glenn is so modest and positively shrinks when praised; but there is no doubt that the choir would be lost without him.
Thanks to the committee organisers and helpers for providing pleasure and profit!


  December News 2015

'Music for Christmas' concert

In spite of wet and wind, and a slightly depleted choir due to the seasonal bugs, Cor Bro Ogwr gave a rousing and heartwarming concert in All Saints' Church. The programme of Mozart, Holst, Vaughan Williams and some familiar Welsh carols proved very popular with the audience. Bridgend Town Council Mayor's consort, Mrs. Jacqueline White, said how moved she was by the choir's final piece, which was "Anfonaf Angel", by Robat Arwyn and commissioned especially for Bryn Terfel. We may not have sounded quite like him... 
  Bass soloist Ben Tomlin joined us again and his rendition of "O Holy Night" had us all rapt. We were privileged to have a 'glittering' front row listening to us; our President Carwyn Jones, finding time from his busy schedule, Porthcawl and Bridgend Town Mayors, Deputies and Bridgend Borough County Mayor. We are grateful to receive their support.


At the end of this year we must express our gratitude to our conductor, Nick Bromilow, calm and patient at all times, and our most modest accompanist Glenn Crooks, without whom our rehearsals and concerts would not be the same.


  Oct 2015 - News
  Model Choristers Jeanette, Vannessa, Lyn, Yvonne and Jan all took to the catwalk again, showcasing autumn and winter arrivals at the Samantha B Boutique in Ewenny. Assisted by Suzanne from the Boutique, the ladies twirled elegantly in front of a small but appreciative audience. Everyone who attended went home with a discount voucher to spend at the shop.
The profit, from ticket sales and commision on items purchased at Samantha B came to just over £400.
Thanks to the models, helpers on the evening and organiser Joan Jeffries.
More fundraising activities are planned before the end of the year; a candle evening at Liz James' home on Friday 21st, and a coach trip to Gloucester Xmas Market in November. It's all go.

Come and Sing
As part of the ongoing 'Marketing and Action Plan', a 'Come and Sing' morning was held at the Tabernacl Church on Saturday Oct. 17th. In preparation for this, 500 fliers were handed out to every chorister to give to friends, neighbours and family to encourage as many participants as possible. A varied programme of music was organised, refreshments were available and the morning went with a swing. Twelve new faces - and their voices - joined the choir and some expressed an interest in joining. Our Saturday morning voices certainly seemed to sound livelier than on some of our Wednesday evening ones!
Thank you to Nick for conducting and amusing us, Glenn for accompanying, helpers on the morning and Dominique Spearey and Wenda Hatherley for organising the event.
  July 2015 - Rising to the Challenge - CBO Summer Concert
  Dvorak's 'Requiem' is not a work frequently tackled by mixed choirs. It's a difficult piece, requiring sustained high notes from the sopranos and some very low notes from the basses. Solo parts are also testing, and a fairly large orchestra is needed!
But it all came together wonderfully for Cor Bro Ogwr at their summer concert in All Saints' Church, Porthcawl. Under the baton of conductor Nick Bromilow, who had confidently chosen this piece for the choir, all performers rose to the challenge. The soloists were current or past students from The Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, continuing the choir's tradition of encouraging young singers from the College. The 28 piece orchestra was led by Caroline Green, who had previously told the choir that the orchestra was excited at being given the rare opportunity to perform this work.
Our thanks go to the Reverend Canon Philip Masson for allowing us the privilege of singing in such a beautiful church (and running the interval bar) and our loyal audience. We were very pleased to see three Mayors in the front row; the Mayor of Porthcawl, Councillor David Newton-Williams; Bridgend Town Mayor Councillor David White, and Bridgend Borough County Mayor, Councillor Richard Young. Their support is much appreciated.
Thanks also to our photographer, Ewart Davies.
Rehearsals for our Christmas concert, Dec.11th, begin on Sept. 9th. We have a varied programme planned; more news on that to follow.


  June 2015
  Choristers on the Catwalk!Recognise these lovely ladies? As a break from exercising their musical talents, they were showing off their modelling skills in the recent fund raising fashion show in Bridgend. "Samantha B" from Ewenny provided the clothes, Jan Lewis showcased some of her hand made hats and jewellery, and the evening was both entertaining and informative. Sam, owner of the Ewenny shop, introduced all the outfits and gave the audience an insight into the designers ­ some home grown Welsh ­ and the hows and whys of choosing and buying stock. Models Vanessa, Lyn, Yvonne, Jeanette and Jan, accompanied by Suzanne from the shop, twirled, pirouetted, posed and flashed the odd leg in a variety of outfits from casual to super smart. With a glass of wine and a 10% discount voucher for everyone, the evening went with a swing. Thanks go to the organiser, Joan Jefferies, her team of helpers, and all who donated to the raffle. "Marooned" hairdressers of Cowbridge styled some of the models' hair.
  May News



The choir received some sad news at the end of last month; Mary Lewis' husband, former chorister Gwyn, passed away on April 26th. Gwyn had taken part in the Schools' Choir at the Bridgend Eisteddfod in 1948, and in 1998 joined the Bridgend Eisteddfod Choir which then became our own Cor Bro Ogwr. He sang with us for 13 years and Mary asked the Choir to sing Edward-Rhys Harry's setting of Gweddi'r Arglwydd at Gwyn's funeral in St. Mary's Catholic Church, on May 8th. More than half the choir attended and did Gwyn proud. Our accompanist Glenn was on the organ, and Gwyn's daughter Helen, who had accompanied the choir on their last trip to America, sang a beautiful solo. Our condolences go to Mary, who has been one of the hard working members of the committee for many years. It was good to see her again at choir practice.

   Fund raising - We will be holding a fund raising event on Friday April 24th, at St Mary's Catholic Church Hall, Ewenny Road at 7.30pm. One of our basses, Mike Clubb, will be giving a talk entitled "Escape from Island Farm". Mike is a lively and knowledgeable speaker, having already published a book on the Arsenal, Bridgend. Tickets £3 at the door, bring some friends ­- the evening is open to all.

A CD of the choir's recent ground-breaking performance of Joseph Parry's 'Emmanuel' is now available.


Online sales HERE... or...

Enquiries to the Choir Secretary Jan Bolland -


The choir always welcomes new singers in all sections (we are a community choir - no auditions). We practice on Wednesday evenings at 7.00pm in the Tabernacle Church (Derwen Road, Bridgend).

Just turn up and make yourself known to any of the choir's officers in the lobby.