Blur legend choir to sing in aid of sex abuse survivors


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A male voice choir that recorded a song with Blur legend Damon Albarn will take centre stage at a concert in aid of survivors of sexual abuse.

Côr y Penrhyn will perform at the concert hosted by North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner Arfon Jones at Bangor Cathedral on Friday, March 8.

All the proceeds will go to the Rape and Sexual Abuse Support Centre (RASASC) which provides a service across all of the six counties of North Wales.

Other highlights include top Welsh singer Elin Fflur, the all-girl folk band, Tant, and Only Boys Aloud, one of a network of 14 choirs across Wales for boys aged between 11 and 19.

The Aloud Charity, was set up in 2010 by choral director Tim Rhys-Evans and members of Only Men Aloud, with the boys’ choir coming third in Britain’s Got Talent in May 2012.

Two years ago they won a £5,000 grant from the Your Community, Your Choice fund which uses money seized from criminals to fund crime-fighting initiatives across North Wales.

The money is distributed by the police and crime commissioner, North Wales Police and the Police and Crime Trust (PACT).

Côr y Penrhyn sang the backing vocals for Lady Boston, a track on Damon Albarn’s latest album.

The chair of the choir, Dafydd Jones-Morris, said: “It was something very different although performing at Bangor Cathedral in the concert supporting RASASC will be something we are more used to.

“We were contacted by the Damon Albarn’s agent after Gruff Rhys from the Super Furry Animals suggested we would be a good choice for the task.

“He was looking for a Welsh choir to record the backing vocals for a song. We actually recorded four tracks and they used one on a song called Lady Boston.

“The recording was made in Penrhyn Castle and Lady Boston was written after Damon Albarn saw an old Victorian photograph of a hunting party that hangs in the castle.”

He added: “The choir has its roots in the Bethesda slate quarry and we can trace the choir’s origins right back to 1880s when a united choir was formed from all the smaller groups that existed on the various galleries in the slate quarry.

“Now we have members who are school teachers, farmers, businessmen and a host of other professions.”

“We really want to support the Police and Crime Commissioner Arfon Jones and we welcome the fact he is putting this concert together to raise awareness and money for the RASASC which is such an important charity

“We are working on our programme for the evening but I’m sure the audience will be treated to many old favourites alongside some new songs. We all just enjoy singing.”

Mr Jones said: “I am grateful to everybody who is going to be performing on the night for supporting this wonderful organisation that does such important work.

“Last year I was privileged to be invited to officially open their new offices in Bangor.

“Tackling sexual abuse is a key in my North Wales Police and Crime Plan.

“Demand for the centre’s services have rocketed in recent years, particularly after the revelations about Jimmy Savile and, more recently the ones from football academies, which helped encourage more and more survivors to  come forward to seek help.”

He added: “The concert is going to be a great night full of good humour and great music. I’m delighted we have Dilwyn Morgan as the MC for the night – he’s an old friend and a very funny comedian.

“It is particularly appropriate the Only Boys Aloud will have a starring role on the night.

“It is a unique project that’s helping and benefiting a great many teenage boys from some of North Wales’ most deprived areas.

“I’m delighted the funding we have been able to award Only Boys Aloud is being used to help these committed young people realise their potential.

“Why not join us for what promises to be a fabulous evening of great music and good humour and all for a great cause?”

For tickets which cost £15 for adults and £10 for children under 12 please go to: www.ticketsource.co.uk/north-wales-police-and-crime-commissioner and  more information about the RASASC please visit www.rasawales.org.uk

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