A Concert of Remembrance

29.10.2018

The University of Wales Trinity Saint David and the High Sheriff of West Glamorgan present a Concert of Remembrance to be held in St Mary’s Church, Swansea on Saturday, 17 November at 7.30pm.

 Cyngerdd Cofio

The concert will feature the work of composer and conductor Eilir Owen Griffiths, In Memoriam: Er Cof, as part of an extended programme featuring a range of musical items.

The work, conducted by the Eilir, will be by performed tenor Rhys Meirion and his daughter, soprano Elan Meirion, Emyr Wyn Jones, Baritone and Gethin Bickerton as the narrator with a choir comprising Cantorion Eilir Owen Griffiths and Lleisiau’r Drindod and the British Sinfonietta. The evening will be compared by Swansea stalwart, Mal Pope.

In Memoriam comprises 15 movements featuring the words of Hedd Wyn, Ann Franck and Nelson Mandela, intertwined with some of Wales’s best-loved hymns and excerpts from the traditional Latin Requiem Mass including Sanctus, Agnus Dei, Benedictus, Cofutatis Maledicus, Pie Jesu and Libera Me. As well as featuring such well-known references, In Memoriam also includes new writing, including a poem entitled Penbleth written for the composer by poet and former Archdruid T. James Jones. 

Eilir Owen Griffiths is an award-winning composer and course director of the UWTSD’s Welsh-medium performance course - the BA Perfformio – based at the Gate Arts Centre in Cardiff.  He is also a former student of the University’s Carmarthen campus.

“It is an honour to perform In Memoriam in Swansea with performers who have strong links with the University” said Eilir. “Rhys Meirion is a former student of the University’s Carmarthen campus and his daughter Elan, is a current student of the BA Perfformio in Cardiff.  Gethin is also a current student as are members of the choir. Mal Pope, of course, is a renowned broadcaster, musician and filmmaker who is also a Professor of Practice at the University’s Swansea College of Art.  I have also had the pleasure of working alongside Emyr and the British Sinfonietta over many years. It’s a fantastic opportunity to give our students the opportunity to perform alongside experienced professionals in what I hope will be an evening to acknowledge the contribution of those who have served, and continue to serve, in the Armed Forces and their families”. 

“It was a great honour to be commissioned to compose this piece in 2016 by the then High Sheriff of Dyfed, Professor Medwin Hughes, to mark Armistice Day and it has been an exciting piece to compose.

“It’s a thought-provoking work that discusses many questions and looks at a range of themes including war, peace, hope, loss and faith.  The work concludes with an arrangement of the modern Welsh language hymn Breuddwydio or Dreams which encapsulates the main message of the piece” continues Eilir.

Eilir, who is a past winning conductor in S4C’s Côr Cymru competition, is a celebrated conductor and has led many different choirs over the years, including Cardiff-based Côr CF1; Côr Godre’r Garth and the Cardiff Blues Choir, formed as part of the Codi Canu series on S4C back.  As well as having more than 15 years’ experience as a Musical Director and a composer, Eilir is also the former Musical Director for Llangollen International Eisteddfod.  He has also won many awards for his work as a composer including ‘Tlws y Cerddor’ (Musician’s Award) at the National Eisteddfod in 2008 but says that In Memoriam is the most significant piece he’s composed to date.

Tickets for the event are available from St Mary’s Church, Swansea or online via www.ticketsource.co.uk/tsd.

Cyngerdd Rhys Meirion