We have more than our fair share of legendary voices from the Valleys - think Tom Jones, the Manic Street Preachers, Stereophonics and Only Boys Aloud - many of whom started their musical careers performing in local musical competitions we call ‘Eisteddfods’. We love to nurture musical talent and every year some 15,000 children and young people compete in Europe’s largest youth touring festival - the Urdd National Eisteddfod. This year it comes to Bridgend, where you can enjoy the amazing talent displayed in the singing, dancing and performing competitions.
Eisteddfods are where a new generation of musical legends, like singer songwriter Kizzy Crawford, from Merthyr Tydfil, found their feet. ‘My sister and I used to sing in the Eisteddfod at school, and I loved the folk stories and traditions we sang about. ‘The Starling’, which was my first single, is based on the story of Branwen in the Mabinogion. When we moved to Merthyr Vale, I was amazed by the landscape and the open skies and mountains, which completely inspired me. I yearn for this landscape when I'm away and feel as if it is where I belong. It’s the place that’s made me who I am today.’
Music has always been at the heart of the Valleys, with our Male Voice Choirs and Miners’ Institutes like The Memo in Newbridge. Many a musical legend wowed audiences in its grand Art Deco gilded theatre. James Dean Bradfield even worked behind the bar here before his musical career with the Manic Street Preachers took off! Miners’ Institutes are part of our cultural heritage, paid for by subscriptions from miners themselves. You can find out more on a guided heritage tour of this fabulously restored building. And don’t forget to check out what’s on at The Memo during your visit!
Enjoy a Male Voice Choir
Visitors are welcome to go to one of our Male Voice Choir rehearsals. Treorchy rehearse Monday and Thursday 7.30pm - 9pm at Treorchy Primary School.