The Mid Powys Youth Choir under the leadership of their musical director Eleanor Madoc-Davies visited Llandrindod’s twin town Bad Rappenau in Southern Germanyfrom 1 – 6 July. The visit was arranged as a cultural exchange by the twinning associations of Llandrindod Wells and Bad Rappenau.
The choir members were treated to the best German hospitality wherever they went and enjoyed a busy weekend singing at a number of venues including a visit to the local high school Wilhelm-Hauff-Realschule. The choir also enjoyed days out in the picturesque Neckar River Valley visiting a castle and the ancient city of Heidelberg.
On Saturday a highlight for all was a concert at the Catholic Church in the pretty village of Obergimpern where the girls wowed an enthralled audience with their performance. The Choir sang a concert of varied music in Welsh, Latin and English including a number of new pieces that they had learnt for their performance in the semi-finals of S4C’s Côr Cymru in April. Two senior choir members, Jess Evans and Iona Tattersall, sang solos with their young accompanist Laura Powell and these were greeted with rapturous applause by an appreciative audience.
On Sunday morning the choir took part in the service at an ancient church in Heinsheim, a village on the banks of the river Neckar where they sang three anthems in a family orientated service. On Monday the girls were special guests at local high school Wilhelm-Hauff-Realschule where they were able to join in singing with their newly made German friends. The Headteacher, Dieter Villimek, praised the Youth Choir for the high standards they achieved in their singing and was pleased that twenty five pupils from the Wilhelm-Hauff-Realschule were about to set off for Mid Wales on the following day for a visit to the Elan Valley. This visit was also organised by Llandrindod Wells Twinning Association and he hoped that while in Wales the Realschule pupils would meet up again with members of the Youth Choir.
The young choir members and their adult companions are still feeling overwhelmed by the kindness and generosity shown to them by the host families and twinning association in Bad Rappenau. The visit proved a very positive vehicle creating friendship and understanding for young people through the exchange of music and cultural experiences. The choir is particularly indebted to the Llandrindod Wells Twinning Committee that made the exchange possible.