Dathlu’r Nadolig, Christmas Celebration, was the theme at the 11 December meeting of the Society. Members were greeted with a welcome glass of mulled wine prepared by Maureen and Keith Byatt. After singing the traditional Unwaith Eto’n Nghymru Annwyl, the President, Liz Armishaw, read out the list of apologies-for-absence from members who were unwell. She then welcomed Cross Harmonies wind ensemble, who had accepted an invitation to lead the celebrations. They had prepared a programme of three sessions of contrasting music. They began with two secular pieces of well known Christmas music, Slay Ride and Happy White Christmas, and followed with the delightful, jaunty high spirited Tritsch-Tratsch Polka by Johan Strauss the Second, which is based on the Viennese passion for gossip. Arthur Williams, the Vice-president, then read That Bright White Snowball of Christmas by Dylan Thomas. For their second session, Cross Harmonies played the  very beautiful Cantique de Noel, an 18th century song by the French composer Adolphe Adam for the original French words Minuit Chretiens (Midnight Christians), the poem written by the wine merchant and poet, Placide Cappeau, at the behest of the parish priest of Roquemaure, to celebrate the renovation of the church organ. It is better known as the well loved O Sanctaidd Nos in Welsh and O Holy Night in English. They followed with a Merry Christmas Pot-Pourri, with an opportunity to exercise Welsh lungs. The second session concluded with Johan Strauss Senior’s Radetzky March, the jubilant last piece traditionally played at the New Year Concerts by the Vienna Philharmonic; this certainly allowed the various sections of the ensemble to show off their considerable virtuosity. Clapping generally accompanies the music at classical music venues, and, skilfully encouraged by Peter Cross, our audience responded by clapping quietly at the first iteration of the melody and with thunderous clapping at the second iteration, in typical Viennese fashion! This was great fun.

There then was an interval for some delicious refreshments, arranged by Edith Brown and her catering committee. Afterwards Peter lead the audience, which was arranged on eight tables, to act out the gifts in The Twelve Days Of Christmas. It was the opportunity for the seasoned thespians and the not-so-seasoned members to let their hair down! Finally, the ensemble played a Welsh Pot-Pourri, Men of Harlech (which celebrates Owain Glyndwr’s valiant, patriotic achievements), the hauntingly beautiful  lullaby Suo Gan and LLwyn  Onn (Ash Grove). Cross Harmonies were congratulated and thanked for providing such a wonderful evening’s entertainment. A special bonus at the conclusion was the opportunity to sing Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau accompanied by the ensemble! Very generously, Cross Harmonies donated their fee to the President’s Charity. The charity also benefitted by £183 donated by members who chose to do so instead of giving Christmas cards to friends in the Society.


On Sunday 8th December 34 members attended the traditional annual fund raising/charity Christmas Tea hosted by Liz and Jim Armishaw, raising £306 for the fund.

                             President, Liz Armishaw                                     Peter Cross

                          Christmas Fare                                              The Raffle with Brian Farmer and Sina Williams

Vice President, Arthur Williams thanks Cross Harmonies