The Newcastle Emlyn-based choir Cywair is celebrating after winning Wales’ leading choral competition, S4C’s Côr Cymru.
Cywair choir, under their conductor Islwyn Evans, beat four others in the final, broadcast live on S4C tonight (10 April), to win a top prize of £5,000 and the Côr Cymru 2011 title.
This is the second time for the mixed voice choir to win the Côr Cymru trophy. They also won the prestigious title in 2007.
This year’s judges were Stephen Connolly, former member of the group The King’s Singers, Denes Szabo conductor of three of Hungary’s most successful choirs, and world-renowned conductor Carlo Rizzi.
As well as choosing the main prize, the judges also made an award to the competition’s best conductor which included all twenty choirs which competed in the semi-finals rounds. The winner this year is Islwyn Evans, who conducted three of the five choirs in the final.
But the judges weren’t the only ones to get a chance to voice their opinions. For the first time a live phone vote following the final performances allowed viewers to choose their favourite choir with the winner taking away a separate ‘viewers’ choice’ award. The winner is female voice choir Cantata, of Llanelli.
Hefin Owen, from Rondo, Executive Producer of the Côr Cymru series for S4C, said “People definitely look forward to competing in Côr Cymru every two years. The title is extremely important since the strength of the competition means that standards are very high. For the choirs who have reached the final round, they have already won in their individual categories, be it a female, male or mixed voice choir or a children’s or youth choir.
“It was an excellent evening of competition tonight, and congratulations to the winners Cywair.”
This is the fifth Côr Cymru competition to be held by S4C. Previous winners are Ysgol Gerdd Ceredigion in 2009, Côr Cywair in 2007, Cardiff choir Serendipity in 2005 and Ysgol Gerdd Ceredigion in 2003.
Watch highlights of the final round on S4C on Saturday 16 April at 21:10.