Cardiff choir, Aelwyd y Waun Ddyfal, have made it to the final of S4C's prestigious choral singing competition Côr Cymru for the first time ever.
They came top of the youth category semi-final, highlights of which were shown on S4C on Saturday, 9 March.
This year saw the choir reach the semi-final round for the third time, but they will now go on to the final for the first time. The final will be broadcast live on S4C in April.
"Being rewarded this third time makes it an even bigger thrill - the perseverance and hard work has paid off," says conductor Huw Foulkes who has lead the choir since it was established in 2006. "The best thing about the work is seeing the choir develop from the rehearsals through to the competitions and concerts. It's thrilling to see the crew's hard work pay off and that's what drives us on."
The choir is based in Cardiff and is made up of 90 members between 18 and 25 years of age. Most are students but some have now graduated and work in the capital. They meet regularly to rehearse, perform and socialise, but Huw Foulkes says that the hard work as they prepare to compete in Côr Cymru definitely raises standards.
"What sets Côr Cymru apart from all other competitions in Wales is the panel of judges who are professionals at an international level. It's invaluable to have these people listen to us and give their unbiased comments. It's a competition we've been aiming for a while now and without doubt, this is the competition that raises the standard of the choir," says Huw.
Highlights of all five Côr Cymru 2013 semi-finals are currently being shown on S4C over five weekends. Next Saturday (16 March 9.00pm) sees highlights the children's choir category, with the male voice choirs, women's choirs and mixed choirs following on consecutive weekends.
The competition is held at the Aberystwyth Arts Centre with the final broadcast live on S4C on Sunday, 14 April starting at 6.30pm.
Each of the choirs' semi-final performances will be available in full on the Côr Cymru website along with judges' comments and choir profiles. The youth choir semi-final is now available to watch online anytime on Clic