Five rugby choirs are hoping to inspire the Welsh team to victory as they take on France in this Saturday’s Six Nations Grand Slam decider at Cardiff ‘s Millennium Stadium.
Supporters from the Blues, Dragons, Ospreys and Scarlets rugby regions and from North Wales make up the choirs - competitors in S4C’s Codi Canu series. They will perform a medley of rugby songs, including Calon Lân and Delilah, before the match.
S4C will be distributing 30,000 Codi Canu pocket songbooks, featuring the words to Wales’ best-known rugby anthems, to fans at the Stadium so that they too can join the choirs in singing for Wales.
The final programme in the Codi Canu series, capturing all the excitement of the performances at the Wales v France showdown, will be broadcast on S4C on Sunday, 16 March at 7.30pm. Welsh and English subtitles will be available
“Codi Canu’s aim has been to reinvigorate the famous Welsh tradition of singing on the terraces. We hope the amassed choirs, along with the tens of thousands of Welsh supporters, will unite in song to spur on Wales in this nail-biting Six Nations final,” said rugby legend Gareth Edwards, who captains the Blues choir, and whose last professional game was in 1978, in another Grand Slam final against France.
The Dragons choir is captained by Brynmor Williams, the Ospreys by Rowland Phillips and the North Wales choir by Robin McBryde. The late Ray Gravell captained the Scarlets choir, and they will be singing in his memory on Saturday. Grav’s daughters, Manon and Gwenan, are also Saturday’s matchday mascots and will lead Wales onto the pitch.
Codi Canu judge, renowned conductor Owain Arwel Hughes, along with Welsh Rugby Union Chief Executive, Roger Lewis, will choose the best Codi Canu choir to perform the Welsh and French national anthems before kick-off. All five choirs – 400 choristers in total - will then take their seats in the crowd, ready to sing for Wales.
“The five choirs have worked hard over the past six months to master a range of famous rugby songs and they’re very excited about singing in the Wales Millennium Stadium,” said Owain Arwel Hughes. “They’re hoping the crowds on the terraces will join in the singing too. It’s going to be a memorable day - in more ways than one.”
Roger Lewis added, “We’re going to have the choirs sitting in the stands during the game and I think the sound will be absolutely magical. We’re so looking forward to these 400 voices singing here on the Millennium Stadium pitch, but it’s not just about those 400 voices, it’s about 2,000, 4,000, 20,000, who knows, 74,000 people joining in with them on the day.”
S4C will be providing full live coverage of Saturday’s game, with Gareth Edwards, Brynmor Williams and Gwyn Jones among the presentation team. Coverage starts on S4C at 4.05pm on Saturday.