North American Welsh Choir tours Wales for first time in 21 years

The choir conductor said the tour has been a "tremendous" experience

A Welsh choir made up of singers from across the USA and Canada said it has had a "terrific" welcome as it concludes its first major tour of Wales in 21 years.

Founded in 1998, Côr Cymry Gogledd America has been celebrating its 25th anniversary with multiple concerts across Wales, ending with a performance in the Senedd on Friday and Abergavenny on Saturday evening.

This tour also marked the first time the current members of the "long-distance choir" – who sing in both Welsh and English – had sung all together in person.

Before now, they had relied on Zoom and video calls for their rehearsals.

Members of Côr Cymry Gogledd America hail from across North America and Wales

The touring choir is made up of over 60 choristers from 18 states across the USA and 3 provinces across Canada, all of whom are either of Welsh decent, or share a passion for Welsh language and culture.

"It means a tremendous amount to the choristers because it’s a connection to family, it’s a connection to homeland, it’s a connection to identity, so it’s very exciting," said Dr Mari Morgan, the choir's conductor and founder, who is originally from Llanelli but now lives in the USA.

"We’ve come into the community, not just as a visiting choir, but we are people coming home to Wales, who have a connection, who have family ties, who have friends here."

As well as choir rehearsals, the choristers have been taking part in regular Welsh lessons over video calls.

Dr Mari Morgan is the conductor and founder of the choir, which was founded over 25 years ago

Dr Mari said the choristers have enjoyed the opportunity to practise speaking Welsh during the tour.

"Everyone has been working very hard in preparation in terms of the music but also in terms of learning Welsh," Dr Mari continued.

"It's the 25th anniversary of the choir, a great way to be able to celebrate that landmark by coming to Wales. It’s the pinnacle."