Wales

Llangollen Male Voice Choir to disband after 40 years

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Media captionListen as the choir sing Calon Lan, the Welsh rugby anthem

A choir is set to disband after 40 years because it does not have enough members to carry on.

Llangollen Male Voice Choir formed in 1981 and has even performed at the Royal Albert Hall.

But they are now struggling to produce their classic sound with fewer than 10 members.

Chairman David Smith said male voice choirs "grew out of the coal mines, quarries and community centres and those things just don't exist anymore".

He added: "You just don't have the breeding ground that used to fetch these people into male voice choirs in the past.

"It's staggeringly difficult [to attract younger members] you wouldn't believe."

Image caption David Smith has been a member of the choir for 30 years

Formed in a front room by six men, it garnered a strong reputation locally before going on to perform in Canada, France and Germany.

However, numbers have dwindled - with the choir losing five members in the past year alone.

Now, only two choristers actually live in the town, which sees others travelling in from as far away as Conwy and Merseyside.

Mr Smith said more members were getting old or were infirm, so could not go to rehearsal any more.

Matthias Wurz, musical director of neighbouring Rhos choir in Wrexham, said he hoped the choir could continue in some form, even if it meant cutting the number of annual rehearsals to make it easier for people to go.

He said: "My hope is in one way or another, the choir will continue. It would be a shame for Llangollen Male Voice Choir to disappear."

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