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Last Updated: Wednesday, 4 April 2007, 13:39 GMT 14:39 UK
Fron nominated for Classic Brit
Fron Male Voice Choir
The choir pictured outside Albert Hall last January
Members of a male voice choir who achieved overnight fame, have spoken about their surprise at being nominated for a Classical Brit best album award.

Wrexham's Fron Male Voice Choir, which has a combined age of 3,979, is competing against the likes of Sir Paul McCartney and Sting.

Their debut CD reportedly became the fastest-selling classical album ever.

Voices of the Valley was recorded after the choir was spotted by the manager of a boy band Blue at a wedding.

The album went on to sell more than half a million copies and remaining at number one for 11 weeks.

Choir chairman Dave Jones said their manager had called to tell them about the Classical Brits nomination while they were on a national tour, which has just finished.

"He could hardly get his words out," said Mr Jones. "He said you've been nominated for a Classical Brit and they've asked if you can sing live.

"When you look at the other nominees, we're among pretty heady company."

It'll be a grand day out. Who would have thought it?
First tenor Jon Haddy

When he told the rest of the choristers, he said some had to "pinch themselves" while others took a little while to appreciate the enormity of what it meant.

They were then sworn to secrecy until the nominations were officially announced.

"It's a great achievement for an amateur choir to get to this level and we hope it will be a boost for Welsh choirs everywhere" said Mr Jones. "It's lovely our music is being recognised."

The choir, which celebrates it's 60th anniversary this year, has previously sung with mezzo soprano Katherine Jenkins on the Parkinson show and at the Millennium Stadium.

The Neath-born singer is also on the shortlist for album of the year, which will be decided by listeners of Classic FM, as is baritone Bryn Terfel and Penclawdd-born composer Karl Jenkins.

Fron Male Voice Choir in 1947 or 1948
The choir formed in 1947 to compete at the Eisteddfod

Sir Paul's nomination is for an oratorio written as a tribute to his late wife Linda while Sting has been recognised for his collection of lute music.

"If you had said to us last year we were going to be in the Brit Awards at the beginning of May, we would not have believed you," said first tenor Jon Haddy from Llangollen.

"It has taken off incredibly. I don't quite know if we'll win as there are some very serious names there. But it will be a grand day out. Who would have thought it?"

The choir is due to perform twice at the ceremony at the Royal Albert Hall on 3 May, including dueting with Katherine Jenkins.


SEE ALSO
Sting on Classical Brit shortlist
02 Apr 07 |  Entertainment
'Fastest-selling' album for choir
15 Dec 06 |  North West Wales
Male voice choir reaches top 10
04 Dec 06 |  North East Wales
Male voice choir hits the charts
26 Nov 06 |  North East Wales
Hollywood beckons for male choir
20 Nov 06 |  North East Wales

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