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Sunday, 8 October, 2000, 14:50 GMT 15:50 UK
American choir is Welsh enough
Choir
Purists criticised the choir for 'inauthentic' costumes
A judge in the US has thrown out a bid to prosecute an American Welsh choir because they were not Welsh enough.

US lawyer Rees Lloyd had brought the action against the Welsh Choir of Southern California.

Rees Lloyd
Lawyer Rees Lloyd
But when the case got to court, the judge said: "The Welsh choir sings Welsh music and they neither advertise nor hold themselves out to the public to be exclusively Welsh nationals."

The choir was formed two-and-a-half years ago, but because fewer than 10% of the members were actually born in Wales, opponents say it is deceptive.

While it may sound authentic, most of the 75-strong choir have never been to Wales.

And it is for that reason that they were asked to prove their Welsh credentials in court.

Bryn Calfaria
The choir's repertoire includes Bryn Calfaria
American, Flilipino and Italian members meet at a Hollywood church where they have been perfecting Welsh classics such as Cwm Rhondda and Bryn Calfaria.

The choir said it did not matter that they did not all come from Wales. As far as they were concerned, they sang Welsh songs in Welsh and were therefore a Welsh choir.

Chicago-born lawyer Rees Lloyd, who is of Welsh descent, strongly disagreed.

He said the choir was deceiving the public by pretending to be Welsh when it is not.

"You go into a grocery store and you pick up a can and it says tomato paste, when you open up you expect to find some tomatoes in there. You don't expect to find bananas," he said.

"And when you go to see the Welsh choir here, you don't find any Welsh, you find something else."

Purists had also criticised the Californian choir for its "inauthentic" costumes and had branded its concert attire "ridiculous".

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