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Last Updated: Thursday, 5 August, 2004, 09:54 GMT 10:54 UK
Long journey worthwhile for choir
Cr Cofnod
Cr Cofnod made the long journey from north to south
A year of practice, a long journey south and a nerve-wracking debut all proved worthwhile for one choir at the National Eisteddfod this week.

Based in Caernarfon and with members from Anglesey and Bangor, the ladies' choir Cr Cofnod took a respectable third in their first competition.

The eisteddfod is being held in Newport's Tredegar House in the south east of Wales.

But not all choirs north of Newport made the long journey.

One of the north Wales eisteddfod organisers said the distance involved was a factor in choirs not travelling.

"There are many reasons why choirs decide to take a year off," said Hywel Wyn Edwards.

"Last year, Ruthin choir did not compete at Meifod because lots of women were expecting (babies).

Without the travelling it will be easier
Gethin Davies, conductor

"But we are in the very far south east of Wales this year, and not all choir members are able to have time to take two days off."

However, more than 50 members of Cr Cofnod did make it to the festival.

The choir members were making their eisteddfod debut, and had been practising their pieces for 11 months.

Conductor Gethin Davies explained they were lucky that many of the choir would be in south Wales anyway.

"We are fortunate that a lot of them are working in the eisteddfod," he said.

"They would be there even if the choir wasn't competing."

He said that, as competing was a new experience, he had wanted a good performance.

I love singing, and you get to see a new part of Wales - I had not been to Newport before
Elen Hughes

"We have a long way to go," he said.

"We want to build and compete, especially as the eisteddfod is coming to Faenol next year.

"Without the travelling it will be easier - it will be home ground."

Singer Elen Hughes, from Anglesey, said she enjoyed the social side of competing.

"It is a laugh," she said.

"I love singing, and you get to see a new part of Wales - I had not been to Newport before.

"It's not a bother that it's a long way away - it is part of the fun and we like to socialise."

Cr Merched Canna, from Cardiff, won the category of Ladies' Choir over 20 members, with Atsain from Llandeilo in second place.



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