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A Serious Matter.

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- With the Mid-Rhondda Male…

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With the Mid-Rhondda Male Voice Choir. [By G. W. RICHARDS.] Better to have competed and lost than never to have competed at all is only another way of moulding a well- known saying to fit the case of the Mid- Rhondda Orpheus Glee Society, which competed in the male voice competitions at Abergavenny and Mountain Ash. Such a result Avas disappointing enough, but let me remind the members of the party that it is only over the bodies of our dead selves that we may leap to higher tilings. '1 Previous to Monday, the party had been working hard. When I say hard, I imply ultra hard, as anyone who is conversant with the test piece, Eigar',s Reveille," will understand that the demands re- quired in this work are of no ordinary nature. In the Avoids of Dr. MacNaught, the Reveille is the most difficult test piece ever Avritten for a male voice choir, and such Avas the gigantic task of the Mid-Rhondda Party. In the open rehearsal at Caersalem on Sunday evening last. the quid nuncs were silenced, and the party's performance Avas everywhere eulogised. At last, competi- tion day came, and the party, full of hope and confidence, turned their face Aber- gavenny-wards. Arriving late, the party hurried to the practice room. Avhence they were hustled on to the stage—the first competitive stage that the majority of the party had ever appeared on. In theatrical performances, especially amateur, the first appearance is anything but a good one, and, sad to relate, such was the case with our local singers. Stage- fright was rampant, and it seemed to seize many of the members like a fever spreading from one to another. After the rendering Avas over, not for one moment did the party expect any gains but they I all- philosophically hoped for better things at Mountain Ash. This place was reached about 5 o'clock, and after a, splendid rehearsal the eis- teddfod was reached, Avhere, in the opinion of almost everyone, the party sang delightfully. The party were awarded 63 marks, which placed them fourth out of eight competitors, and on being told the party had never competed before that day, Dr. McNaught complimented them, saying they had sung well, and he was sorry he could not award them a, prize. He congratulated the party in singing without the aid of the pianoforte, and, unlike the other choirs, who mostly con- cluded flat, they finished a little sharp. He hoped they would persevere and try again in London. Inattention to the conductor's beat, faulty intonation, pianissimo passages sung too loud and the releases not prompt enough, were a few of the faults which the party were guilty of. Now, this is patent knoAvledge amongst all, and it remains with the party as a entity to adhere together and wipe each fault out one by one until there is no room for doubt, but in lieu-the finished perform- ance. One word more, and that is a, word of praise to Mr. E'mrys Richards, the party's able and painstaking conductor. Through- out the day Mr. Richards was as cool as the proverbial cucumber, and he feels confident the party will undoubtedly go one better next time.

Theatre Royal, Tonypandy.

Hippodrome, Tonypandy.