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FEAST OF SONG AT PONTARDAWE.

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FEAST OF SONG AT PONTARDAWE. Male Voice Party's Annual Concert.. AN UNQUALIFIED SUCCESS I VISIT OF MR JOHN COATES AND MISS C. LANCELEY. The Pontardawe Male Voice Choir held their annual concert at the Public Hall, Pontardawe, on Thursday evening, when the hall was crowded in every part. Most of the seats had been booked prior to the day of the concert, and hundreds of people came from "Neath, Swansea, Morriston, Brynamman, Ystradgynlais, Ystatyfera, a nd other purts of the Swan- sea Valley. The Party's annual concert is justly regarded as the chief musical treat of the year in the Swansea Valley, and always compares favourably with many of the best concerts held in the larger provincial centres. Interest was added to this year's event because of the first appearance in West Wales of Mr John Coates, the eminent English tenor, and it says much for the enterprise of the Party that they secured the services of this great singer. Mr F. W. Gilbertson, who presided, remarked that the people of Pontardawe felt very proud of the Party which had brought such distinction to the place. Al- luding to the recent strike, he stated that he was gla-d that the dark clouds which had been hanging over the district ha.d passed away; and he hoped they would never return. The Choir, under the conductorship of Mr David Daniels, commenced the con- cert by singing "The Britons" (Dr. Protheroe), and their performance was vociferously applauded. Mr Powell Edwards then sang "Y Marchog" (Dr. Parry) And was encored. The appear- ance of Miss Carrie Lanceley, the famous Australian soprano, was the signal for a tremendous outburst of applause, and her rendering of "Waltz Song" (Gounod) so delighted the audience that they de- manded an encore. Mr Geo. Kendall is well known to Pontardawe audiences, and his recital of "Two Scars" (Overton) was thoroughly appreciated. Mr John Coates sang the romanza "Cielo e Mar" (Poncheilli) with much ex- pression and vigour, and was raptuoualy onoored, being recalled three times. He responded with "Come into the Garden Maud." It was a beautiful rendition, full of feeling, and he sang with such clia.n that the audience appeared spellbourd. Then, with prolonged applause they re- manded his re-appearance. Mr Powell Edwards gave an excellent rendering of that rollicking song "Pals" (W. H. Squire). The recital of Longfellow's "The old clock on the stairs" bv such a. mister of elocution as Mr Geo. Kendall, it would be imagined, would call for a reverential hearing from any audience, and the majority of those present were keenly disgusted at the outburst of laughter in- dulged in by a small section of the aud- tence who, apparently, were unable to ap- preciate the beauty of the poem expressed 00 excellently by the reciter. Miss Carrie Lanceley's rendering of "Lilly of my heart" (Henry Geehl) .-stamped her as an artist of no mean at- tainments. She sang it with a charm so irtesistable that a. recall was unanimously demanded, and her reply waa "As in a dream. The Party then rendered "Cydgan y Pererinion" one of Dr. Parry's finest efforts. In the opening of the chorus the Party sang with much restraint, and their blending was magnificent. Rarely has the Party sang sa excellently as they did on this occasion. Every member was up to "concert pitch," and did they but exhibit the same perfection at eisteddfodau they would carry erverything before them. But it is not always that the Party sings under such ideal condition* as existed on Thursday evening. Singing in their own language, before their own people, in a crowded hall, the acoustics of which they have so often tested,—it waa natural that the Party would do justice to the piece and to their own powers. Undoubtedly, this was their very best performance of the evening, and they deserved the un- stinted applauso which followed the per- formanoo. Mr John, Coates finely sang "Ninnete" (A. Herbert Brewer) and responded to the encore by a splendid rendition of "Take a pair of sparkling eyes" in which the <nanciatioi>. was perfect, and the elasticity of the artist's voice was un- mistaka-bly proved. In the duett "Trot here and there" (Mesaager) by Misa Lanceley and Mr Edwards, the audience were enraptured, but the full effect of the latter portion of the performance was spoilt by a premature outburst of clapping. The duett ie a most difficult one, but the duettiate indisputably triumphed. Mr Geo. Kendall substituted a humor- ous item for "Keramas" (Longfellow), oind in this he was compensated by the hearty rounds of laughter which punctua- ted his recital of the "howlers" made by schoolboys. Some of the "hits" are worth repro- ducing. "One boy," related Mr Kend- all," wrote that Henry VIII. was famous as being a great widower; another stated that the Duke of Wellington had a very grand funeral, because it took eight men to carry the "beer." Another boy wrote that "Joan of Arc was the wife of Noah," whereupon the roar of laughter which greeted this showed that the audience were not only acquainted with the Scriptures, but with French history. "The Epistles were the wives of the Apostles" caused much laughter. "It was a little bov," I think, who was asked to write of Lot and his wife," said Mr Kendall amidst laughter, "and lie wrote 'Lot and his wife fled from the city, and on the road his wife turned a somersault—(loud laghter)-and Lot was not allowed to turn round to look at her" —(loud and prolonged laughter and ap- plause). Aflrod to give, a Scriptural text, one hoy answered "Judas went and hanged himself." "That is not a very nice one "I r&plied tlie tocher, "give me another on." "Go thon and do likewise" roplied the bay. As An encore Mr Kendall MCg "Quick work," which was greatly ec joyed. Latw in the programme Mr Kendall gave a"b,F,r humorous item, "Man Proposes" (f. Moorf). and this, too, added fpeatly t. njoy-iblfnees of the proceedings. Mr Powil Edwards scored a, anooem by sin^i'sr "N °n Piu Andrai" (Mnmrt), and WM .;I(Yi(\. Miss Carrie Lanceley gave o. b-on*i'ul rendering of "The Lilac Cottfr rv.v;r>" (D. Hall), and Of) her re- .•vrpe-o.'v r* sang with much filing "The dear Shamrock." Mr John Coates gave ww a wreath of roees" in re- ply t.o -in nndnniable enoore after he had rend'Tvd a fine, vigorous t-tyle-. "Heioh ho! wind and the rain." The final (Cof^nnwJ at bottom of next column ) <

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FEAST OF SONG AT PONTARDAWE.