20 September 1947 (age 69)
The Froncysyllte Male Voice Choir (Côr Meibion Froncysyllte), also known as the Fron Choir (or Côr Fron), is an award-winning amateur male voice choir based in the small Welsh village of Froncysyllte, near Llangollen, North Wales. Froncysyllte is a small village in the Vale of Llangollen, famous as the site of Thomas Telford's Pontcysyllte aqueduct which carries the Llangollen Canal across the River Dee.
The little village and its choir gained some measure of fame in the UK when Universal Music Group signed them up to release the album Voices of the Valley. This album was released on 20 November 2006, and peaked at #9 on the UK album chart .
The choir was formed at that meeting in 1946, to compete in the first Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod (International Eisteddfod) that had recently been established in the nearby town of Llangollen, and was planned to be held for the first time in 1947. The choir's first conductor was Lloyd Edwards. The Choristers stayed together after the Eisteddfod with Lloyd Edwards remaining as the conductor until 1970.
The choir has remained closely associated with the Eisteddfod and is a regular competitor in the Male Voice Choir competition. In 1955 the choir hosted the Societa Corale Gioachino Rossini from Modena which was competing at the Eisteddfod and won first place. The choir was conducted by Fernando Pavarotti, and the victory at Llangollen is said to have inspired the choir conductor's son, one Luciano Pavarotti, a member of that choir and a student music teacher at the time, to take up a singing career (reportedly with some success). The Modena Choir were again hosted by the Froncysyllte Male Voice Choir during their visit with Pavarotti in 1995.
Mr Edwards' baton was taken up by John Daniel, a local music teacher who conducted the choir for 21 years and is now conductor of the Rhosllanerchrugog Male Voice Choir (Cor Meibion Rhosllanerchrugog) in the nearby village of Rhosllanerchrugog. Mr Daniel led the Choir to success in both the National Eisteddfod of Wales and the Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod notably winning "the double" (first in both Eisteddfodau) in 1977. The choir has had several successful overseas tours, notably representing the United Kingdom at the Expo World Fair in Vancouver Canada in 1986.
From 1991 to 2002 the choir's conductor was Val Jones. Ann Atkinson took over as Musical Director in 2002 and led the choir for seven years during which they secured a record deal with UCJ and recorded four albums. In March 2010 Leigh Mason became only the fifth Musical Director in the choirs 64 year history.
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