Oxford Welsh Male Voice Choir is staging a special concert as part of St David's Day celebrations - including a world premiere.

Choir members will gather for the concert on Saturday in Wesley Memorial Church in New Inn Hall Street, Oxford.

They will perform Our Land of Song – a newly commissioned piece written by two members of the choir, which has been developed and rehearsed for almost a year.

READ MORE: Fears new stadium bridge will never get built 

It celebrates Wales’s long musical history from early times to the present day and combines the rich Welsh male choral tradition with a fresh, modern interpretation.  

Choir chairman Andy Jones said: "Something wonderful and unexpected happened as we were emerging out of the pandemic. A gradual decline in membership and general interest in the choir suddenly went into a sharp reversal.

"We quickly gained 20 new choristers, growing the choir from 40 to 60 – larger than it’s ever been in its history!

"That surge in membership has not stopped. In fact, a steady influx has continued with – on average – a new member joining every two or three weeks. Furthermore, our age demographic is tumbling, bucking the national trend in the male voice choir tradition.

Oxford Mail: An Oxford Welsh Male Voice Choir rehearsal"Clearly, we are doing something that chimes with the zeitgeist! And nobody is more surprised – nor more delighted – than we are!"

The choir’s biggest project over the last year has been to commission, compose and learn a new song that pays tribute to their beloved homeland of Wales.

Our Land of Song has been written by two members of the choir – Mac Adams (composer) and Richard Jones (lyricist) - and the choir’s committee is beginning to hope it may become a new Welsh male voice choir classic.

READ MORE: Thousands of pounds agreed for new splash park 

The writers checked carefully amongst the massive back catalogue of Welsh male voice compositions and to their surprise they couldn’t find anything else remotely like it.

Both the composition and its title appeared to be something quite new and quite unique.

The choir's musical director is Helen Swift and its regular rehearsals are held in Christ Church in Abingdon.

Sometimes after rehearsals some members gather for a pint in the Spread Eagle pub nearby.

Mr Jones added: "The writing team had to make many fine adjustments along the way, with Helen the musical director overseeing the delivery of the final work to a standard that everyone involved could only have dreamed was possible."

Doors open at 7pm, and the concert starts at 7.30pm. 

Tickets for the St David’s Day concert are £20, available in advance from Ticket Tailor online and by phone and in person from the Oxford Playhouse Box Office (01865 305305) and on the door on the night. 

Help support trusted local news 

Sign up for a digital subscription now: oxfordmail.co.uk/subscribe 

As a digital subscriber you will get: 

  • Unlimited access to the Oxford Mail website 
  • Advert-light access 
  • Reader rewards 
  • Full access to our app 

About the author 

Andy is the Trade and Tourism reporter for the Oxford Mail and you can sign up to his newsletters for free here. 

He joined the team more than 20 years ago and he covers community news across Oxfordshire.

His Trade and Tourism newsletter is released every Saturday morning. 

You can also read his weekly Traffic and Transport newsletter.