A ROUSING rendition of the famous Welsh hymn Calon Lȃn featuring a Flintshire woman singing from Australia has gone viral with more than 250,000 hits on social media.

It was sung by a digital choir put together by popular tenor Rhys Meirion for a television programme that helped clinch a hat-trick of prestigious award for TV company Cwmni Da.

They said the triple success at the Celtic Media Festival, which came just two years after making broadcast history when the company was taken over by the staff, will boost the business by helping them secure more lucrative commissions.

 

Digital choir singing Calon L?n

Digital choir singing Calon L?n

 

In all the Cwmni Da’s programmes were shortlisted for seven honours which was a record for the prestigious event founded 40 years ago.

They also came away with gongs for multi-awarding winning children’s show Deian a Loli and documentary series 47 Copa (47 Summits).

The 130-strong choir, which included members from across North Wales and as far afield as Australia, was assembled virtually for the popular S4C series, Corau Rhys Meirion.

Among the singers was Miriam Powell-Davies, who comes from Mold, and took part from Melbourne where she was working as a nanny.

 

Miriam Powell-Davies

Miriam Powell-Davies

 

She said: “I thought it was absolutely fantastic and I was astounded with passion, the joy and hope of everyone involved. It was so evident it was much more than just another choir but truly a banner of pride and resilience.”

“It was a joy and a blessing to Zoom my grandparents as part of the programme as it’s been a very testing time for the both of them. Seeing them smiling and radiating hope through their new normal was and was just amazing.

Calon Lȃn was originally written in the 1890s as a hymn, with words by Daniel James and the tune by John Hughes, but it’s now also firmly established as a Welsh rugby anthem.

As well as parts sung to the original music, other sections of the iconic hymn were performed to an eclectic mix of tunes including La Bamba, the Welsh rock classic, Pishyn, and the hit ballad, Mack the Knife.

The unusual version of the hymn attracted 241,000 views on Facebook and 27,000 hits on YouTube.

The programme came about because the coronavirus lockdown prevented Cwmni Da from filming in the usual way.

 

Rhys Meirion

Rhys Meirion

 

Rhys was in the middle of filming a third series of Corau Rhys Meirion when the coronavirus lockdown was imposed.

He said: “We came up with a plan of setting the task of seeing what music Calon Lân could be sung to and we had some incredible efforts including La Bamba and Mack the Knife, which was a hit in Wales back in 1970 thanks to an unforgettable Welsh version by a band called Dyniadon Ynfyd Hirfelyn Tesog.

“So we made the show using several different versions suing to different tunes and ended with digital choir performing the traditional version.

“Like everyone at Cwmni Da, I’m blown away by the response to the social media video of the final digital choir version of Calon Lân.

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