To commemorate Tenovus Cancer Care’s 80th birthday, choristers from across Wales joined together in St David’s Hall to create a giant choir of four hundred voices.
Tenovus was originally formed in 1943 by ten Cardiff businessmen, who wanted to support a friend in need. What began as a gesture of goodwill has since evolved into Tenovus Cancer Care; a charity that focuses on providing practical and emotional support to anyone touched by cancer. Tenovus strives to champion the need of people affected by cancer, giving them hope, advice and a voice.
One of the many remarkable ways Tenovus achieves this is through the ‘Sing With Us’ choirs. These groups offer support, friendship and fun to its members – all of whom have been impacted by cancer in some shape or form. A member of Abergavenny’s local Tenovus Choir group, Margaret said: “It is a wonderful way to lift spirits.”
Margaret was one of the thirty-five volunteers of Abergavenny’s Tenovus Choir to attend the 80th birthday extravaganza. The group consisted of a wide range of people from Abergavenny and the surrounding area.
On Friday March 3, a coach transported the choir from Abergavenny to Cardiff, where they enjoyed a spot of lunch before being whisked away to rehearsals. “The whole place was heaving,” Margaret shared “four hundred people, all in their Tenovus t-shirts. We were taken to the back choir stalls where we watched the rehearsals before practising ourselves.
“It was a fantastic experience and a fabulous day out for everyone.”
The event was hosted by Welsh Strictly Come Dancing star, Amy Dowden and Welsh comedian/actor, Mike Bubbins. Amongst the guests were Only Men Aloud, Dafydd Iwan, Amy Wadge, Sophie Evans, Ron Woodward and the Debbie Chapman Dancers.
During the variety show, the choir sang multiple songs including their anthem ‘Sing for Life’, which was especially written for them by Kat Southall. They then continued with ‘Make your own kind of music’, before completing the serenade with ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water’ alongside Only Men Aloud.
Tenovus’ Abergavenny Choir was the sixth out of the sixteen choirs to be launched in Wales. This year marks their tenth anniversary, which they will be celebrating March, 21 in the Priory Centre with a bring your own food party and sing through of ten songs they have learnt in the last decade. This completes a very exciting month.
Abergavenny’s choir boasted one hundred members prior to the pandemic but was – like many organisations, groups and societies – hit hard by COVID, but numbers are increasing as people regain their confidence. The choir has become a beacon of light to many people in the community, particularly during the most difficult of times.
A prime example of this was during lockdown. Leaders Paul Rothwell and Jo Wood held group zooms four times a week. Scores of members from Wales and England came together to sing, which brought sanity and a huge boost of morale in a very dark period for many.
The choir now hope to move forward and continue building, with various performances in the pipeline... watch this space!
If you are interested in joining Tenovus’s Sing With Us choirs, head to https:www.tenovuscancercare.org.uk/support-and-information/get-support/sing-with-us