collective was formed in 1947 as the BBC Welsh Chorus by BBC music
director, Idris Lewis, to accompany the BBC Welsh
Treharne Thomas conducted both the chorus and orchestra
from 1947 to 1965, but suffered a stroke in 1979.
Thomas was the chorus master from 1983 to 1995. During his tenure, the chorus became
a staple on TV and recordings, specifically as the accompanying choir of
treble phenom, Aled
Jones. Jones is famously known
as the angelic voice on the Howard Blake song, “Walking in the Air”,
from the children’s animated Christmas special, The Snowman.
something of a recurring theme for Aled and the
chorus: On Christmas Eve 1984,
they performed together in a television program entitled Born in Bethlehem; The Aled Jones Christmas Album, All through the Night with Aled Jones and Voices
from the Holy Land were released in 1985; So was Aled Jones with the BBC Welsh Chorus, which went to #11 on the U.K.
charts; An Album of Hymns and Aled:
Music from the TV Series followed in 1986.
recordings on which they have appeared include: Arwel Hughes: Dewi Sant (Saint David); Bantock:
Song of Songs; Celebration: Christmas Fanfares and Carols; Cesar Franck: Psyche complete / La Chasseur maudit; Doctor
Who: Original Television
Soundtrack; Dyson: Quo Vadis; John Tavener: We Shall See Him as He Is; Mahler: Symphony No. 2 “Resurrection”;
The Spirit of Christmas Present; Stokowski Dirigiert
Tschaikowsky; and, Within a Dream: A
Celebration of the Artistry of Richard Hickox.
the Principal Conductor of the orchestra through 23rd July 2006,
and served as Conductor Emeritus until the day he died, in November
2008. There is no dearth
of talented conductors wielding the baton in his stead: Since September 2006, Thierry
Fischer has filled the post of Principal Conductor, and he has had support
from Conductor Laureate Tadaaki Otaka, Principal Guest Conductor Jac
van Steen, and Associate Guest Conductor Grant Llewellyn.
makes its home in St. David’s Hall in Cardiff,
but its home away from home is Royal Albert Hall in London where it has been a staple at the
BBC Proms. It is a dual-purpose
chorus that serves not only as the national chorus but also the broadcast
chorus and can be heard on BBC Radio Cymru, BBC
Radio 3, BBC Radio Wales, and BBC television.
BBC Welsh Chorus recordings
O Come, all ye Faithful (Frederick
Oakeley/John Francis Wade)
Arranger – Sir David Willcocks
Conductor – John Hugh Thomas
Organist – Huw Tregelles Williams
Percussionists – Chris Stock & Mark Walker
Trumpeters of the Welsh Guards
Director – Lt.
Col. P. Hannam, BEM