Corau Rhys Meirion

S4C | 4 x 60minutes

Rhys Meirion discovers how choral singing can enrich our lives in different ways.

Everton, Liverpool; Man U, Man City; Rangers, Celtic – these are the most competitive football derbies in the world, known for splitting cities, communities and even families at times. But there is no game like the local derby between Llanrug and Llanberis near Caernarfon.

Although there are only four miles separating the two villages, mountains of history divide the two communities. But singer Rhys Meirion wants to face the challenge of uniting the two teams for the first time ever. In the first episode of the new series of Corau Rhys Meirion, Rhys will be hoping to bring the two football teams, Llanrug FC and Llanberis FC together to form a brand new choir.

“Rivalry has split these two communities for a century and more. Although the competition is friendly, winning the game is very important to both sides,” said Rhys Meirion.

The choir will perform a song specially composed by singer and songwriter Ifan Pritchard, who is best known as the singer of the pop group, Gwilym, and both teams must make special chants to recite in the song.

“Without revealing too much about the chants, I can say that they have plenty of banter and friendly satire,” added Rhys.

“Although the teams like to tease each other, they are very similar at the same time. The football choir is a celebration of the villages and people of the community who work so hard to support the teams. Every football team has a community, just like the community within a choir.

Also, in the four-part series, Rhys will form a choir with women who have been affected by breast cancer. Also,a choir of Welsh learners in the Pembrokeshire area, and a choir of Emergency Services Volunteers on the Llŷn Peninsula.

“This series of Corau Rhys Meirion is bursting with emotion. There are laughs and tears, and the singing always comes from the soul. But one thing that all the choirs have in common is that all the members smile right after singing. What we try to prove is that singing in a choir is beneficial, and the response we get in this series proves that.

“Will there be a choir of Man U and Man City fans formed in the next series?” Well, as a Man U fan, I would be a bit biased if we did! It was easier to keep the playing field steady between Llanrug and Llanberis! But ideas are afoot for the choirs that we will form in the next series.”