Choir finally able to release its sixth album

The long awaited release of the Fron Choir's latest albums is at last just a few days away.

The Shropshire border-based choir, whose Voices of the Valley became the fastest selling classical album of all time, completed recording of the sixth in the series at the end of 2019.

But last year's lockdown meant the release of Voices of the Valley – Echoes, was postponed.

When the Christmas 2020 release was again hit by the pandemic the choir decided it would be third time lucky and the album will be available on February 26, just in time for St David's Day on March 1.

Vice chairman, Roger Williams, said the Echoes was recorded as long ago as August 2019 after the owner of the mothballed Forge Studios in Oswestry reopened it for the singers.

"Phil is a very good friend of Fron Choir and was able to help us be opening the studio for us," Mr Williams said.

Well-known music producer Jon Cohen and Al Unsworth worked on the recording but, just as it was about to be launched in the spring of 2020, the country went into lockdown.

"It has been tough for choirs who weren't able to get together to rehearse all through last year.

Father and son members of Fron Male Voice Choir, Roger Williams and son, Keith Williams at Forge Studio in Oswestry..

"We have members on both sides of the Shropshire/Wales border. In the autumn we have found an ideal open space in which we would have been able to rehearse safely, but the day before our first rehearsal the Welsh government announced the all Wales lockdown. Then as that was lifted England went into lockdown."

Mr Williams said that despite not being able to physically meet, the choir had produced lockdown videos from home that it posted on its website and facebook page.

They include the first two singles from the Echoes album, Bring Him Home from Les Miserables, and Billy Joel's And So It Goes, as well as special pieces brought out for St David's Day last year and Christmas.

"Our production team Leigh Mason and Jason Ellis have been brilliant doing this."

The choir's previous five albums were all recorded in conjunction with Universal Records.

"The recording of this one has been paid for out of the choir members' own pockets and are very grateful to Phil for keeping costs as low as he could." Mr Williams said.

"We have now signed with Silver Screen and Silver Classics for the release of the album.

Fron Choir began in 1947 to compete in the first Llangollen International Eisteddfod and two members, Den Williams and Gren Gough, now in their late 80s, still sing with the choir.

Today members come not only from Froncysyllte but from further afield including about a dozen former members of Oswestry Boys High School.

Details of how to obtain the album and to find the lockdown videos are available on the choir's website

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