Local community groups performed together to help the Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod celebrate over 10 years of the festival’s Inclusion Project.

The Inclusion Project has been running for over 10 years, helping promote unity and diversity throughout North Wales, Shropshire and Cheshire by bringing local communities together.

This year’s group performance theme ‘Tapestry’, was inspired by a quote from the distinguished American poet and civil rights activist, Maya Angelou:

“We should all know that diversity makes for a rich tapestry, and we must understand that all the threads of the tapestry are equal in value no matter what their colour.”

This year’s participating groups were Wrexham Singing Hands, a British Sign Language Choir, mental health Ukulele group, Mind Tones, Wrexham One Love Choir, consisting of members who have experienced homelessness, addiction and marginalisation, Derwen on Tour (DOT), a group of Creative Studies students from Derwen College in Gobowen, Shropshire, who offer Makaton sign, song and dance performance and workshops, and the Theatretrain Regional Choir from Mold.

Reflecting the diversity of society and the International Eisteddfod’s ethos of promoting understanding and acceptance though music and dance, the project saw all five groups present their own short performance before coming together to perform on the pavilion stage.

Speaking about the inspiration for this year’s performance, Leslie Churchill Ward, the project’s Creative Director said: “The theme of Tapestry lends itself beautifully both musically and choreographically. The new song that has been created is based around all of these ideas, and how we weave our lives together to create art and friendship.”

Facilitated by a generous grant from Chester and Wrexham-based Grosvenor Insurance Services, the performance reflected on important issues concerning diversity in a thought-provoking and emotive piece. Five unique groups came together from across North Wales to deliver the message to enthralled crowds.

Music Director of the Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod, Dr Edward-Rhys Harry, said: “The Inclusion Project is close to everyone’s heart here at the Llangollen Eisteddfod, as it provides people who may not usually get the opportunity to perform on stage, in front of an international audience.

“Thanks to the generous support of Grosvenor Insurance Services with their donation towards the cost of the Inclusion Project, it has been able to continue its life-changing work and enables people from all walks of life to perform on the Eisteddfod stage."

To discover more about the Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod and the Inclusion Project visit: www.llangollen.net