A GROUP of 20 refugees, mainly from Ukraine, will be part of a mass choir performing at the Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod next month.

They will be joining close to 200 North Wales/Borders’ residents in the choir at the ‘Lleisiau Llan’ – White Flower concert at the prestigious event on Wednesday, July 5.

They have come together for a concert of remembrance for the fallen of Srebrenica in Bosnia and Herzegovina and those in Ukraine.

Lleisiau Llan will join NEW Sinfonia for a concert honouring the Eisteddfod’s long term commitment to peace.

Performers from Wales, Bosnia and Ukraine have been busy rehearsing for the concert which includes excerpts from Karl Jenkins’ haunting mass for peace The Armed Man.

One part of the choir rehearses in St Asaph, the other rehearses in Ty Pawb and Capel y Groes in Wrexham.

The choir is being brought up to speed by leading members of New Sinfonia including Artistic Director Robert Guy and choral conductor and renowned vocal tutor Jenny Pearson.


New Sinfonia, based in North Wales are a multi-faceted arts organisation which boasts a professional chamber orchestra, community vocal ensemble NEW Voices and an education programme.

Jane Townend, from the Wrexham-based charity “UareUK” helps refugees and displaced people with aid is assisting the refugees in the choir.

Jane said: “This concert is giving people our charity supports a real purpose. They are living in the most horrific circumstances and are finding the concert helps them. Music is our common language.

"This is something that transcends borders and we’re so pleased to be involved. What has happened in Ukraine is heart-breaking but what better way to promote peace than singing in a festival dedicated to peace.

"One of the performers literally stepped off the plane two weeks ago. We would like to thank the New Sinfonia and the Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod for giving us this opportunity to promote world peace.”

The Leader:

PIC: The mass choir get stuck in with rehearsal at Capel y Groes in Wrexham.

Dance Teacher Julie Kirk-Thomas from Llangollen is one of the members of the mass choir.

She said: “Like many of the choir – I am not experienced in singing. The help and mentoring we have received from NEW Sinfonia is amazing.

"We rehearse once a week and it’s an amazing privilege to be involved. To be singing alongside these courageous refugees makes it even more poignant.”

Camilla King, executive producer at Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod said: “There’s never been a more apt time for a concert promoting peace. The fact that it’s being held at one of the most renowned peace festivals in the world in Llangollen makes it even better.

"Our mass choir, from our doorstep are standing shoulder to shoulder with refugees in a message of peace and hope for the future of all nations.”

The concert will also feature Ukrainian conductor Polina Horelova conducting the traditional Ukrainian River Song; and Emyr Lloyd Jones, dubbed the new Bryn Terfel, who won the prestigious Pendine International Voice of the Future at Llangollen 2022.