Montogmery County Music Festival



About the Festival

About the






New season - Haydn mass and Brahms Requiem for 2018

Get ready for the new season! The Festival concert will be at Theatr Hafren on 5th May 2018. (Note that this is the Saturday in the early May bank holiday weekend and not the Saturday afterwards as usual, so please book this date and ignore all invitations to go away for a short break!)

We will be performing Haydn's Little Organ Mass, together with a piano duet, in the first half, and the second half will be Brahms' Requiem.

If you need to order a copy or copies please email Stella Gratrix (sgratrix AT yahoo DOT co DOT uk) by the middle of September so that she can order in bulk to obtain a discount.

We hope that all the choristers from recent concerts will be singing with us again in these glorious works, and please do encourage friends to join us in another memorable occasion. We had a very enjoyable concert on May 6th 2017, with great praise for the Vivaldi and even more appreciation from the audience for In Praise of Music. Patrick Larley was very pleased with the performance and admired our bold confident singing. And the excellent orchestra added another layer to the night.

The AGM this year will be on Friday 3rd November in Newtown, and Llanidloes rehearsals begin on the following Monday 6th.

There will be a workshop again in 2018, on 27th January. Due to the success of the 2017 event, it will be held in Welshpool again - details to follow.

In addition to working hard planning the 2018 programme, Patrick Larley also has tentative plans right up to 2021 and our centenary year. Watch this space!

New soprano soloist

Sarah-Ann Cromwell, our scheduled soprano for the concert on 6 May 2017, will be unable to sing due to health issues. However, we are delighted that Phillippa Lay, who sang with us last year, has stepped into the breach!


The singing day, studying Handel's most popular oratorio, MESSIAH, was well-attended and a great success. Welshpool Methodist Church proved to be an excellent venue, and the lunch was very popular. Everybody had a most enjoyable time.

Llani rehearsals start, Monday 7th November

The first rehearsal for the new season is in Llanidloes on Monday 7th November at 7.30pm, in the Baptist Church. This is preceded by the Llanidloes Choral Society AGM at 7pm - we do hope that you can attend both! The AGM will include announcements about the new season, so please arrive at 7pm if you can, so that we don't use up rehearsal time repeating the information for late-comers.

Singing Day booking form

The booking form for the Messiah choruses singing day on 7th January is now available here: Download Booking Form

AGM and Social Evening - October 7th 2016

This year's AGM and Social Evening will be held on Friday October 7th at 7pm, in The St Mary Suite function room at The Elephant and Castle in Newtown. It will be an opportunity to relax and socialize together, and a bar will be available.

Festival conductor Patrick Larley is looking forward to attending, and hopefully the business of the AGM will be as brief as possible! Please do try to come to this evening to show your support to the Festival, Patrick and the Committee, and also do feel free to bring along any chorister you may know who has shown interest in becoming a singer in the MMF.

Singing Day 2017 - Hallelujah!

Following the success of choral workshop on Elijah choruses in February 2016, we will be holding a singing day studying Handel's most popular oratorio, MESSIAH, on Sat 7th January 2017 (10.30 - 5.45) in Welshpool Methodist Church.

The workshop will be led by Patrick Larley, who will offer advice on basic vocal technique with specific relation to the vocal demsnds of Handel's challenging choruses. The workshop will also explore the historical background and numerous anecdotes surrounding this monumental work. There may also be a limited opportunity for singers to tackle the some of the solo arias.

Put the date in your diary - booking form to follow.

New season - Vivaldi and Larley for 2017

Get ready for the new season! The Festival concert will be at Theatr Hafren on 6th May 2017.

We will be performing Vivaldi's Gloria in D, and In Praise of Music by Patrick Larley, together with other works from the Festival Orchestra and Bro Hafren Junior Choir.

In Praise of Music was commissioned by Ludlow Choral Society for its 150th Anniversary in 2008, and includes settings of texts by Dryden, Pythagoras, Milton, and from The Psalter and Prayers of North American Indians.

Gay Roberts

Gay RobertsWe were very sad to hear of the passing of Gay Roberts, a former Secretary of the Montgomery County Music Festival.

Gay first sang with the Festival when she was 16 years old, together with her parents and sister. After retiring from working life and many years later it gave her great pleasure to sing again with the festival. She carried out the duties of Concert Secretary for several years, and in 2012 was invited to become a vice president in recognition of her contribution to the Festival. We are very grateful to have been her chosen charity, and have received donations of over 400 in her memory.

Gay's musical heritage stretched back to 1784: she was a direct-line descendent of Harpist Evan Jones (the "Blind Harpist of Waenoer") who was born in Garthbeibio and was, by all accounts, an excellent exponent of the triple-stringed harp, regularly playing for the Earl of Powis and his guests and accompanying well-known Banwy Valley penillion singers of the day.

Gay's parents and sister were very active musicians and singers in their home village of Llanfair Caereinion, and through their influence music, particularly singing, was always  Gay's passion. Her training and experience were carried out in London under the tutorage of Professor Joseph Hislop at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, subsequently being successfully auditioned for Sadlers Wells Opera Company.

In addition to her role with the Montgomery County Music Festival, Gay was also Secretary of Cr Merched Maldwyn (Montgomeryshire Ladies Choir) from 2001 to 2011.

Choral Workshop - Elijah Choruses

The choral workshop in St Nicholas Church, Montgomery, was a great success and much enjoyed by all who attended. By popular demand, we are planning to hold another workshop as part of next year's festival. Suggestions for works are welcomed!

Elijah Workshop, 2016

Patrick Larley summoning forth an exciting performance of Elijah choruses

For more photos of the event, see our Facebook page.

Parking for the "mass" rehearsal, March 5th

Please note that the Mid Wales Rally will be meeting in Newtown on March 5th, and it is likely that much of the Back Lane car park will not be available for public parking on that day.  So please allow plenty of time for parking and getting to the rehearsal.

Carmina Burana - What's it all about?

If you have ever wondered what Carl Orff's Carmina Burana is really all about, you can read the text of this introductory talk by Patrick Larley, the Festival's Musical Director. Very enlightening!

Carmina Burana - Royal Albert Hall

Following last year's sucessful weekend in London for a performance of Karl Jenkin's The Armed Man - A Mass for Peace organised by The Really Big Chorus, the Festival Choir are now organising a visit to the 2016 event.

On the weekend of July 9th and 10th The Really Big Chorus are this year (coincidentally!) performing Carl Orff's Carmina Burana in a concert along with Grieg's Peer Gynt Suite No.1 and Tchaikovsky's Romeo and Juliet Overture.

Tickets can be arranged for various packages including concert tickets for singers and audience, plus transport to London and/or hotel accomodation for the Saturday night.

For further details and/or to arrange bookings download the attached form and return it no later than 10th of February.

Choral Workshop - Elijah Choruses

elijah_workshop.jpg (48045 bytes)As an extension of the 2016 Festival, and as part of our fund-raising, we will be holding a Choral Workshop of Elijah Choruses in Montgomery on 27th February.

Patrick Larley leads the workshop day introducing some of the loveliest and most dramatic choruses of this most popular choral work.

Mendelssohn composed the oratorio, Elijah, for the Triennial Festival in Birmingham and conducted the first performance in 1846, returning to Birmingham a year later to conduct a revised version shortly before his death in 1847.

Stories from the life of the great prophet Elijah are told through music which is dramatic, memorable and exciting. Elijah which stands alongside some of the greatest choral works ever written, such as Messiah, Creation and the masterpieces of J. S. Bach.

The workshop is open to all. Fee for the day is 14, or 12 for members of the Festival Choir. More information is given on the booking form.     Download Booking Form

Merry Christmas! And news for January 2016

We hope that all our choristers and supporters have a wonderful Christmas and New Year.

Llanidloes Choral Society will start rehearsing again on Monday 4th January.

The first "mass" rehearsal will be on January 16th. Please note the change in venue for this rehearsal - our normal venue is not available on that date, so we will be at the Crescent Christian Centre in Newtown. This is on the corner of the roundabout on Milford Road (over the bridge and up the road from the town centre). There is limited parking there, so please only park there if you have mobility problems. Otherwise, park in the usual car park in Back Lane and walk round. Thanks!

Bad weather

The rehearsal in Llanidloes on Monday 30th November is cancelled due to bad weather and flooded roads.

Monday 7th December will be the last rehearsal for Llanidloes Choral Society before Christmas.

AGM and Social Evening - October 16th 2015

This year's AGM and Social Evening will be held on Friday October 16th at 7pm, in The St Mary Suite function room at The Elephant and Castle in Newtown. It will be an opportunity to relax and socialize together, and a bar will be available.

Festival conductor Patrick Larley is looking forward to attending, and hopefully the business of the AGM will be as brief as possible! Please do try to come to this evening to show your support to the Festival, Patrick and the Committee, and also do feel free to bring along any chorister you may know who has shown interest in becoming a singer in the MMF.

The intended dates for the Mass Rehearsals for next year will be available at the meeting for you to keep in your diary or calendar. Also there may be news of an exciting new venture that may be initiated this year involving a 'Come and Sing Workshop', depending if costs and response are suitable.

New season - Carl Orff's Carmina Burana for 2016

Get ready for the new season! We will be performing Carl Orff's Carmina Burana at Theatr Hafren on 7th May 2016.

Watch this space for further programme items, and for news of exciting things planned for the new season. Tell your friends!

The first practice and the AGM of Llanidloes Choral Society will be on Monday November 9th - the AGM at 7pm and the practice beginning at 7.30 pm in the Baptist School Room, Llanidloes.

Concert success!

The 2015 Montgomeryshre County Music Festival was a great success, with increased choir numbers, a bumper audience and many fine accolades.

Percussion Workshop added to Festival programme

As part of the 2015 Montgomeryshre County Music Festival, there will be a Percussion Workshop entitled 'Around the World in 80 Beats', on Sat. 9th May, 11am - 12.30 at the Hafren, Newtown.

The workshop, run by Dewi Ellis Jones, will include a wide range of percussion instruments, and will be a mix of demonstrations, performance and hands-on. Free, all ages.

Dewi Ellis Jones is also performing in the concert that evening, both as a soloist as as part of the Festival Chamber Ensemble.

Montgomeryshre County Music Festival committee are very grateful to Dewi Ellis Jones and Hafren Education for enabling this event.

Composing success for Patrick Larley

Festival conductor Patrick Larley has achieved a significant composing success. He says "Delighted that my A GIRL FOR THE BLUE has been chosen as the only UK winner in the 2015 ORTUS INTERNATIONAL NEW MUSIC COMPETITION out of over 600 entries. It will be showcased by KHORIKOS, one of New York's top a cappella choirs, in June."

You can have a listen to A Girl for the Blue here.

'Peace in the World' added to concert programme

We are delighted to announce that the Festival Concert will include the additional work Peace in the World by Patrick Larley. This is scored for female voices, and the text is taken from a Chinese proverb.

MCMF poster 2015

Full programme for 2015

We now have the full programme for the 2015 festival. In addition to the main work, Karl Jenkins' The Armed Man, the choir will perform Martin Shaw's Choral Fanfare: Gloria in excelsis.

There will be a short programme of works on the theme of Peace by Bro Hafren Junior Choir, conducted by Ann Evans. The choir is affiliated to the Montgomeryshire County Music Festival, and performed with the Festival Choir to great acclaim in Andrew Carter's Benedicite in the 2013 festival.

In addition, there will be a percussion solo by Dewi Ellis Jones.

The festival will be extended with a special percussion workshop for children, led by percussionist and composer Dewi Ellis Jones. More information to follow.

Pat Small

The choir was saddened to hear of the sudden death of Pat Small. Pat had sung in the festival for many years and was the administrator of the Newtown, Caersws and Llandinam choirs. She was a dedicated singer and will be greatly missed.

Starting the new season

The first rehearsal in Llanidloes will take place on Monday November 10th with the AGM for Llanidloes Choral Society being at 7pm and the practice beginning at 7.30pm.

If you want to order a copy of the score for The Armed Man please let Stella know by October 10th so that she can make the order in plenty of time. Price will be under 10.

AGM and Social Evening - October 10th

Following the success of last year's AGM and Social Evening, the process was repeated for 2014 on October 10th. The meeting  again took place in The Elephant and Castle Hotel, Broad St. Newtown in the St Mary's Function Room, where a bar was available.

We were very pleased that Patrick Larley was able to attend. He spoke enthusiastically about the 2014 Rossini concert, and how much it had been enjoyed by both the choir and the audience..

Karl Jenkins's 70th birthday celebration

Karl Jenkins's 70th birthday was celebrated at the ABCD annual convention in Cardiff at the weekend of 23rd August 2014.

Karl Jenkins Karl Jenkins

Work chosen for 2015 concert

After a very well received and enjoyable concert this year, the committee met in July to plan next year's concert. After much discussion they decided to choose the option of The Armed Man by Karl Jenkins, to be performed with a small orchestral group. Many choristers over the past few years have indicated a desire to perform this work, and we expected it to attract some new members to join us. In fact, as rumours of what we are doing have begun to circulate, interest from new people who want to sing this work has been growing. For those among you who aren't that familiar with the work, just listen to the wonderful Benedictus for a taster!

The work itself lasts for about an hour, so the concert will be as usual in two halves. The first half will be opened by the choir with a choral fanfare, followed by a short programme by Bro Hafren Junior Choir, and then hopefully a Percussion piece. The second half will be the performance of The Armed Man.