Dowlais Male Voice Choir and ‘Myfanwy’ Hymn

In addition to its historical and cultural heritage, Merthyr Tydfil also has a rich musical tradition, which Irontown Interactive wanted to incorporate into the IRON App. Male Voice choral singing emerged in Wales in the late 19th Century, fuelled by the Industrial Revolution that was bringing working class men together in the ironworks and coalmines of the South Wales Valleys.
The spiritual joy of singing brought comfort from the austerity of daily life.

The Choir performed at the launch of the IRON App at the Redhouse Merthyr Tydfil

The Choir performed at the launch of the IRON App at the Redhouse Merthyr Tydfil

It was with this in mind that Cor Meibion Dowlais Male Voice Choir, whose roots can be traced back to the late 1800s, were invited to be involved. With the help of the Choir the Welsh hymn ‘Myfanwy’ was chosen as backing music, which was written by eminent Welsh composer, Dr Joseph Parry, a famous son of Merthyr Tydfil.

Joseph Parry was born on the 21st May 1841 and composed over 400 hymn tunes, three hundred songs, and 300 anthems, chorales and other orchestrial pieces. His operas Blodwen and Arianwen gained widespread popular acclaim. His birthplace, Chapel Row, Cyfarthfa, Merthyr Tydfil is beautifully preserved today, and is a treat for visitors who would like to see the home of an ironworker.

Joseph was sent to work in the Cyfarthfa Mills when only 9 years of age. In the 1850′s the family emigrated to the United States and settled in Danville in Pennsylvania, and his story is immortalised in the novel by Jack Jones, “Off to Philadelphia in the morning” which was also televised.

The music chosen has no doubt enriched the IRON App and if you would like to see the Choir perform Myfanwy (with a well known Welshman) you can here:

Dowlais Male Choir would like to thank Gareth Cavanagh, Director of Irontown Interactive for involving them in this exciting project and wish him all the success for the IRON App.

The IRON App is supported by CEMAS, University of South Wales, European Regional Development Fund and Irontown Interactive.

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