Caro­line cel­e­brates 40th birth­day with school choir rally

Caernarfon Herald - - WHAT’S ON LISTINGS | PUBS & CLUBS - ● Tick­ets at £10 are avail­able from Cathe­dral Frames, 28 High Street, St As­aph, on 01745 582929 or con­tact Caro­line Thomas vie email caro­line@nwimf.com or phone on 07919 621933. ● Seat­ing is un­re­served.

THE man­ager of a top fes­ti­val will cel­e­brate a land­mark birth­day by singing for the first time since her school days at a spe­cial fundrais­ing con­cert in her hon­our.

Caro­line Thomas, from Glan Conwy, who works for the North Wales In­ter­na­tional Mu­sic Fes­ti­val in St As­aph, was a mem­ber of an award-win­ning choir when she was a pupil at the former How­ell’s School in Den­bigh back in the 1990s.

Now the fes­ti­val’s artis­tic di­rec­tor Ann Atkin­son is putting to­gether a choir made up of Caro­line’s school friends to per­form with her at a con­cert at St As­aph Cathe­dral on Novem­ber 16, which will also mark her 40th birth­day.

Among the other highlights will be per­for­mances by Ann Atkin­son, who is also a tal­ented mezzo so­prano, her hus­band Kevin Sharp who is a bari­tone, pi­anist Chris Frost, the Trelawnyd and Bro Glyn­dŵr male voice choirs and Côr Rhuthun, un­der the ba­ton of com­poser Ro­bat Ar­wyn.

Caro­line said her birth­day cel­e­bra­tions will be nerve wrack­ing be­cause more than two decades have elapsed since she last ap­peared on stage.

She said: “I’ll be singing as part of a small choir and not on my own thank good­ness. We held a con­cert last year in hon­our of Ann’s birth­day and it was such a won­der­ful and spe­cial night which was also a sell-out.

“I was thrilled when Ann asked me if I would like to have some­thing sim­i­lar to cel­e­brate my birth­day. It’s a won­der­ful idea to try and get as many of the girls who were in the How­ell’s School choir be­tween 1992 and 1997 as pos­si­ble back to­gether.

“Ann has man­aged to get in touch with our old choir­mas­ter Alun Jones, who is now head of Chetham’s School of Mu­sic in Manch­ester. We’ve also put a post out on Face­book ask­ing former mem­bers to get in touch. So far we have around 10 of the choir who have agreed to come along.”

She added: “The How­ell’s School choir un­der the ba­ton of Alun Jones was very suc­cess­ful and we won the Clas­sic FM Choir of the Year com­pe­ti­tion and were in­vited to per­form in Lon­don and tour in Italy. It was quite an ex­cit­ing time. It will be won­der­ful get­ting back with some of the girls and per­form­ing again. How­ever, the main thing is at least I’ll have choir mem­bers along­side me, there is no way, af­ter all these years, I’ll be singing solo!”

Ann Atkin­son, the artis­tic di­rec­tor of the North Wales In­ter­na­tional Mu­sic Fes­ti­val says the con­cert will be a won­der­ful night of mu­sic.

She said: “As fes­ti­val man­ager, Caro­line works in­cred­i­bly hard on mak­ing sure each fes­ti­val is a suc­cess. I thought a birth­day cel­e­bra­tion con­cert in her hon­our would be a great way to ac­knowl­edge the work she does and the part she plays in mak­ing the fes­ti­val such a huge suc­cess while rais­ing funds for next year’s event.”

● North Wales In­ter­na­tional Mu­sic Fes­ti­val mu­si­cal di­rec­tor Ann Atkin­son and Caro­line Thomas, North Wales In­ter­na­tional Mu­sic Fes­ti­val’s man­ager

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