Newport choir to sing for Barack Obama

South Wales Argus: The City of Newport Male Choir have been asked to sing and feature in a film for the American embassy.  They will also publish it on the Whitehouse website.  Pictured centre left is Musical Director Fiona Bryant, Chairman Colin Shurmer and Pianist Barbara The City of Newport Male Choir have been asked to sing and feature in a film for the American embassy. They will also publish it on the Whitehouse website. Pictured centre left is Musical Director Fiona Bryant, Chairman Colin Shurmer and Pianist Barbara

THE CITY of Newport Male Choir have been asked to sing for Barack Obama in a unique film to be published on the Whitehouse’s website ahead of the NATO summit later this year.

Choir chairman of the last five years, Colin Shurmer was among those who met with the American embassy representatives in Cardiff, who were looking for a suitable Welsh choir. The choir will be filmed at their rehearsal space before going out to various Newport landmarks.

“They’re coming down to record us on May 15 at the YMCA,” said Mr Shurmer.

“It’s the biggest thing we’ve done since I’ve been in the choir. It’s a great honour.

“We are doing this for our city. It’s our city and we should be proud of it.”

A few years ago, the choir made their own DVD called Picture of Newport to raise funds. They were able to show this to the embassy representatives.

“They got back to us quickly and said yes they would like to work with us.”

Mike Price, choir secretary, said: “When they offered it to us we said yes please. It’s going to be quite a big thing.”

But this isn’t the first time, Newport choristers have sung for an American president.

“We’ve now got evidence of Newport Male Voice singers that actually sang on the steps of the Whitehouse in 1913,” said Mr Shurmer.

The songs are yet to be decided, although they are thought to include Welsh songs – possibly in Welsh language.

Mr Shurmer said: “They want some American content too. It’s going to be a mix of Welsh and American.”

The choir who practise twice weekly are made up of 35 singers with the youngest member at 22 and the oldest in their 80s.

Last year, the choir performed at 15 wedding and around 17 concerts – many of which were for charity.

“It’s amazing. It’s not about the individual, it’s about a group of guys getting together and performing for others who are often less fortunate than we are. You don’t get anything out of it unless you put something in,” said Mr Shurmer.

Comments (1)

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7:48pm Sun 23 Mar 14

merlin44 says...

It was lovely to read about the Newport choir singing for the US president Obama . It was also wonderful to see the additional photographs of the original Gwent Male Glee Singers choir who toured America in 1912 and who sung at the White House for Woodrow Wilson in 1913 . My grandfather and his brother were in that choir and are in the photo's . My daughter has been researching the choirs history for sometime now & has discovered some amazing stories, so to see that this Newport Choir is following in their footsteps & singing for the president has brought me much pleasure. I just wish that certain members of my family who started her on this quest to find out more were hear to see the Newport choir sing again for a US president a 100 years on .
It was lovely to read about the Newport choir singing for the US president Obama . It was also wonderful to see the additional photographs of the original Gwent Male Glee Singers choir who toured America in 1912 and who sung at the White House for Woodrow Wilson in 1913 . My grandfather and his brother were in that choir and are in the photo's . My daughter has been researching the choirs history for sometime now & has discovered some amazing stories, so to see that this Newport Choir is following in their footsteps & singing for the president has brought me much pleasure. I just wish that certain members of my family who started her on this quest to find out more were hear to see the Newport choir sing again for a US president a 100 years on . merlin44
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