performance Song-singing, Kernow-loving, Smile-raising …….… Beauties!
Oll an Gwella consists of a bunch of beauties! All members of Newquay Male Voice Choir, they are a rehearsed, a cappella, male chorus with a repertoire consisting of over 100 songs including Shanties, Cornish folk, 1960s classics, seasonal & sacred music.
Combining their 4-part harmony with infectious humour the group has earned wide acclaim for their extensive repertoire. Wherever they find themselves, Oll an Gwella’s mission is to spread their joy of singing amongst others and everyone is encouraged to participate – from pensioners to young pupils. The group’s reputation and popularity has grown steadily with their repertoire. Annually the group perform “Songs about the Sea” at both the International Shanty Festival in Falmouth and Newquay Fish Festival; they were asked to sing a programme with a reference to “flight” at a reception to help celebrate 100 years of the RAF; they were booked to sing a range of mining songs at a reception in Pendennis Castle, hosted by ‘Cornish Lithium’ as the extraction industry looks again at possibilities in Cornwall; and separately, booked to sing Cornish Folk songs (with Kernewek) at both a reception hosted by Cornwall Council to recognise minority Celtic languages and for a German film crew, filming the use of Cornish language in the community.
Whilst entertaining for pleasure, they have raised thousands of pounds for local charities and significant donations have been made to “The Cove” Cancer Centre in Truro and to the RNLI. Cornwall Blood Bikes (who, in total, have received more than £10,000) are the group’s current charity.
Oll an Gwella have been delighted to accept invitations to sing at numerous shows and festivals. In 2016 they represented Cornwall at the “Festival Interceltique” in Lorient, Brittany, with 16 performances over a 10-day period, singing to many of the 700,000 visitors attending. In a 12-week period in the summer of 2018, they showed their versatility, with lyrics in Cornish, Welsh and French, as they entertained at the Royal Cornwall Agricultural Show; organised a sea-shanty cruise down the river Fal; performed in Cornish at the “Gorsedh Kernow” cultural festival; auditioned for “Britains got Talent”, performed at a charity concert in Pontypridd and opened the main stage at “Boardmasters” Music Festival, singing a specially commisioned George Ezra number. They have exported their distinctive harmonies across England and Wales and invites to France have seen performances in St Malo, Dinard and Dinan (as well as Lorient). They have shown themselves to be equally at home singing on elaborate festival sound stages, on the deck of the “Cutty Sark” or in Cathedrals, Schools, retirement homes and nursing homes. They have broadcast live on local radio and have been recorded by “Spotlight” for BBC Television. April 2019 saw them singing at the UK’s most popular Charity Garden Day when they performed at “Tregothnan Gardens” for iSight Cornwall and in May they were appointed as stewards at the Cornwall International Male Choral Festival as choirs visited Healey’s Cider Farm for an informal day of songs and smiles. They are often engaged to perform at weddings and funerals, offering bespoke performances and they volunteer to sing in “Memory Cafes”, nursing-homes and schools where their choral workshops encourage children’s singing. October 2019 brought a celebration of their 10 years support for the local community. They enjoyed a fabulous trip to Morlaix and Henvic in Brittany, singing in concert with “La Cle des Chants” choir in Morlaix and with “Voisins Voix’in” and “Les Marins des Legendes” choral groups based in Henvic – and enjoying the generous French hospitality offered! A short busking performance from the bandstand in Morlaix Saturday Market and in Grand Rue, ensured that over 100 Euros were raised for a local hospital charity.