Hogia’r Ddwylan is probably the most romantic of all the names for male voice choirs in Wales reflecting the magic of its native environment. Literally translated it means “The boys from the two shores” and is very apt to the choir as all of its members come from villages and towns next to the Menai Strait, on the fringes of Snowdonia, one of the most beautiful areas of Wales.
The choir is based in Menai Bridge on Anglesey, by the shadow of the bridge itself, which serves as a permanent reminder of the engineering skills of Thomas Telford as well as being an essential link between Anglesey and mainland Britain. The Hogia’r Ddwylan choir was established over 48 years ago and have entertained audiences throughout Wales, Britain and Europe through their powerful yet enchanting music.
The choir has over 40 members with Ilid Anne Jones serving as their Musical Director since 1995. Thanks to her guidance and unrivalled dedication, the choir has gained an unequaled reputation on the major competition circuit and musical festivals.
The choir had the honour of joining with Godre’r Aran and Rhos Male Voice Choirs to sing a commissioned work by one of Wales’ contemporary composers, Brian Hughes at the National Eisteddfod, Meifod 2003.
Amongst their successes the choir have gained first prizes at the National Eisteddfod of Wales four times, The Cardigan Festival twice, The North Wales Choral Festival twice and the Pan Celtic Festival in Ireland twice and were the BBC Radio Cymru Male Voice Choir Champions of 2008/2009.
The choir takes great delight in entertaining audiences both locally and further afield. They have performed at many venues and one of their abiding memories was entertaining the crowd at the Millennium Stadium, Cardiff during the rugby matches of Wales and the All Blacks, and Wales against Australia in 2006. The choir also performed at the opening and closing ceremonies of the European Amateur Team Golf Championships at Conwy in 2009.
Although the choir have had many memorable moments over the years, the most memorable performance and honour was to sing at a special ceremony at The University of Wales, Bangor for Archbishop Desmund Tutu and Sir David Attenobough when they received an Honorary Degree to mark the University’s centenary celebrations in 2009. The Archbishop declared that he had never heard such a wonderful rendition of the South African National Anthem and that the choir was ‘from the top drawer’! The Speaker of the Welsh Parliament Lord Dafydd Ellis Thomas who was present, said that the atmosphere in the hall was almost as if it were a ‘Religious Revival’