YSGOL y Strade in Llanelli has reached the semi-finals of the BBC Songs of Praise Young Choir of the Year competition 2018.

The competition takes place on Sunday, March 4 in Bangor.

Ysgol y Strade is the only choir from Wales to reach the semi-finals in the senior category.

The choir will be competing against four other choirs – the top three will then go through to the finals, which takes place on the same day.

Ysgol y Strade will be performing two songs. A modern hymn ‘Prydferth Waredwr’, Emlyn Dole’s translation of ‘Beautiful Saviour’ by Stuart Townsend. The second is a gospel song called ‘Galw enw’r Iesu’, a translation by Emyr Davies of ‘Calling on my Jesus’ by Robert DeWell.

The conductor is Christopher Davies, head of music in the school, and accompanying the choir will be former school pupil Llŷr Simon.

The choir boasts over 60 members, but due to competition rules 40 pupils will be travelling to Bangor for the competition this weekend.

Conductor Christopher Davies said: “The choir has been practising hard and we’re looking forward to representing Wales in our category.”

The school choir is no stranger to success – in 2009 it reached the final of Côr Cymru; in 2011 the choir came second in the Llangollen International Eisteddfod; 2012 they won Senior Runner Up in the BBC Songs of Praise School choir of the Year competition; 2013 they reached the semi-finals of the same competition and took second prize in the Celtic Music Festival – yr Ŵyl Ban Geltaidd in Ireland.

In 2016 the choir came second in the Amateur Choirs competition in Manchester.

They have performed on numerous television programmes, including S4C’s Noson Lawen, Dechrau Canu, Dechrau Canmol as well as competing in local eisteddfodau.

The choir has also recently presented a cheque of £1,750 to the Prince Philip Hospital Breast Care Unit in Llanelli.

Executive board member for education, Cllr Glynog Davies said: “This is a great achievement not only for Ysgol y Strade but also Carmarthenshire. I applaud the county’s huge musical successes. I would like to wish  Ysgol y Strade the very best of luck this weekend.”

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