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Wrexham care home stars attract bumper crowds at festival

Singing care home residents attracted bumper crowds as they teamed up with renowned choir Only Boys Aloud for a day long workshop at Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod.

The residents of Pendine Park care organisation’s homes in Wrexham, were a star attraction as they helped fill a large marquee with non-stop music.

Strains of Yellow Submarine and My Bonny Lies Over the Ocean could be heard resounding around the tent, tempting an array of passer-by to call in and listen.

At one point an extra loud chorus of Happy Birthday filled the air as it was discovered three people in the marquee at the same time all had birthdays.

The delighted trio were Pendine Park artist in residence Sarah Edwards, young audience member Gwersyllt Primary School pupil Ethan Davies, and Eisteddfod photographer John Evans who had stopped by to capture some magical moments on film. He never expected one of those moments would be his own.

Sarah Edwards who organised the event said it was one of the most vibrant workshops yet.

She said: “We’ve been blessed with some fantastic weather and everyone is in a cheerful mood ready to sing and get into the musical mood.”

This year is the fifth time the dementia workshop with a musical theme has played a key part of the Eisteddfod programme.

For the dementia workshop school parties were invited into the marquee to join music sessions throughout the day. It offered the chance to interact with Pendine Park residents and members of the Only Boys Aloud (OBA) choir.

The choir, led by Only Boys Aloud North Wales project manager, Eleri Watkins, included young choristers from Holyhead, Caernarfon, Wrexham and Rhyl OBA branches. They first performed a short concert before going on to join sing-a-long sessions.

Leading the sing-a-longs were freelance musician and singer Morgana Warren-Jones, of Bangor, and Holyhead High School music teacher and pianist Andy Thomas, of Bangor.

Both were thrilled to be helping with the workshop for the first time.

Andy said: “This is a lovely idea and cross-generational. We’ve got the very young here and the very old, both gaining a huge amount of enjoyment from the music.”