Swansea, 1863: the rise of Welsh choral singing

History of the Welsh Eisteddfodau

In 1863, too, you see for the first time a medal being won for choral singing. In that eisteddfod two choirs came face to face - the Cymdeithas Cwm Tawe choir, conducted by Evander Griffiths, and the Aberdare Choral Society under Silas Evans: the first great contest. And there, witnessing it all, was H.F. Chorley, the music correspondent of the Athenaeum, and when Chorley said he'd been dazzled by the standard of the choral singing - because the members of the two choirs he heard in 1863 were mostly miners and their families - and that he couldn't think of more than six choral societies in England who could compete with them, well of course the cup of the Welsh was overflowing. And from that time on you see the National Eisteddfod putting all its eggs in the same basket, with the choirs and soloists. It was they who brought the Welsh renown.

what's on

  • National Museum Cardiff

    National Museum Cardiff

    Discover art, natural history and geology. With a busy programme of exhibitions and events, we have something to amaze everyone, whatever your interest – and admission is free!

  • St Fagans National History Museum

    St Fagans

    St Fagans is one of Europe's foremost open-air museums and Wales's most popular heritage attraction.

  • Big Pit National Coal Museum

    Big Pit

    Big Pit is a real coal mine and one of Britain's leading mining museums. With facilities to educate and entertain all ages, Big Pit is an exciting and informative day out.

  • National Wool Museum

    National Wool Museum

    Located in the historic former Cambrian Mills, the Museum is a special place with a spellbinding story to tell.

  • National Roman Legion Museum

    National Roman Legion Museum

    In AD 75, the Romans built a fortress at Caerleon that would guard the region for over 200 years. Today at the National Roman Legion Museum you can learn what made the Romans a formidable force and how life wouldn't be the same without them.

  • National Slate Museum

    National Slate Museum

    The National Slate Museum offers a day full of enjoyment and education in a dramatically beautiful landscape on the shores of Llyn Padarn.

  • National Waterfront Museum

    National Waterfront Museum

    The National Waterfront Museum at Swansea tells the story of industry and innovation in Wales, now and over the last 300 years.

  • Rhagor: Explore our collections

    Rhagor (Welsh for ‘more’) offers unprecedented access to the amazing stories that lie behind our collections.