There’s already something special when it comes to any Welsh choir, and this documentary by Dylan Williams, looks to delve into the lives of an aging choir with a huge heart, but also time not always being on their side.
From Dartmouth Films, Men Who Sing follows the Trelawnyd Male Voice Choir, who have an average age of 74 and need to start recruiting some fresh blood into their ranks. Director Williams has a direct link to the choir, because it all began after his father, widower Ed, 90, was selling the family home and preparing his own funeral. However, Ed’s solace was the Tuesday night choir practice and while it helped him and many others, the choir needed to start recruiting ‘brown-haired men’ in their 40s and 50s who can take it forward.
As their search intensifies, we come closer to those we focus on in the doc, as Ed finds new meaning, you’ve got Merf dealing with his own bad news by focusing on the Choirs revival and Gwyn laughing at his prostate cancer diagnosis and walks on the wing of a plane to raise money. Finally, they raise themselves and travel to Northern Ireland to perform for the first time in 20 years.
Director, Dylan Williams, also had this to say:
“The story began when my father telephoned me for the first time since I had moved to Sweden 15 years earlier, to tell me that he had sold our family home and was busy throwing the majority of its contents into a hired skip. Upon my return to help him move, I found him preparing his funeral arrangements. Despite enjoying excellent health, he is nonetheless 90, and since the death of my mother he had felt increasingly isolated. The one notable outlier however was his beloved choir. For almost 70 years my father has been the bottom bass in the Trelawnyd Male Voice Choir, situated in the neglected former industrial area of North East Wales. I followed him to practice on the first night of my arrival and found myself faced with a room full of men that I have known since my childhood—all now in their eighties but still singing together. The decision to make a film came straight from my heart. It is a humorous melancholic tale that deals with loneliness, old age, as well as community and friendship as a group of proud choristers fight to find new blood to keep their beloved choir alive.”