The sixth annual Narberth A Cappella Voice Festival has been granted funding from Pembrokeshire County Council.
The festival, organised by Pembrokeshire's live arts charity Span Arts, is the only event of its kind in Wales, and it celebrates the diversity of singing without instruments (‘a cappella’). It attracts hundreds of people from all over the UK once a year for a weekend packed with performances and workshops, featuring some of the world’s best singers.
In a real coup for the festival, which the PCC funding has helped to make possible, the world renowned Swingle Singers are set to appear. Celebrating their 50 anniversary this year, they started out performing with Edith Piaf in the 1960s, and will be performing live, and even delivering a public singing workshop.
The council's financial contribution makes all the difference to the festival, Span Arts manager Gwen Watson said: “We're proud of being Wales’ only ‘a cappella’ festival, but an event of this size is expensive; as a charity, we rely on funding to deliver the best festival we can and book a world-class line-up. We’re very pleased the council recognises the festival’s important contribution to the local economy by bringing so many people from all over the country to Pembrokeshire.”
Also appearing are S4C and BBC Radio Cymru’s Caryl Parry Jones, the National Theatre's Helen Chadwick performing excerpts from her Royal Opera House-commissioned piece Dalston Songs, and a range of other singers all renowned in their fields, covering everything from flamenco and calypso to Indian film songs.
This year the festival is extending its reach to school children with a two-month intercultural project operating in four local primary schools, teaching songs and sounds from around the world, which will culminate in a special schools performance to open the festival on Friday February 21.
The festival is fun, friendly and welcomes all ages. For information visit the Span Arts website or narberthacappellavoicefestival.co.uk.