Y Boncathod - Folk Singing
Y Boncathod are a Welsh Folk singing group. We are a group of 10 women who live in and around the Ogwen Valley. We've been singing together for over 15 years. We love singing and delight in sharing our love of our Welsh culture and language, and our wide repertoire of folk songs. We love finding less well-known songs, which we arrange to suit our voices and our style, singing unaccompanied. Many of these old songs are quite sad and melancolic, telling stories of lost or impossible love or of the longing for the home country, but occasionally there are jolly or even funny ones too.
We like to think that we have started the trend to sing old songs again which at one point were not heard a lot (although many people would have known them), but which appear to make a comeback with music groups who are all keen to give these old songs new life in their own versions.
You might see us around in the social calendar of Dyffryn Ogwen, where we perform to local community groups and share our songs at concerts and festivals in the wider area. Our newest event is the ‘airbnb experience’ through which we invite visitors to join us in our practice evenings at the Douglas Arms Inn to get a taste of Welsh folk songs and see us in action. The first one of these was booked only a day after we published it, by a couple from San Francisco, and we had a lovely evening with them.
When we sing carols at Christmas time, we collect donations for the Air Ambulance, and over the years people in the valley have been so generous that we have been able to give over a thousand pounds to them.
Sometimes we get asked what the difference is between a choir (which we are not) and a ‘parti canu’. We haven’t found a satisfying definition yet but believe that, apart from the smaller size of the group, the difference lies in the fact that we practise, interpret and arrange the songs by consensus and discussion, which is part of the fun.