Can tourists participate in traditional Welsh choir performances?

11 June 2024

Welsh culture is brimming with a rich and vibrant musical heritage. This heritage is most famously showcased through the male voice choirs that originate from the small churches scattered across the Welsh valleys. While tourists often enjoy the melodic sounds of these choirs in concert, many wonder if they can participate in these traditional Welsh choir performances. The answer to this question varies, as it depends on the choir, the event, and the tourists' own musical expertise.

A Brief History of Welsh Male Choirs

The Welsh male choir tradition has its roots in the churches of Wales. In the early 19th century, the industrialization of Wales led to the establishment of numerous churches and chapels. Each church had its own choir, which was composed of male members of the congregation. The unique combination of the Welsh language and the male voice resulted in a rich, powerful sound that became emblematic of the Welsh musical tradition.

Choirs typically perform during Sunday church services and at special events, such as weddings and funerals. Rehearsals are held regularly and are an essential part of maintaining the choir's high musical standard. Most choirs also participate in the Eisteddfod, a traditional Welsh festival of literature, music and performance.

The Role of Choirs in Welsh Musical Events

Choirs are an integral part of many musical events in Wales. The most notable of these events is the International Eisteddfod, a renowned festival that attracts performers and spectators from around the world. It takes place annually and includes a choral competition featuring choirs from various countries.

Another significant event in the Welsh musical calendar is the annual Welsh Choir Festival. This event, which takes place in various venues across Wales, showcases the talents of the best Welsh choirs. The festival culminates in a grand concert where all the choirs come together to deliver a stirring musical performance.

Can Tourists Participate in Choirs Rehearsals?

For those who are curious about the process behind the performances, attending a choir rehearsal can be a fascinating experience. However, whether tourists can participate in these rehearsals depends largely on the choir in question.

Some choirs in Wales are quite open and welcome visitors to their rehearsals. This gives tourists an opportunity to witness the hard work and dedication that goes into creating the harmonious sound that they enjoy in concert. In some cases, if a tourist has a good singing voice and adequate musical knowledge, they might be allowed to join in. However, it is important to remember that rehearsals are primarily for the choir members to prepare for their performances, so any participation would need to be respectful of this.

Tourist Participation in Special Choir Events

While the majority of choir performances are designed for spectators, there are some special events where tourists can actively participate. One such event is the "Sing with a Welsh Choir" experience. This unique event, which typically takes place during the International Eisteddfod, allows tourists to learn a Welsh song under the guidance of a choir conductor, and then perform that song with a Welsh choir.

Another event that encourages tourist participation is the "Choir Singalong" at the Welsh Choir Festival. During this event, the audience is invited to join the choir in singing some popular Welsh songs. This is a wonderful opportunity for tourists to experience the joy and camaraderie of singing in a choir, even if it's just for a day.

While it might not be possible to fully immerse oneself in the traditional Welsh choir scene as a tourist, there are certainly ways to get a taste of it. Whether you are blessed with a great voice or not, the Welsh choir experience is something that you will cherish.

So the next time you find yourself in the beautiful valleys of Wales, take the time to attend a church service, a choir rehearsal, or one of the many musical events. Who knows, you might even find yourself singing along with a Welsh choir.

The Treorchy Male Voice Choir and Other Choirs' Rehearsals

The Treorchy Male Voice Choir is one of the most renowned choirs in Wales. It has a rich history, having been in existence since the late 19th century. The choir's rehearsals are held on Monday and Thursday evenings, and these sessions are generally open to visitors. Tourists are welcome to watch these rehearsals, and occasionally, if they have a good singing voice and a knowledge of music, they may even be invited to join in.

In addition to the Treorchy Male Voice Choir, there are other choirs in Wales that have a similar approach. For example, the Llangollen International Youth Choir invites tourists to witness their rehearsals. Although they do not typically invite tourists to participate, it's a great opportunity to witness how a choir prepares for a performance.

Wales is not just about male choirs. There are also mixed choirs, female choirs and youth choirs. Some of these choirs are a part of the international musical scene, participating in events such as the International Eisteddfod. Tourists should check the events calendar for such performances and rehearsals, as they are truly a sight to behold.

Scottish and Welsh Rugby Cup and Choirs

Sports and music often go hand in hand in Wales. An excellent example of this is the role of choirs in the Scottish and Welsh Rugby Cup matches. These matches are significant events in the country's sporting calendar, and they often feature performances by some of the best choirs in Wales.

These performances typically consist of traditional Welsh songs, sung in the Welsh language. Tourists attending these matches will have the opportunity to hear these choirs live, adding to the overall spectacle of the event.

In some instances, tourists might be able to participate in these performances. This usually happens when the choir invites the audience to sing along. It's a unique experience, as it gives tourists a chance to join in the celebration of the sporting event, the music, and the Welsh culture.


Wales, a part of Great Britain, has a rich heritage that is deeply rooted in music, specifically in male choirs. From the Treorchy Male Voice Choir to the Llangollen International Youth Choir, these groups are the heart and soul of the Welsh culture.

While every choir has its own set of rules regarding tourist participation, many are open to having visitors attend their rehearsals. Some events even allow tourists to sing along, such as the "Sing with a Welsh Choir" experience and the "Choir Singalong" at the Welsh Choir Festival.

Whether you want to witness the hard work that goes into a choir rehearsal, or you wish to experience singing with a choir at a special event, Wales offers it all. Remember to respect the traditions and copyright norms, and most importantly, enjoy the rich musical heritage of Wales. The country and its choirs are waiting to share their culture with you.

So, next time you visit Great Britain, make sure to include the Welsh valleys in your itinerary. You never know, you might find yourself in an impromptu concert, singing to the tunes of a traditional Welsh song, carried away by the harmony and camaraderie of a Welsh choir.

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