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Watch: Welsh choir stuns passengers on Doha Metro in Qatar

28 Nov 2022 4 minute read
The Urdd Youth Choir performing on the Doha Metro

A Welsh choir has been drawing attention at the World Cup in Qatar by performing at locations across Doha including on the city’s underground rail network.

The Urdd Youth Choir, made up of young men and women from the Vale of Clwyd in North Wales, are visiting the Gulf state as part of a delegation to promote the Welsh culture and language.

Since being spotted belting out ballads and hymns everywhere from the British Embassy to the waterfront area known as the Corniche, the group has become a hit with local Qataris and international fans alike.

One video showed the vocalists entertaining passengers on-board the Metro on the way to the Wales v Iran game, where they were filmed by an enraptured group of onlookers performing a stunning version of Calon Lân.

“This has been the most amazing opportunity to promote Wales and our language on a global platform,” choir conductor and solicitor Ceri Roberts told the PA news agency.

“The reaction we are getting from people is so special.

“We’re getting stopped in the streets all the time by people asking to have pictures with us and when we sing everyone starts filming.

“I feel like we’re really helping put Wales on the map,” she added.

Ceri Roberts from the Urdd Youth Choir in Doha, Qatar, during the FIFA World Cup 2022. Picture by PA

‘Unity’

The 26-year-old founded the choir along with Elis Jones, also 26, from Ruthin, Denbighshire, after they returned to their home towns from university and found there was a lack of groups for people their age.

It now contains 11 men and 16 women from diverse backgrounds including farmers, lawyers and surveyors.

Welsh teacher Mared Owen, 24, said: “Usually, you wouldn’t find all these different people mixing with each other on a weekly basis, but we’re united by the choir.

“It’s this unity and inclusivity that we want to get across to people as our values when we sing.”

‘Tears’

The choir joined Dafydd Iwan and supporters’ brass band, The Barry Horns, for an impromptu concert at a giant bucket hat installation in Doha on Friday morning to rally together fans ahead of the match against Iran.

Sian Lewis, the head of Urdd Gobaith Cymru, said the youth organisation had also been running sports, arts and cultural workshops with school children across Qatar in the week running up to the World Cup.

“Even though the children didn’t really know anything about Wales initially, the feedback we got from teachers and parents was that the children got home and were singing Yma o Hyd and teaching their mums and dads a bit of Welsh.

“For a week of engagement that’s pretty powerful.

“We purposefully brought our young female ambassadors with us who usually deliver a programme back home called Fel Merch, or Like a Girl, that empowers girls to take part in sport, and at the end of the session some of the girls in the class stayed behind and asked them what it meant,” Ms Lewis added.

“After they explained the young girls simply said, ‘we want to be like you’.

“That almost brought some of our young ambassadors to tears because it showed the impact of what we were doing.

“Our girls will never forget those conversations and I don’t think the young Qataris will either.”

The Urdd Youth Choir in Doha, Qatar, during the FIFA World Cup 2022. Picture by PA

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Eva
Eva
2 months ago

aaaaaaaa

Riki
Riki
2 months ago

At least something is, cause the football from the Welsh side certainly hasn’t.

Kerry Davies
Kerry Davies
2 months ago
Reply to  Riki

Don’t you understand “soft power”? The team could possibly lose every game and still come away doing more good for Wales than one of the major footballing nations would get out of winning the cup.

Riki
Riki
2 months ago
Reply to  Kerry Davies

Not really! Have not seen how America views Wales. Even During this World Cup? Questions such as “is Wales a Country” and “How is Wales a Country”? Are frequently asked. A sporting event won’t do us any good. The Only thing that will do us any good is A complete separation from the farce that is the UK. Sport is used to delude people into thinking everything is Tidy and this World Cup is no different to countless others.

lufcwls
lufcwls
2 months ago
Reply to  Riki

Those questions are being asked by others now and they will find out the truth. You’ve kind of nullified your argument with that statement.

George Thomas
George Thomas
2 months ago
Reply to  Riki

I think that’s unfair.

FAW were extremely good in build-up; there is an argument that tactics in first half against USA were right ones even if they were bettered by USA and then half-time switch saw us pretty dominant until injury time; it was only after the USA game where things have soured with really poor display against Iran and a few clunky statements.

Chance to either continue our journey in most shocking way or bow out with pride tonight, but let’s not pretend everything has either been good or bad.

James William Soares Jones

I FEEL my Cymro self! The feeling of finding my cheerful and fierce tribe…via the internet and the lamented website cwtch.com. for it was there I first heard a stirring song, with a then incomprehensible title and lyrics. That changed, boyo, that changed indeed.

Yma o Hyd! We are still here!

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