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Photograph of Ammanford Choir, 1920. This official photograph was taken to celebrate the choir's success at the National Eisteddfod. They won first prize at the Chief Choral Competition two years running - Corwen (1919) and Barry (1920). Ammanford Choir (Cȏr Rhydaman) was established in 1917 under the baton of Gwilym R Jones, organist at Gellimanwydd chapel (Christian Temple) at the time. The choir experienced success in 1919 when they won the first prize at the Corwen National Eisteddfod and also the following year at the Barry Eisteddfod. During the thirties the choir came to an end but local chapel choirs continued to perform classical works. The choir was reformed in March 1947, following a social evening in a cafe in Ammanford and Trevor Rees was appointed conductor and Howard Williams as accompanist. In March 1949 the choir’s first performance was at Bethany chapel and they performed Dvorak’s Stabat Mater with Dilys Rees, Rowena Ralph, Llewelyn John and Tom Williams as soloists.
Between 1958 and 1963 the Choir had resounding success at the National Eisteddfod with Hywel Gwyn Evans as their conductor, and experienced success, unique at the time, by winning the main choral competition in 1958, 1959 and 1960 followed by further wins in Llanelli n 1962 and Llandudno in 1963.
In their time the Choir performed with other choirs including Welsh Mixed Choirs at the Albert Hall, London. Following Hywel Evans the Choir was conducted by Ronald Foster, Vyrnwy Jones, John Rhyddid Williams, Alun Bowen and Indeg Thomas who had been a piano pupil of the original conductor Gwilym R Jones, an appropriate which forms a fitting link between the fist and final conductor.
It is not possible to mention the conductors over the years without referring to talented accompanists. The earliest reference we have is from 1929 when Hywel Williams was the accompanist under Trevor Rees and followed by Alan Rees, EJ Edwards, Annie Thomas, Olwen Richards, Sally Arthur, Meinir Smith, Catrin Edwards and Gloria Lloyd.
One thing is certain, the enjoyment and pride of each member of the Ammanford and District Choral Society over a century has contributed considerably to inspiring generations of singers and soloists in the area and has also been an important part of music and culture in Ammanford and the area.

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