About

Côr Gobaith                                                                                          Campaign Choirs logo

‘I believe in hope as an act of defiance, those acts necessary to bring about some of what we hope for while we live by principle in the meantime’ – Rebecca Solnit

Translated into English as Choir of Hope, Côr Gobaith sounds better in Welsh. Inspired by Social Forum Cymru which took place in Aberystwyth in 2006, Susie Ennals started Côr Gobaith to sing for peace, justice and environmental sustainability. Musical, well versed in choral singing and mobilised by having sung with the near legendary Côr Cochion ,Cardiff’s Reds Choir, this was nevertheless Susie’s first attempt at leading a choir as musical director. As all members of Côr Gobaith will readily attest, she did a fine job and the choir went from strength to musical strength under her direction. This has continued with Nest Howells at the helm, especially helping us grow our Welsh repertoire. We sing in Welsh and English, not to mention several African songs and a radical Norwegian anthem!  The choir is run consensually and we attract members not only from Aberystwyth and district but also from Machynlleth and Lampeter. Former members are singing in similar choirs all around the world, from London to Australia. While Susie is still a Côr Gobaith member, she now leads our sister choir, the Pales Peace Choir, based near the small mid-Wales town of Llandrindod Wells.

Always conceived as an activist choir, the hope enshrined in Côr Gobaith’s name is ‘hope as an act of defiance, or rather as a the foundation for an ongoing series of acts of defiance, those acts necessary to bring about some of what we hope for while we live by principle in the meantime’ (Rebecca Solnit, Hope in the Dark: The untold story of people power, 2005, p.163). Without fail, Côr Gobaith perform in the centre of Aberystwyth on the last Saturday of every month, singing against wars waged in our name and collecting money for appropriate causes, both local and international, but most regularly Médecins Sans Frontières. We get around too, singing against Trident replacement at Faslane and in Cardiff, at Aldermaston, on a Stop The War demo in Manchester, on anti-cuts protests in London…… We are active, founder members of Campaign Choirs network and have joined with other choirs in many actions under that banner. Every two years we sing at El Sueño Existe in Machynlleth, a festival celebrating the life, music and dream of freedom of Chilean activist Victor Jara; our women members sing at the Women In Tune Festival; we all sing at Raise Your Banners; and of course we are committed to the Street Choirs Festival, singing in Manchester, Brighton, Whitby (thrice), Sheffield, Bury, our own 2013 Street Choirs Festival in Aberystwyth, Hebden Bridge, Leicester and Kendal. One unforgettable experience for us was singing his version of the Internationale on stage with Billy Bragg at a concert in 2009 to mark the twentieth anniversary of the miners’ strike.

 

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