Something for everyone

Tref Rhuthun
Daniel Lloyd a Mr Pinc
Band Pres Llareggub
Festival crowd ©
Comedy of Errors
2011 Festival
Tocsidos Blźr River City Jazz Band Sibrydion Dawnswyr Bro Cefni Dancers Da Capo Cyngerdd yn yr Ardd
The festival started this year with a music workshop with St Peter's Church organist, Dr Peter Litman. The focus of the workshop was The Creation by Haydn and a successful performance was held at the end of the day.

Monday night was the turn of the area's youngsters to shine with two performances by a new theatr group, the Vale of Clwyd Theatr Group, under the title 'One Night ...'. There was a very effective atmosphere to the evening as both performances were held in the Old Gaol. This, together with the young people's talent and performing skills, succeeded in ensuring the audience had a very memorable evening.

A concert for Senior Citizens has been a regular feature for several years in Awelon Day Centre.

For the first time, Ysgol Brynhyfryd's Summer Fair was listed as part of the Festival. It was a very successful evening with the profits going to the school's PTA fund.

Also, on Wednesday evening, the oldest house in Ruthin, Nantclwyd y Dref, was the location for a concert in the garden starring local talents, Ruthin Acoustics, Manon a Lleuwen Hedd, Tocsidos Blźr a'r grŵp Mantra.

Ruthin Music Club arranged a recital by the famous pianist, Andrew Wilde in Awelon on Thursday evening. The talented musician played works by Haydn, Beethoven and Chopin.

The Festival's annual concert was again held on Friday night at Theatr John Ambrose. The guests were the talented group of young people from the Bangor area, Da Capo and their musical director, Cefyn Roberts. This small choir, which consists of a number of former members of Ysgol Glanaethwy, gave a series of professional performances in styles varying from popular to traditional, and from cerdd dant to songs from the musicals.

Once again, the highlight of the Fesitval were the Top of Town events on Saturday afternoon. Lively performances were given by Moniars, Gai Toms, Sibrydion, Batala Bangor, River City Jazz Band and Bro Cefni Folk Dancers. The huge audience, consisting of people of all ages and from far and wide, thoroughly enjoyed every minute in the glorious sunshine
2010 Festival
Stagecoach Ysgol Pen Barras Jazz Evening Ruthin Town Band Y Glerorfa
Local young performers took centre stage at this year's opening concert - Stars of the Vale - at Theatr John Ambrose. Three highly talented and contrasting youth groups Stagecoach Denbigh, Denbighshire County Brass Band and Cor yr Adran Rhuthun all gave superb performances along with groups from three schools Pen Barras, Rhos Street and Brynhyfryd.

Tuesday was Jazz night when we again linked up with North Wales Jazz Club to host a jazz concert at Ruthin Castle. Renowned saxophonist Dave O'Higgins was the star attraction and he was well supported by the evergreen Trefor Owen on guitar and the more youthful Andrej Baranak Trio.

A concert for Senior Citizens has been a regular feature for several years and this time local soprano Kate Griffiths, accompanied by Lis Hughes, provided the entertainment on an extremely hot Wednesday afternoon.

In the evening we moved to historic house Nantclwyd y Dre where the Friends of Nantclwyd y Dre arranged a delightful Garden Concert with music provided by the recently revived Ruthin Town Band under the baton of John Powell.

On Thursday we teamed up with another local organisation, Ruthin Music Club, who put on a piano recital at Theatr John Ambrose with exciting young Russian pianist Alexander Karpeyev - another excellent show.

Some 40 Breton visitors from Ruthin's twin town Briec formed part of the very appreciative audience for the Friday evening concert at Theatr John Ambrose. This was performed by the unique folk orchestra, Y Glerorfa whose 50 musicians come from all over Wales.

There had been some doubt that the Festival's centrepiece, the ever popular Top of Town event, would be able to continue after various problems (mainly concerned with drinking and litter) with last year's event. However with the co-operation of the police and licensing authorities it was decide to go ahead a ban having been placed on bringing glass bottles etc onto the square. The new arrangements worked well and helped by superb weather we had probably the best event yet. By way of a change and with the help of Cadwyn Clwyd the event was opened by a cookery demonstration by TV chef Dudley. 6 hours of non stop music then followed with performances by Dr Jazz, Polonez Polish Dancers, Batala Samba Band, Yr Ods, Gwibdaith Hen Fran and Derwyddon Dr Gonzo. Another positive note was that donations collected were considerably better than before so the future of the event seems secure.

As a finale, on Sunday, St Peter's Church arranged a successful workshop and concert of Vivaldi's Gloria with the likelihood of similar events being held again.

2009 Festival
Black Umfolosi 5 Deva Brass Ruthin Town Band Shamanic Drummers Gwibdaith Hen Frān Dr Jazz
The 2009 Festival opened at Theatr John Ambrose with a return visit by Black Umfolosi 5. With their rich acapella singing and energetic dancing the group provided wonderful entertainment with an international flavour both at the evening concert on Monday and to wildly exuberant Year 7 pupils from Ysgol Brynhyfryd on the following morning.

On Tuesday evening, in a new venture, Ruthin Music Club staged a performance by versatile guitarist John Rogers who demonstrated a wide range of playing styles with several of his own adaptations of classical and popular music.

Popular local tenor Trebor Edwards provided the entertainment, following last years' success, at our regular Senior Citizens' Concert at Canolfan Awelon onWednesday afternoon. As usual the hall was packed and gave those not able to go out at night the chance to enjoy live music.

On Wednesday evening Ruthin Castle provided the ideal venue for a recital by harpist Dylan Cernyw. Although less well attended than expected this was a superb evening with Dylan receiving a rousing ovation at the end.

On Thursday the Festival moved to yet another venue, the town's recently restored historic house Nantclwyd y Dre, where the local Friends group held an outdoor concert with entertainment by Deva Brass Ensemble. Thankfully the weather was fine and a good crowd turned up to what will surely be a forerunner of events to come in the future.

Perhaps the most eagerly awaited event was on Friday evening when local tenor Rhys Meirion was the star attraction at Theatr John Ambrose. He gave his usual polished performance accompanied by evergreen Annette Bryn-Parri and was admirably supported by one of North Wales largest male voice choirs, Trelawnyd.

The 2009 event culminated in the normal fashion with the Top of Town event on St Peter's Square. For once rain threatened to seriously curtail the entertainment and half an hour was lost to a torrential downpour. Fortunately the clouds dispersed, the sun came out and the crowds flocked back making this undoubtedly the busiest Top of Town event of all. Providing the entertainment were regular favourites Dr Jazz, the Hungarian Shamanic Drummers (a visiting folk group who performed at Llangollen the following week), the Ruthin Town Band (who opened proceedings) and three Welsh bands, all given rapturous applause, - Daniel Lloyd & Mr Pinc, Gwibdaith Hen Frān and Fflur Daydd a'r Barf.
2008 Festival
Ruthin Adran Choir Rhos Street School Band Polonez Dancers Banda Bacana Britannia Coconutters
As last year, the 2008 Festival began with the Ruthin on Stage concert - Pen Barras, Rhos Street, Borthyn, Brynhyfryd schools, Ruthin School, Adran Choir and Little Stars Band. Once again, it was a fantastic evening showing the wealth of talent in Ruthin.

For the fourth year running the North Wales Jazz Society were invited to participate in the Jazz Evening. This year the guitarist, Jim Mullen, was guest artiste together with the evergreen Trefor Owen Quartet.

On the third day three events took place. The Senior Citizens' Concert in Awelon with Trebor Edwards, an organ recital by Roger Fisher arranged by St Peter's Concert Society, and in the evening, a new venture in Nantclwyd y Dre with Devan Brass taking part and Friends of Nantclwyd y Dre providing the refreshments.

Ruthin Rugby Club was the venue for the folk evening with the harpist, Gwenan Gibbard, delighting the audience.

Some entertainment for the primary children was provided by Cwmni'r Arad Goch Theatre Company giving performances in both languages of the production Twm Sion Cati. An excellent opportunity for young children to experience live theatre.

On Friday evening, a concert was held by Ruthin Choir under the baton of Robat Arwyn. Also taking part were two of the choir's soloists and national winners, Kate Griffiths and Meirion Wyn Jones.

Despite the forecast not being favourable and competition from the World Cup, the crowds turned out as usual for the Top of Town. As well as the old favourites, Moniars and Dr Jazz, new bands, Banda Bacana and Frizbee proved big hits too. Providing some variety with totally different styles of dancing, were Britannia Coconutters and Polonez Polish Dancers.
Trebor Edwards Ysgol Pen Barras Gwenan Gibbard Ruthin Choir
2007 Festival
Ensemble Cymru Theatr Na-Nog Ysgol Glanaethwy Ysgol Samba Lerpwl
The 2007 Festival was opened by a special concert, Ruthin on Stage, with almost 300 young people performing from Borthyn, Pen Barras and Rhos Street primary schools, Ruthin School, Brynhyfryd School and Ruthin Adran and Aelwyd choirs.

The North Wales Jazz Society worked with the Festival's committee to entice the best from the jazz world to Ruthin Castle for the Jazz Evening. The audience was captivated by the contemporary saxophonist, Dave O'Higgins and the Bill Coleman Band with Brian Dee on keyboard.

Ensemble Cymru, a group of accomplished instrumentalists, came to Awelon for a lunchtime recital for the senior citizens. It was a feast of music ranging from the classical to the modern by the clarinet, viola and piano trio.

A performance of the show The Big Bad Wolf by Na-Nog Theatre Company from Neath was held in Theatr John Ambrose for the local primary children.

One highlight of the Festival was the Ysgol Glanaethwy concert in Theatr John Ambrose with soloist Mirain Haf. During an amazing evening the talent of the young people shone in their varied menu of quiet disciplined pieces opposite vibrant, lively numbers.

Sun and laughter were the ingredients on St Peter's Square on Saturday afternoon for Top of Town. With the Liverpool Samba School, Elsber Dancers, Dr Jazz, Joe le Taxi and Elin Fflur a'r Moniars taking part, there was something for everyone.

Ruthin on Stage Jazz Evening Elin Fflur
2006 Festival
Harriet Earis Scott Hamilton Pentennyn Meinir Gwilym
To begin the Festival Theatr John Ambrose was filled with colour, rhythm and dance with the brass band from Rajasthan, Jaipur Kawa Brass Band. It was a brilliant evening full of rhythmic drum sounds, sensational chanting with the audience on their feet dancing with the band at the end of the performance.

For the Jazz Evening, the packed audience in Ruthin Castle was captivated by the sound of Scott Hamilton's tenor sax. It was a great honour for Ruthin Festival to welcome such an accomplished saxophonist.

Harriet Earis entertained the senior citizens on the harp at Awelon and it was evident from the faces of the audience that her traditional folk songs pleased everyone.

The audience was thrilled by the young performers at the classical concert, soprano Fflur Wyn, percussionist, Dewi Ellis Jones and instrumental quartet, Celticana. The packed theatre witnessed a truly magical evening.

A dance, music and meal evening, the Celtic Cabaret, was held for the first time this year. The stage was shared by the Tannahill Weavers, a Scottish folk group, and Pentennyn, a folk group from Mold who guided the audience in a folk dance.

Once again, the Festival's highlight, Top of Town, was a complete success with the Square moving to the rhythm of dance and music. From the Baghdaddies to Never Mind the Bocs, the Nawari Dancers to the Liverpool Samba School, Dr Jazz to Meinir Gwilym - there was something to everyone's taste.

Jaipur Kawa Brass Band Classical Evening Artists Liverpool Samba School
2005 Festival
Black Umfolosi New Folk Celebrating Japan Beer for Breakfast Karambasamba
The week commenced with a traditional overseas performance - Black Umfolosi from Zimbabwe provided an entertaining and educational workshop for over 200 local primary school children. In the evening they held a thrilling performance in Theatr John Ambrose.

The Jass Evening was held in Ruthin Castle with the brilliant saxophonist, Alan Skidmore performing with the Trefor Owen Quartet.

The dynamic accordion and fiddle duo Edward Jay and Oliver Wilson-Dixon (New Folks) gave two enjoyable and different shows on the Wednesday. Before entertaining the night diners at the Manorhaus, they put on a great show for the senior citizens at Awelon.

As part of their 'global citizenship' theme on Celebrating Japan some 150 local school children received specialist tuition in the fields of dance, theatre, taiko drumming and Japanese crafts, before taking part in a performance during the evening.

An excellent classical evening was held by two young instrumentalists - harpist, Catrin Finch, and pianist, Teleri-Siān. It was a night to remember with music of the highest quality. Also Catrin's masterclass earlier in the day was genuinely inspiring for the participants.

Other events over the weekend were a gig by the rock band, Frizbee in the Venue night club, an organ recital by Philip Smith in St Peter's Church and a choral evening with the Toszecki Tryl Choir from Poland and St Peter's Church Choir.

To end the Festival on Top of Town the large crowd was entertained for six hours by Dr Jazz, Moniars, Bucket Band, Beer for Breakfast, La Strada and Clocswyr Maes Garmon, while Vagabondi Puppets worked their magic on the children.
Alan Skidmore Catrin Finch Teleri-Siān Arfon Wyn a'r Moniars
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