| 19 Jun 2024
BBC Radio Cymru to set world record with greatest distance between people singing live duet

MUMBAI: Welsh radio station BBC Radio Cymru aims to get certified by Guinness World Records for its upcoming attempt to bridge more than 7,000 miles between Wales, Great Britain and Patagonia, Argentina, and set the greatest distance between people singing a duet live. The attempt is scheduled to take place on 5 June, which will be celebrated as BBC Music Day.

Shân Cothi, a Welsh classical singer will be joined by Andres Evans from Argentina for a unique rendition of the traditional Welsh hymn, 'Calon Lan'. Joining her at BBC Hoddinott Hall in Cardiff, will be the BBC National Orchestra of Wales and an amalgamation of various choirs such as, the BBC National Chorus of Wales, Cor CF1, the Radio Cymru staff choir and the Wales Millennium Centre/Only Kids Aloud Chorus 2015/16. Meanwhile, in Patagonia, Evans will be joined by members of the Gaiman Music School Choir.

This cross-country link-up is one of the numerous projects in development this year. It marks the 150th anniversary of the establishment of a Welsh settlement, 'Y Wladfa' in the southern region of Argentina. This settlement took place in Patagonia in 1865, when 153 people from various parts of Wales sailed on the Mimosa to settle in the Chubut Province in southern Argentina. This is considered to be one of the most ambitious projects, in terms of technology and logistics, ever undertaken by Radio Cymru.

On the collaborative attempt, Cothi said, "It is fantastic that music can unite Wales and Y Wladfa, and delightful that a song like Calon Lan can join two countries that have such a close connection in terms of history and tradition. From what I understand, it is going to be much more of a challenge than you might think because of the delays involved with getting the sound to and from two opposite parts of the world, but I have my fingers crossed everything will be ok on the day! It is very exciting and it will be a performance and a half, I am sure. Hopefully we will be raising the roof - here in Wales and on the other side of the globe too!"

Evans, 33, who is well known for singing in the various eisteddfodau (annual festivals in which Welsh poets, dancers, and musicians compete for recognition) in Patagonia added, “I cannot believe it, to be honest - what a great project to be involved in. I hope it all goes to plan, but I am delighted to be part of it, especially as we are celebrating 150 years of 'Y Wladfa' this year. I love singing in Welsh and this is like a dream!”

Speaking on this record-breaking attempt, BBC Radio Cymru, editor, Betsan Powys said, “Music is very much at the heart of our output on Radio Cymru and we were keen to make a bold, ambitious statement for BBC Music Day. Well, what could be bolder than bringing together two singers - over 7,000 miles apart, an orchestra and five choirs, and broadcasting it all live on three radio stations? There are bound to be a few nerves as the day comes closer but everyone is working flat out to make sure it all goes to plan and, with a little bit of luck, we will have earned our place in the record books by the end of the day.”

The world record duet will be broadcast during Tudur Owen's Friday afternoon show on 5 June between 2 pm and 5 pm. The broadcast will also be simulcast live on BBC Radio Wales and BBC Radio 3.