How we got started
Back in 1980, three Baptist Minsiters from South Wales went to the Baptist World Alliance Congress in Toronto where they heard Baptist choirs from around the world, but sadly there was not one from “The Land of Song.” So on their return they set about putting that matter right and seeing what they could do about forming such a group. At the same time in Cardiff was Kelvin Thomas, a music gradaute who was starting a career as a bass-baritone and was very much involved in music ministry and already led a number of choirs. He was thinking of setting up a choir of singers who could read music and who would be capable of singing classical music and also gospel and all kinds of Christian music.
They met – these 2 ideas merged – and letters went out to Baptist Churches in South Wales, auditions were held and in September 1982, Cambrensis was born – under the name of “The Sounth Wales Baptist Youth Choir.” The initial aim was to sing in the NEXT Baptist World Alliance Congress, in Los Angeles in 1985. This aim was acheived and now, all these years later, Cambrensis continues, strong and healthy! After a few years, the “youth” was dropped from the title, and the invite was to people of all denominations. And the choir’s ministry developed, new were groups added and now we have a wide-ranging organisation whose aims – of presenting quality music in a variety of styles and genres – remain the same.
The Cambrats were formed when a group from the choir went to the USA for the second time and 7 children of choir members came too. Anne Brown formed them into a singing group and their debut performance was in First Baptist Church, San Antonio Tx, to an audience of thousands! They didn’t have a name – but of the girls said to the congergation that they should be called “The Cambrats” – a name that continued, though (The Cambrensis Junior isngers) was added for propriety! In 2001 we decided to augment the group each Christmas to form The Promise of christmas Youth Choir, to sing as part of the St David’s Hall events.