Couple's name on prestigious music festival award

Monday 04 March 2013 Updated: 05/03 12:59

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Bryan Wilson with his sister Hilary (s)

THE memory of a couple who were regulars at the Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod is being kept alive by their family’s sponsorship of one of its iconic competitions.

Bryan and Norma Wilson, from Tile Hill, attended the eisteddfod in North Wales over many years. Norma passed away in 2004 and Bryan died in 2010.

But now Bryan’s sister Hilary and other family members are to sponsor the Choir of the World competition at the festival, which runs from July 9 to 14.

It will mean the coveted Pavarotti Trophy, instituted after the world-famous Italian tenor starred at the eisteddfod in 1995, will be awarded in the late couple’s name.

Bryan and Norma met through music in the 1960s when Bryan was in Thailand working with Voluntary Services Overseas and Norma, who was from the Philippines, was attending university.

They were both singing with a madrigal group and when they later returned to England and set up home in Warwick they joined Warwick University Choir with which they sang for decades.

Hilary, 61, who lives in Cumbria, said: "I can’t think of anything more perfect than to be able to hand the top prize, the Pavarotti Trophy, to the winning choir, and it is exactly what Bryan and Norma would have wanted."

Eilir Owen Griffiths, musical director of the Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod, said: "This is a wonderful gesture from the family of two such committed supporters of the Eisteddfod.

"It is typical of the loyalty and fellowship that is right at the heart of what the Eisteddfod is all about and we are very grateful to them."

Hilary will be accompanied to the eisteddfod in July by a family party including Bryan’s brother John and Margaret Wilson, Bryan’s son Norman and his wife Rachel and Rachel’s mother Judith Hume.

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