Did you know that Aberdare was the town that gave Wales the reputation as The Land of Song?

Heritage is not just buildings. Aberdare has a rich and vibrant musical tradition. The Cynon Valley has long been the nucleus of a thriving music scene in South Wales.

At present there are many significant, contemporary bands performing a myriad of musical styles. But this isn’t a recent phenomenon. This has long been the case.

Griffith Rhys ‘Caradog’ Jones was a Welsh conductor born in the Cynon valley in 1834. He is remembered for being one of the most successful choir masters in the National Eisteddfods of the era, but his main contribution to Welsh culture came in his victories in the Crystal Palace Challenge Cup choral competition in 1872 and 1873.

In these famous victories, Caradog drastically changed the image of the Welsh public. Considered to be a brash, classless and unruly people, Caradog’s choir showed the rest of the world that the national pride and passion of the Welsh people was material in their magnificent singing.

Through his legendary victories he bestowed upon Wales the moniker ‘The Land of Song’ and although many people across South Wales may not know of Caradog as an individual, the effects of his triumphs are still evident and ever-evolving.


The tourist draw of Aberdare has been declining for many years and this is something we would like to change.

This website is dedicated to the expression and expansion of Aberdare’s cultural identity.

We have devised a program to increase the tourism in the area and to breed a new lease of life into our once-illustrious town.