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Spotlight on John Hywel Williams MBE

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Spotlight on John Hywel Williams MBE

Posted By Robert Lloyd


FLCM, BEd, LRAM, LMusTCL, LMusLCM, Founder and Director of Music Hywel Girls Choir and Hywel Boy Singers.

The lifelong passion and commitment for choral singing of Llanelli’s legendary John Hywel Williams is renowned whether in the role of conductor, director, trainer, lecturer, educationalist, composer or international adjudicator.

Accolades and Awards:

Described by the London Times as “the Svengali of the baton”, John Hywel has performed for and enjoyed accolades from world leaders, members of the Royal Family, Prime Ministers and The Pope.

In addition to proudly receiving the Paul Harris Fellowship from Rotary International, John Hywel is also a Member of the Order of the British Empire bestowed by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II for leading services to music and also a recipient of the highly prestigious Fellowship of the London College of Music in recognition of his international music achievements.

John Hywel is a graduate of the University of Wales, a Licentiate of the Royal Academy of Music, a Licentiate of the Trinity College London and a Licentiate of the London College of Music.

John Hywel is also humbled to have received numerous awards for his work over the years the most recent being the Award for Outstanding Cultural Contribution at the 2018 Carmarthenshire Cultural Awards awarded by Carmarthenshire County Council.

Childhood Inspirations:

A native of Llanelli, as a poorly child struck by polio and meningitis, John Hywel found escape from his confining illnesses through an old record player and a pile of classical records.

This opened his imagination and passion for music which changed his life and impacted the lives of millions of others.

Becoming a chapel organist at the age of 11, he started a young ladies choir in his young teens. From these humble beginning have risen world renowned choral endeavours which have impacted and inspired millions of people.

Choral Adventures:

John Hywel Williams led the field by taking the very first British choir behind the Iron Curtain of Eastern Europe and the first British choir to undertake a concert tour of Soviet Union – performing at the great concert halls of Russia with the BBC and S4C touring with the choir from which saw television and radio broadcasts in Russia and 15 television broadcasts across the UK.

John Hywel’s choral adventures have included over 200 television and radio broadcasts spanning the UK, Russia, Poland, The Netherlands, Italy, Austria, Bulgaria, Romania, Yugoslavia, Belgium, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Spain to name but a few.

A televised performance for “Eurovision” from Belgrade televised to millions of viewers throughout the whole of Europe also ranks in his televised broadcasts as well as his unique choral achievements being
the subject of an international television documentary seen by a staggering 400 million people across 120 countries around the world.

Stars of Song and Entertainment:

John Hywel has had the unique experience of founding and conducting the full spectrum of choirs – male choirs, female choirs, mixed choirs, youth choirs as well as conducting a wealth of orchestras and world leading military bands including HM Band of the Royal Marines and The Central Band of the Royal Marines.

John Hywel and his choirs have enjoyed performing and broadcasting with and alongside a spectrum of fun and esteemed star artists from across the entertainment world including Maurice Chevalier, Joan Sutherland, Iris Williams, Stuart Burrows, Lesley Garrett, Aled Jones, Kathryn Jenkins, Russell Watson, Lee Mead, Mathew Rhys, Paul Zerdin, Glyn Houston, Ivor Emanuel, Cerys Matthews, Max Boyce, Sian Phillips . . . to name just a cross-section.

His Greatest Pride:

But of all these achievements and over 900 concert performances given, John Hywel is most proud of his choristers and pupils.

While some have gone on to leading positions at world opera houses, successful careers in musical theatre and the pop world (even winning the Eurovision Song Contest), John Hywel’s pride is immeasurable for all his choristers and the pride of seeing them learn, develop, enjoy and inspire.

Link to Last Night Of The Proms story –

Army of 200 musicians prepare for ‘Big Mad Proms’ this Saturday



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