The judges have been revealed for the Gethin Hughes Memorial Bursary competition.
The event is part of Cor Meibion Llanelli’s annual concert at Ffwrnes Theatre, Llanelli, on Saturday, June 30.
The judges will be – Allan Fewster MBE, Eilir Owen Griffiths and Meinir Richards.
The contestants will be accompanied by Jeffrey Howard.
Allan Fewster is a native of Llangennech and was educated at the Llanelli Boys’ Grammar / technical school, Trinity College Carmarthen and the Birmingham Conservatoire.
He has dedicated his life to music in the community through his long-standing direction of the mixed choir Cor Glandulais. His expertise as both accompanist and organist is widely respected and he has appeared often on television as guest accompanist to various well-known singers.
Special mention, however, must be made of his commitment to the tradition of choral singing and his work in ensuring an annual performance of a classical oratorio in the village of Llangennech.
His musical ability has been recognised by his elevation to the white robes of the Druidic Circle at the National Eisteddfod and his receiving the honour of the MBE for his services to music in Wales.
Eilir Owen Griffiths is one of Wales’s most dynamic choral directors.
With more than 15 years of experience as a music director and composer, he has conducted CF1 Choir since its formation in 2002. He was also the music director for the Llangollen International Eisteddfod and won ” tlws y cerddor” (musician’s award) at the National Eisteddfod in 2008.
Eilir has conducted many different choirs over the years. Between 2004 and 2014 he was the music director of Cor Godre’r Garth, winning the mixed choir competition five times at the National Eisteddfod. He was one of the first music directors of the Cardiff Blues Choir formed in 2006.
Eilir works as a BA course co-ordinator at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David’s performance centre and is also the artistic director for the Trinity Saint David Festival. He has visited Ireland, Germany, Poland, France, India, and the United States of America as part of his involvement in musical performance.
Meinir Richards was born in Whitland and attended the local grammar school before studying music at Bangor University. She commenced her teaching career at Maesteg Comprehensive School before spending 15 years as head of the music department at Gowerton Comprehensive School – Ysgol Gyfun Gwyr.
For the past 20 years she has been the head of music at Ysgol Gyfun Bro Myrddin in Carmarthen. As well as competing successfully in Eisteddfodau and taking part in whole-school musicals and concerts, the school choir loves travelling abroad. Recently, the Bro Myrddin school choirs received an “excellence in music” award from Carmarthenshire County Council.
Under Meinir’s direction, Cor Llanddarog has won the mixed choir competition for ‘over 45 voices’ at the National Eisteddfod five times. Last year, the choir visited Canada and have released a CD of choral works by Eric Jones.
Jeffrey Howard was born in Cardiff and studied at the University of Wales College, Cardiff, and at the Royal Academy of Music in London, where he specialised in organ performance and church music. He now pusues a career as organist, pianist, singer, coach, and conductor, and has accompanied leading international singers, including Sir Bryn Terfel, Sir Willard White, Dennis O’Neill, Nuccia Focile, Rebecca Evans, Wynne Evans, Alfie Boe and Jason Howard.
For the last 20 years, Jeff has been a vocal coach at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, the Welsh National Opera and Welsh National Youth Opera. Jeff coaches at the Wales International Academy of Voice and on the music theatre course at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. He is also vocal tutor at Bristol University, music director of the 200-voice St David’s Praise Choir and Orchestra, the Cambrensis Choir and Treorchy Male Voice Choir.
Jeff is involved in music theatre and cabaret work and has accompanied artists such as Michael Ball, John Owen Jones, Shan Cothi, Rhydian Roberts, Connie Fisher, Ruth Madoc and Dame Shirley Bassey.
Jeff is a recipient of the Joseph Parry Award, given by the Welsh Music Guild for his services to music in Wales.
The competition will honour Côr Meibion Llanelli’s former accompanist, Gethin Hughes.
Gethin was affectionately known as Llanelli’s ‘Mr Music’ prior to his death in 2011.
Following his death, a special Gethin Hughes Memorial Bursary Scholarship was established.
The first winner of the cash bursary was Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama student Megan Thomas, from Trimsaran.
The competition will form the centrepiece of the concert by Côr Meibion Llanelli Male Voice Choir, with the choir performing a wide-ranging repertoire dovetailing the competition.
This weekend, there’s a big night coming up for Côr Meibion Llandybie as they hold their annual concert on Friday, June 8, at the Memorial Hall in Llandybie.
The choir will be joined by members of Côr Meibion Dinefwr.
The combined choirs will be conducted by Mr Alan Davies and accompanist will be Ms Catrin Morris.
Guest soloist for the evening will be Ms Angharad Davies (soprano) and she will be accompanied by Mrs Gloria Lloyd.
The evening will also feature Rhydian Tiddy playing the trombone.
In other news, Côr Meibion Dyffryn Tywi have put together an exciting line-up for their annual concert on Saturday, July 21, at the Princess Gwenllian Centre in Kidwelly.
The evening will feature the popular North Wales act Piantel.
Piantel are pianist Annette Bryn Parry and harpist Dylan Cernyw. They are described as ‘a magical musical experience not to be missed!’
The concert will also feature the much-acclaimed Tywi Valley musical duo, the husband and wife team of Aled Edwards and Eleri Owen Edwards.
The compere for the Côr Meibion Dyffryn Tywi concert will be Ioan Hefin
On the same night (July 21), Burry Port Town Band are scheduled to stage their annual summer concert.
Further details about this concert will follow in future editions of this column.
Looking to the autumn, Côr Meibion Caerfyrddin Carmarthen Male Choir’s 60th anniversary concert will be held at the Lyric Theatre, Carmarthen, on Saturday, October 13.
The choir will be joined on stage by four other choirs – Mynydd Mawr, Burry Port, Dyffryn Tywi and Dyffryn Aman.
This will create a combined choir of around 150 voices under the baton of Wyn Maskell, musical director of Côr Meibion Caerfyrddin.
Also taking part will be well known soloists: Jessica Robinson, soprano, and Trystan Llŷr Griffiths, tenor.
The MC for the evening will be television and radio personality Garry Owen.
Welsh tenor Trystan Llŷr Griffiths, who hails from Clunderwen, Pembrokeshire, is a popular concert soloist throughout Wales and further afield.
One of the first recipients of a Study Award from the Bryn Terfel Foundation, he was named the Voice Of Wales by Decca Records in 2012 in an S4C TV series.
Trystan studied initially at University of Wales Trinity Saint David for a Theatre, Music and Media degree. He subsequently completed an MA degree in Vocal Studies at the Royal Academy of Music and a further postgraduate degree in Opera Performance at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. He has recently completed his studies as a Trainee at the National Opera Studio in London.
Prizes and awards include: Ian Stoutzker Prize 2014; Richard Van Allan Award 2014; Bruce Millar Gulliver Singing Prize 2014; RWCMD HRH Prince of Wales Scholarship 2013; Dunraven Welsh Young Singer of the Year 2013; MOCSA Young Welsh Singer of the Year Prize 2012; Sybil Tutton Award 2012; London Welsh Young Singer of the Year Prize 2011; W. Towyn Roberts Scholarship 2011; Osborne Roberts Memorial Prize 2009.
Concert highlights include appearances at the Royal Albert Hall, Hay-on-Wye Festival with Bryn Terfel, the Brynfest at the Southbank Centre, a concert performance of Tristan und Isolde with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and recitals at St Martin-in-the- Fields and the Cardiff Music Festival.
He took the role of Carlos in a recording of Le Duc d’Albe with the Hallé Orchestra for Opera Rara and during summer 2015 received a scholarship to attend the Mozart Residency at Festival d’Aix-en- Provence.
Trystan made his first professional operatic début in the role of Ferrando in Cosi Fan Tutte on tour with Scottish Opera.
Finally, here’s another date for your diary for later in the year. The Annual Royal British Legion Charity Gala Concert will be held at the Lyric Theatre, Carmarthen, on October 27 (7pm).
This year, 2018, marks a significant year for our Armed Forces. It is the centenary of the end of The Great War (First World War) and also commemorates 100 years of the Royal Air Force.
The prestigious annual Royal British Legion Concert has become one of the landmark events in the calendar of South West Wales, providing a platform for the Royal British Legion to pay tribute to the fallen of current and past conflicts.
It also helps the British Legion launch the Poppy Appeal in South West Wales.
The concert features leading soprano and TV and radio personality Shân Cothi, one of Wales’s premier choirs in the form of Dunvant Male Choir, the highly popular Carmarthen-based mixed youth choir Côr Seingar, Swansea-based Dancerama performing arts group youth choir, the stirring sounds of the City of Swansea Pipe Band and the unforgettable Corps of Drums of the 215 City of Swansea Squadron.
The compére will be Brian Sullivan and the guest accompanist Jeffrey Howard.
The evening ends with the poignant Tribute to the Fallen and a Service of Remembrance.
The Royal British Legion is being supported with this event by Loud Applause Productions, the production company run by Llanelli’s Cerith Owens.
Robert Lloyd works as a media consultant – www.rlloydpr.co.uk
If you have any news about the choral scene in Llanelli, the please contact him on 07777 683637 or email email@example.com