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Latest ‘On Song’ column from Carmarthen Journal and Llanelli Star

Robert Lloyd PR, Media and Marketing Consultancy Blog posts Latest ‘On Song’ column from Carmarthen Journal and Llanelli Star
Robert Lloyd

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Latest ‘On Song’ column from Carmarthen Journal and Llanelli Star

Posted By Robert Lloyd

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.

Soprano Jessica Robinson is from Pembrokeshire and graduated from the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama with a first class Honours Degree. 

As a student at the RWCMD, Jessica studied with Beatrice Unsworth and Jeffrey Howard, winning the Aneurin Davies memorial award, The Mansel Thomas prize, The Margaret Tann Award and the Elias Soprano award.

Throughout her studies, Jessica has been fortunate to participate in master classes with artists such as Michael Pollock, Simon Lepper, Adrian Thompson, Simon Keenleyside, Donald Maxwell and John Fisher. Jessica was also chosen to sing as part of an octet for HRH the Prince of Wales. 

Her singing life started at a young age as a competitor in local eisteddfodau in her home county of Pembrokeshire.

She went on to gain success nationally in the Urdd and the National Eisteddfodau. 

Jessica has represented Pembrokeshire in the Young Farmers Eisteddfod winning the under 26 solo in 2008 and again in 2012. She was awarded Vocalist of the Year in the Pembrokeshire Chevron Music Awards and Musical Student of the Year in her secondary school, Ysgol y Preseli, Crymych.

as an oratorio and concert soloist, Jessica has performed in venues such as the Wales Millennium Stadium, The National Museum of Wales, Dorking Halls and The Dora Stoutzker Hall. She regularly appears in concerts all over the UK as guest artist with many of Wales’ most renowned Male Voice Choirs such as Blaenavon, Bridgend, South Wales and the London Welsh Male Voice choir. A personal highlight for Jessica was being asked to perform to the Welsh rugby team at the Welsh Assembly during the champagne reception celebrating their success in the Six Nations Championship and also alongside Paul Potts in a Charity concert for the Philippines disaster.

Recent oratorio performances include Handel’s Messiah ( Symffonia Tywi and The Mega Messiah), Vivaldi’s Gloria, Rutter’s Mass of the Children, Karl Jenkins’ Peace Makers and Joseph Parry’s Emmanuel (Côr Bro Ogwr). Jessica performed her first operatic role as the Spirit in ‘Dido and Aeneas’ by Purcell with ‘Opera’r Ddraig’, scene credits include Despina (Cosi fan Tutti), Violetta (La Traviata) and the Countess (Le nozze di Figaro).

Jessica is an artist on the prestigious Live Music Now scheme and also performs regularly as an artist with Music in Hospitals. 

Jessica performed in China in March as part of a Welsh Government Scheme; she toured around the country introducing Welsh music. Then toured with the Harry Ensemble as their soprano soloist around New York in May.

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.

October 13 is a very popular date, judging by the concert calendar.

There’s a special concert at Pontyberem Memorial Hall (7.30pm).

Sinfonia Cymru and and soloist Caroline Pether will breathe new life into well-known classics.

The concert will feature Eric Whitacre’s October Suite, Grieg’s Holberg Suite, Op. 40, Barber’s Adagio for Strings and Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons.

And on the same night there’s a big concert raising funds for Cancer Research UK at Tysul Hall in Llandysul (7pm).

The concert features the world famous Treorchy Male Voice Choir, conducted by Jeffrey Howard.

The President for the evening is ‘local hero’ baritone Kees Huysmans (Tregroes Waffles).

The special guests for the evening will be the much-acclaimed Tywi Valley musical duo, the husband and wife team of Aled Edwards and Eleri Owen Edwards.

It’s going to be a busy week for Aled and Eleri as this Saturday seems them performing at what’s described as a ‘late summer concert’ – the popular annual tradition of Cantorion Llandeilo Singers.

The concert is at Ysgol Bro Dinefwr, Llandeilo, on Saturday, October 6, with curtain-up at 7pm.

Cantorion Llandeilo Singers raise money for local charities through sponsorship and ticket sales. This year, the choir’s chosen charity is Tenovus.

The ticket price of £12 includes a finger buffet.

There will also be a licensed wine bar and a raffle.

Tickets are available from Peppercorn in King Street, Llandeilo, at the door, or by phoning 01558 685542.

There will be selections from Bernstein and Robat Arwyn from the Cantorion Llandeilo Singers and solos from three up-and-coming young singers who have received their musical education at Ysgol Bro Dinefwr.

Aled Edwards and Eleri Owen Edwards are well-loved Welsh international singing celebrities who have a farm at Cilycwm near Llandovery in the Tywi Valley.

Aled and Eleri have a CD of uplifting and inspirational duets, “Dau fel ni” (Two like us).

The mezzo-soprano and baritone are both Blue Riband (David Ellis Memorial Prize) National Eisteddfod winners.

As mentioned in previous columns, the popular Voskresenije (Resurrection) Choir of St Petersburg are on their way to West Wales and will be performing at St Mary’s Church in Kidwelly on Wednesday, October 10 (7pm).

This is the choir’s second visit to the area.

The choir is a Russian ‘a cappella’ ensemble of eight singers (two sopranos, two altos, countertenor, tenor, bass and basso profondo). The conductor is Jurij Maruk.

Resurrection was founded by Jurij Maruk in 1993.

The repertoire of the ensemble includes Russian Sacred Music as well as folk music.

In other news, on Saturday, October 20, at 3pm, Crwbin Silver Band will be taking part in a Parade and Service in Llanarthne for the statue unveiling of World War Two hero DT Davies.

Côr Meibion Dinefwr Male Voice Choir will be holding their annual concert at Capel Newydd, Llandeilo, on Saturday, October 27 (7.30pm).

The special guests will be Côr Meibion Llandybie Male Voice Choir.

The conductor will be John Williams, the accompanist will be Sara Morgan and the chairman for the evening will be Eifion Davies.

Other special guests include tenor Osian Wyn Bowen, soloist Martha Harries and accompanist Gareth Wyn Thomas.

Admission is £8 and £3 for children and students.

Proceeds will go towards the choir’s funds.

Tonight (Wednesday, October 3), one of Carmarthenshire’s finest will be returning ‘home’ for two special concerts.

John Owen-Jones is a Burry Port boy who has gone on to be an award-winning West End and Broadway star.

He will play Ffwrnes Theatre, Llanelli, tonight and the Lyric Theatre, Carmarthen, on Sunday, October 7.

John has played the lead role in The Phantom Of The Opera more than any other West End actor.

He was the youngest actor to ever play Jean Valjean in Les Misérables.

He will release his brand new album, called Spotlight, in the autumn.

This month, Carmarthen will also see another big name singer roll into town.

Russell Watson will be performing his new show, Canzoni d’Amore, at the Lyric on October 19.

Having sold more than seven million albums worldwide, Russell Watson is firmly established as the UK’s best-selling classical crossover artist of all time.

To date, his illustrious career has included performances for Her Majesty The Queen, The Pope and two US Presidents.

Russell is widely regarded as “The People’s Tenor”. Captivating to watch and enchanting to listen to, Russell Watson continues to wow audiences with his enigmatic and entertaining live performances.

The New York Times said of Russell Watson, “He sings like Pavarotti, and entertains the audience like Sinatra”.

Côr Meibion Llanelli Male Voice Choir members are looking forward to Christmas.

‘Christmas With The Choir’ will be held at 7pm on Saturday, December 1, at Ffwrnes Theatre, Llanelli.

The choir’s special guests will be Burry Port Town Band and the St John Lloyd School Choir.

The West End at Christmas

Also in December, The West End At Christmas returns to The Lyric theatre with their brand new concert for 2018!

Stars from the West End present a magical evening of entertainment featuring hits from the musicals and the best of Christmas songs.

The talented cast have starred in many West End productions and national tours including Les Miserables, We Will Rock You, South Pacific, Singing in the Rain, Starlight Express, Phantom Of The Opera, Wicked, Godspell, Joseph and Cats . . . to name but a few!

The West End At Christmas will at The Lyric on December 18.

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 rlloydpr@btinternet.com

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