There’s a big concert raising funds for Cancer Research UK at Tysul Hall in Llandysul (7pm) this Saturday, October 13.
The concert features the world famous Treorchy Male Voice Choir, conducted by Jeffrey Howard.
Choirs have existed in the Rhondda Valley for more than a 150 years and Treorchy is one of the best known from the area.
One of its first male choirs was formed in the Red Cow Hotel in the summer of 1883 and developed into a National Eisteddfod winner, culminating in a royal command performance for Queen Victoria at Windsor Castle in 1895.
The choir would later disband after the South Wales Valleys suffered during the massive economic downturn of the Great Depression in the United Kingdom and two World Wars.
The present Treorchy Male Choir was reformed on October 16, 1946, under the baton of John Haydn Davies, who led the choir for 20 years.
They reached musical distinction in the Royal National Eisteddfod by gaining a record eight national wins, making a total of 22 first prizes out of 27 entries.
Treorchy was to become the first male choir to venture into the field of popular music and subsequently the choir has made more than 50 commercial recordings.
Their popular music productions include an album of music by Freddie Mercury and Queen and two recordings of music by Bob Marley, but they have also recorded more classical works. They became the first British choir to perform Sibelius’ Kullervo Symphony in Finnish.
The choir has performed with various celebrities, in concerts, on recordings, and on television.
Their collaborations include performances with Tom Jones, Ella Fitzgerald, Julie Andrews, Harry Secombe, Burt Bacharach, Shirley Bassey, Gwyneth Jones, Michael Ball, Katherine Jenkins, Iris Williams, Max Boyce, Bryn Terfel, Aled Jones, Charlotte Church, Ozzy Osbourne, Jon Bon Jovi, Cliff Richard, Andrea Bocelli, McFly, Russell Watson and Il Divo.
Since the early 1980s, the choir has undertaken a number of overseas tours, beginning with two visits to Canada and a performance in Strasbourg Cathedral for its congregation of 6,000 people.
A series of four tours of the USA followed, with visits to the White House and performances in San Francisco, Denver, Seattle and the Mid West.
Treorchy has also enjoyed a close connection with Australia, becoming the first Welsh choir to appear at the Sydney Opera House in 1986.
The choir has made two further visits to Australia appearing in Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide and Melbourne and making a return to the Opera House in Sydney.
In Britain, the choir has appeared on the Royal Variety Performance and has become a regular entertainer on the turf of the Millennium Stadium for various rugby union international games.
The President for the evening in Llandysul 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.
Aled and Eleri 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.
There’s another major concert in Carmarthen this weekend.
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.
This Saturday (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 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.
In other news, Loud Applause Productions is once again supporting the Royal British Legion in their Charity Gala Concert at the Lyric Theatre in Carmarthen on October 27 (7pm).
This year, 2018, is a significant year for our Armed Forces, marking the centenary of the end of The Great War and also commemorating 100 years of the Royal Air Force.
This 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.
The event helps the Royal British Legion launch the Poppy Appeal in South West Wales.
The concert features one of our leading sopranos, Shân Cothi, the popular broadcaster.
It also features one of Wales’ premier choirs, Dunvant Male Choir, the highly popular Carmarthen based mixed youth Côr Seingar, 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 will be Jeffrey Howard.
The evening ends with the poignant Tribute to the Fallen and a Service of Remembrance.
Meanwhile, this year’s Night with the Stars event in Llanelli celebrates the fifth anniversary of LARS – Loud Applause Rising Stars.
The evening features 10 talented singers from the Loud Applause stable and top choirs The Richard Williams Singers from Tonyrefail, Côr Y Cwm from the Rhondda, Callum Howells and Friends from the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in Cardiff, trombonist Rhodri Thomas from Llanelli and compère Garry Owen.
The Rising Stars performing will include: Callum Howells, Stephen Davies, Nia Rees, Osian Clarke, Lauren Fisher, Keely Morgan, Neve Summers, Jack Owens, Daisy Owens and Sydney Richards.
The concert is at Ffwrnes Theatre, Llanelli, on November 10 (7pm).
As mentioned in previous columns, the popular Voskresenije (Resurrection) Choir of St Petersburg will be performing at St Mary’s Church in Kidwelly tonight (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.
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.
This month, Carmarthen will see a 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 firstname.lastname@example.org