This Saturday sees two big concerts in Carmarthenshire – one in Carmarthen and one in Llandeilo.
In Carmarthen, it is the annual Royal British Legion Charity Gala Concert at the Lyric Theatre (7pm).
In Llandeilo, it is Côr Meibion Dinefwr Male Voice Choir’s annual concert at Capel Newydd (7.30pm).
Both events are sure to be well supported, with tickets in high demand.
The prestigious annual Royal British Legion Concert in Carmarthen 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.
This year, 2018, is a significant year for our Armed Forces, marking the centenary of the end of The Great War (World War One) and also commemorating 100 years of the Royal Air Force.
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.
Shân Cothi hardly needs an introduction to a Welsh audience.
She is a versatile performer in both classical and music theatre repertoire and is an experienced actress, television and radio presenter in Wales. She began her career as a music teacher, but winning the Blue Riband for the best classical soloist at the National Eisteddfod of Wales in 1995 prompted her to become a professional singer.
Her career as a singer has spanned a range of music styles from opera, oratorio, music theatre, jazz, welsh song to contemporary music. She has performed throughout the world in a variety of venues from the Wales Millennium Centre to Her Majesty’s Theatre in London’s West End, from the Ritz- Carlton Hotel, San Francisco to the Kowloon Shanghai Hotel in Hong Kong.
Shân performed the role of Carlotta in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s West End production of The Phantom of the Opera for 15 months in the West End, London. Her self-titled music television series for S4C won a BAFTA award was nominated for the best music programme in the Montreux Festival.
Following the release of her debut album Passione with the Welsh National Chamber Orchestra on the Sain Label in 2005, a promotional video of one of the tracks was voted ‘Most Watched Video’ on Classic FM television.
Shân made her television acting debut playing the role of Davina Roberts in the highly successful drama series ‘Con Passionate’ for S4C and was nominated in the ‘Best Newcomer’ category at the 2006 BAFTA Cymru awards.
Shân has presented a number of television series for S4C andhas also presented programmes for both Radio Wales and Radio Cymru.
Dunvant Male Choir enjoys the distinction of being the oldest continuously serving choir in Wales.
It was formed in 1895 by a group of miners, steelworkers and quarrymen from the membership of the local Ebenezer Congregational Chapel.
It was initially called the Ebenezer Excelsior Male Voice Party, but as its membership grew, its name was shortened to the current Dunvant Male Choir (Côr Meibion Dyfnant in Welsh).
Acknowledged universally as one of the more accomplished and friendly choirs on the concert circuit, the choir is under the able leadership of Jonathan Rogers.
The choir has made frequent visits to USA, Canada and Europe, including Germany France and Ireland.
The choir has performed 10 times at the Royal Albert Hall, London, often as the sole male choir, also at the Chapel of Kings College Cambridge, the chapel of Harvard University, the Roy Thompson Hall in Toronto and in the ancient U.K. Cathedrals including Chichester, Exeter, Gloucester, Hereford, Lichfield, Salisbury and York.
The compére for the Royal British Legion Concert 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.
Llandeilo’s big concert on Saturday sees Côr Meibion Dinefwr Male Voice Choir holding their annual concert at Capel Newydd, Llandeilo.
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.
Welsh tenor Osian Wyn Bowen is from Burry Port.
Currently he is an undergraduate student, studying under English National Opera Tenor Jeff Stewart at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in Cardiff.
Osian has already performed in concert with Sir Bryn Terfel, Soprano Rebecca Evans, Soprano Elin Manahan Thomas, Baritone Gary Griffiths, Tenors Aled Hall and Rhys Meirion.
Venues include the RWCMD Dora Stoutzker Hall, St. David’s Hall, The Principality Stadium, Wales Millennium Centre, Llandaff Cathedral, Venue Cymru, The O2 Arena, The Queen’s Theatre, London, Houses of Parliament, Buckingham Palace and the Milford Haven Music Festival.
He has worked with some of Wales and the world’s best coaches and accompanists including, Jeff Howard, Simon Lepper, Joseph Middleton, Kathryn Harries and Dr. Laura Osgood Brown.
Choral performances and concerts include ‘Gloria – Vivaldi’, ‘Beethoven’s 9th Symphony’, ‘Mozart’s Requiem’, and ‘Stabat Mater – Szymanowski’.
Osian is also a popular soloist for various concerts and oratorios under the baton of Edward Rhys Harry, the most recent being Saint Sëan Christmas Oratorio, Handel’s Messiah and Mozart’s Vesperae Solennes De Confessore.
Television appearances include S4C’s ‘Heno’,‘Les Mis – Y Daith’, Cyngerdd y 10 Tenor, Noson Lawen and BBC’s Songs of Praise.
Recent highlights include performing as part of trio in a live broadcast on BBC1 to mark the Passchendaele Centenary at Tyne Cot Cemetery in Belgium. The tribute to Welsh poet Hedd Wyn was performed in the presence of members Royal Family and European Ministers.
Other highlights include playing the lead role of Jean Valjean in Les Miserables as part of the Urdd’s National Theatre company’s 10 Year Anniversary production at the WMC, Cardiff.
In addition to his busy schedule, Osian is a patron of the charity Welsh Hearts and is an active volunteer crew member of Burry Port Lifeboat Station.
His list of awards includes – 2017 and 2018 – Minnie Morgan Scholarship Recipient. 2018 – Douglas Rees Young Opera Singer of the Year – Finalist.
Admission is £8 and £3 for children and students. Proceeds will go towards the choir’s funds.
In other news, there’s a concert with a difference coming up in the Gwendraeth Valley next month (November).
It will manage to combine the launch of a book about a modern-day Welsh hero with a musical evening showcasing some of our finest singers.
A new book, called ‘The Stories of Grav’ and compiled and edited by the celebrated tenor Rhys Meirion, is to be launched on Friday, November 9, in Pontyberem Hall.
After the book launch, Rhys Meirion will be the star player in a concert at Pontberem Hall, starting at 7pm.
The concert will also feature Elin Fflur, Aled Wyn Davies and Theatr Ieuenctid Menter Cwm Gwendraeth Elli.
The Pontyberem concert is being sponsored by Castell Howell, the Carmarthen and Cross Hands-based food business.
Tickets for the concert are £15 and £5 for children.
Ticket outlets include:
Neuadd Pontyberem 01269871075
Menter Cwm Gwendraeth Elli 01269871600
Swyddfa Llyfrau Llafar Cymru 01267238225
Siop y Pentan Caerfyrddin 01267235044
Back in Llanelli, 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).
There was disappointment last week for fans of Russell Watson, who was scheduled to bring his new show called Canzoni d’Amore at the Lyric on October 19.
Russell suffered a throat infection and was forced to postpone his Carmarthen appearance under doctor’s orders.
The concert has now been re-scheduled to Tuesday November 27 at the Lyric.
Finally, 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.
The Kidwelly Festival Ladies Choir will be performing at a Grand Christmas Concert and Vintage Fashion Show at Carmarthen Museum, Abergwili, on December15 (6pm). Tickets are £10 adults and £5 children. It promises to be a fun night.
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