It’s a very busy time for the young choristers from the Llanelli-based Hywel Girls’ Choir and Hywel Boy Singers – and the singing group Angelicus Celtis.
Fresh from a performance in Manchester Cathedral, they are set to bring their own style of Christmas Sparkle to West Wales.
They are staging ‘The Magic of Christmas’ at 7pm this Saturday, December 8, at St Catherine’s Church, Gorseinon.
And the following week (Saturday, December 15) they will be staging ‘Christmas Fantasia’ at Llanelli’s Ffwrnes Theatre (curtain up at 7pm).
The Gorseinon evening is billed as a chance to embrace the miracle of Christmas, portrayed through massed voices, congregational singing, music and narration, with the international broadcast and performance voices of the Hywel Girls’ Choir and Hywel Boy Singers and the acclaimed voices of the Angelicus Celtis.
The evening will also feature the Llanelli Choral Society, organist Huw Tregelles Williams OBE, percussionist Gareth Hamlin and narrator Jeremy Hywel.
The setting will be very festive inside the beautiful candlelit St. Catherine’s Church in Gorseinon.
Highlights of the evening will include great Christmas favourites such as the Hallelujah Chorus, Pie Jesu, O Holy Night, Star of Bethlehem, Ceremony of Carols, Away in a Manger, Silent Night, Benedictus, Gabriel’s Message, Carol of the Bells, Hark The Herald Angels Sing and O Come All Ye Faithful.
Tickets are £7 and available from 01792 893631, 07795 236807, church members or online at www.ticketsource.co.uk/themagicofchristmas
Doors open at St Catherine’s Church at 6.15pm.
The evening will be in aid of Church funds and initiatives.
The Christmas Fantasia at Ffwrnes Theatre on December 15 will celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Hywel Girls’ Choir and Hywel Boy Singers.
The Hywel Girls’ Choir and Hywel Boy Singers will be joined by Angelicus Celtis, stars of ITV’s Britain’s Got Talent, the symphonic sounds of the British Sinfonietta Orchestra, organist Huw Tregelles Williams OBE, pianist Jane Jewell, percussionist Gareth Hamlin and narrator Jeremy Hywel.
Festive highlights will include magical moments from The Nutcracker, The Hallelujah Chorus, Pie Jesu, O Holy Night, Star of Bethlehem, Ceremony of Carols, Away in a Manger, Silent Night, Benedictus, Gabriel’s Message, Carol of the Bells, Hark The Herald Angels Sing, O Come All Ye Faithful, Sleigh Ride and Troika.
Tickets are £20 and are available from 07795 236807.
Doors open 6.15pm.
This Saturday also sees the Llanelli Chamber Orchestra performing their annual Christmas Concert.
It’s at Glenalla Civic Hall, Llanelli, on Saturday (December 8) at 7.30pm.
The concert will feature music by Suppé, Beethoven, Mozart and Lehar.
Tickets cost £5 and are available at the door, or by phoning 01554 772594.
Also taking place this weekend (Saturday, December 8) will be the annual Christmas concert staged by Burry Port Town Band.
The venue is the Memorial Hall in Burry Port, 7pm start.
The concert will also feature Burry Port Junior Band, Father Christmas and special guests.
Congratulations are also due to the band for winning the 2018 First Section Welsh League Championship title and the Ruby Protheroe Memorial Trophy at the SEWBBA Cardiff Contest.
Last week, the band also performed with distinction at Côr Meibion Llanelli’s annual concert staged at Ffwrnes Theatre, Llanelli.
December will also see a special evening of Christmas music at The Miners’ Theatre in Ammanford.
Seasonal music and light-hearted fun are guaranteed at the December 15 concert in the cosy and intimate surroundings of The Miners’ Theatre.
The evening will be conducted and introduced by Welsh TV and radio personality Alwyn Humphreys.
The evening is billed as ‘Christmas By Candlelight’ and will feature the Chamber Orchestra of Wales.
Meanwhile, there’s a special concert coming up in December to raise funds for Burry Port Lifeboat Station.
The concert will feature acclaimed soprano Elin Manahan Thomas, Gary Griffiths and Osian Wyn Bowen.
It is being held at St Mary’s Church, Burry Port, on Saturday, December 22 (7pm).
Tickets for the Burry Port concert are £15 and are available from Cadno Travel or from the following phone numbers – 07795415411 and 07900893150.
Tenor Osian Wyn Bowen is a Burry Port boy, so the concert will have special meaning for him – and baritone Gary Griffiths.
Currently Osian is an undergraduate student, studying under the tutelage of renowned Tenor, Adrian Thompson at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in Cardiff.
Osian has already performed in concert with Sir Bryn Terfel, soprano Rebecca Evans and 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.
During the course of his short singing career, he already has a number of awards to his name – 2017 and 2018 – Minnie Morgan Scholarship Recipient; 2018 – Douglas Rees Young Opera Singer of the Year – Finalist; 2018 – Geraint Morris Memorial Award – Winner.
In other concert news, here are a few of the events coming up in the next few weeks –
- Ammanford and District Choral Society, conductor Mrs Indeg Thomas, are celebrating Christmas at Christian Temple Chapel Hall in Ammanford on Sunday, December 9, at 7pm. Soloist Huw-Ynyr Evans, presenter Mr Edwin Williams and accompanists Mrs Gloria Lloyd and Miss Catrin Edwards. Admission £5.
- Llandybie Male Voice Choir and Dinefwr Choir are presenting an evening of Carols and Readings on Friday, December 14 (7pm) at Llandybie Parish Church. Entry is Free, but a collection will be made at the end. By the way, Llandybie Male Voice Choir are in need of a Musical Director. Anyone who can help is asked to email Howard Beynon – firstname.lastname@example.org
- On Saturday December 15 Cor Merched Tybie will be holding their Christmas concert at Llandybie Rugby Club from 7pm.
- Llandyfaelog-based Côr Meibion Dyffryn Tywi are looking forward to their Christmas events. They include – Tuesday 11th December, Glanmorfa Care Home, Kidwelly, 6.30pm. Thursday 13 December, Towy Castle, 6.30pm. Tuesday 18th December, Red Lion, Llandyfaelog, 7pm. Thursday 20th December, Gwernllwyn Care Home, 6.30pm.
- Crwbin Silver Band Christmas Concert will be at Pontyberem Hall on Friday, December 14 (7pm). The concert will also feature Ysgol Maes y Gwendraeth choir and wind band. Tickets are £8 (children £5) and will be available at the door or from band members.
- The West End At Christmas will be at The Lyric Theatre in Carmarthen 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 December 15 (6pm). Tickets are £10 adults and £5 children.
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