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The latest ‘On Song’ column from the Carmarthen Journal and Llanelli Star

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

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The latest ‘On Song’ column from the Carmarthen Journal and Llanelli Star

Posted By Robert Lloyd

There’s a very special community Christmas concert taking place in Carmarthen this weekend to raise funds for the landmark St Peter’s Church in the town.

The Friends of St Peter’s Church are holding the Community Christmas Concert on Sunday, December 16, at 6pm.

Its main aim is to bring people together as a community to celebrate Christmas – and to raise much-needed funds for St Peter’s Church as it faces an uncertain future.

The talented Carmarthen Symphonic Wind Band will be the main performers.

They will be joined by pupils from QE High School, Ysgol Gyfun Gymraeg Bro Myrddin and St Peter’s Church Choir.

Tickets are £5 per adult, with under 16s free, making it an affordable family concert.

A warm welcome has been extended to community and town councils, local community groups and churches and chapels in the hope all can unite to celebrate a community Christmas.

A warm welcome and a mince pie awaits if you are able to attend!

Meanwhile, 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 performances in Manchester Cathedral and St Catherine’s Church, Gorseinon, they are set to bring their own style of ‘Christmas Sparkle’ to West Wales.

On Saturday, December 15, they will be staging ‘Christmas Fantasia’ at Llanelli’s Ffwrnes Theatre (curtain up at 7pm).

The Christmas Fantasia 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 weekend also sees 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.

Later this month, there’s a special concert coming up 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.

Elin Manahan Thomas is one of the most exceptional sopranos of her generation.

Since releasing her début album ‘Eternal Light’ in 2007, with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, she has performed at many of the world’s most prestigious venues and festivals, and with leading orchestras and conductors.

Perhaps most famously known for her performances of baroque masterpieces – such as Handel’s Eternal Source of Light Divine at the London 2012 Paralympics Opening Ceremony – Elin is equally at home performing classical and contemporary works.

Elin has performed across Europe at major venues and festivals, including: the Edinburgh, Canterbury, Three Choirs, Llangollen, Mostly Mozart and Lufthansa festivals, St John’s Smith Square, Wigmore Hall, Royal Albert Hall, Birmingham Town Hall, Bridgewater Hall, Casa de Musica in Porto, Zurich Tonhalle, and the Concertgebouw Amsterdam.

In May 2018 she was honoured to perform at the Royal Wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.

Baritone Gary Griffiths is a Burry Port boy.

He made his Royal Opera House stage debut in 2017 singing the role of Solanio in Keith Warner’s WNO production of The Merchant of Venice. He also made his Teatro di San Carlo (Naples) debut in concert, singing Arthus in Le Rois Arthus.

Winner of the Welsh Singers Competition in 2012, Gary Griffiths was a finalist representing Wales in the 2013 BBC Cardiff Singer of the World. He studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama where, in 2009, he won the prestigious Gold Medal Competition.

A committed recitalist, appearances include the Oxford Lieder Festival with Joan Rodgers and Sholto Kynoch in a recital of Russian Song, the Cowbridge Music Festival with Joseph Middleton, King’s Place with Iain Burnside, the Ludlow English Song Weekend with Simon Lepper and the Wigmore Hall with Malcolm Martineau.

Tenor Osian Wyn Bowen is also a Burry Port boy.

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.

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 – 

  • 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 – howsonk@btinternet.com
  • On Saturday December 15 Cor Merched Tybie will be holding their Christmas concert at Llandybie Rugby Club from 7pm.
  • Tomorrow, Thursday, December 13, sees The Phil Harmonics perform at The Waun Wyllt Inn in Five Roads.
  • Llandyfaelog-based Côr Meibion Dyffryn Tywi are looking forward to their Christmas events. They include – 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.

Finally, a diary date for next year – Early notification of performances of The Passion Of The Christ, to be performed on Good Friday, April 19, and Easter Saturday, April 20.

The acclaimed voices of the Hywel Girls’ Choir and Hywel Boy Singers, Angelicus Celtis and friends will present The Passion of The Christ, a blend of varied choral and vocal works, blended with narration and theatre to be held in South Wales over Easter weekend 2019.

This unique performance will present a dramatic retelling of the story of the life and crucifixion of Christ bringing together associated choir and vocal ensembles blending music and poetry from Bach, Barber, Jenkins, Mozart, Webber, Telemann, Dylan Thomas, Elizabeth Browning, Emily Dickson, Langston Hughes and Mary Oliver to name but a few.

The passion will include opportunities for solo singers, duet, trios, small group chorale and main choir and different roles associated with the life and crucifixion of Christ.

Auditions for these singing opportunities will be held in in the Llanelli area during the weekend of January 19.

Singing auditions for will be open to the general public, both young and adult voices (soprano, alto tenor, bass) and open to both choristers of the Hywel choir and singers beyond.

If you are interested in learning more about the auditions for The Passion of the Christ, please register your interest by contacting Jeremy Williams at jeremywilliams@me.com

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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