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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

The busy ladies of Côr Curiad Choir in Llanelli are looking forward to another big year of charity fundraising.

The choir’s main event this year will be on Saturday, April 6, at Ffwrnes Theatre in Llanelli.

Their special guest will be TV star and X Factor winner Sam Bailey and her band.

The evening will also feature Ysgol y Strade pupil Martha Morgan and Angharad Elise Thomas, who runs her own drama company called The Hive in Llanelli.

Sam Bailey was born in Bexley, East London. Growing up, she enjoyed singing for her friends and family but never believed she was destined for stardom.

When she was younger, Sam entered talent competitions but always wanted to impress people by herself, rather than being talked up by family and friends.

However, her family did have a major influence on her musical career – her grandfather was a singer in a group called ‘The Four Vinos’ and her father was also in a band, so she was often in the company of musicians.

One of her earliest success stories was winning a ‘Search For A Star’ talent competition in Crayford Town Hall, Bexley as a 16-year-old. She went on to attend Bexley Arts College and Dartford’s Miskin Theatre to further develop her talent. 

Though singing was a passion, Sam admits that her first love in life was football. She played professionally for a number of clubs including Millwall Lionesses, West Ham, Crystal Palace and London Women.

Before she stole the hearts of the nation by winning the 10th series of The X Factor at Christmas 2013, Sam worked as a prison officer at HM Prison Gartree, as well as performing on cruise ships, in clubs and at music festivals for several years.

Despite her obvious nervousness during her first X Factor audition, she blew the judges away with her rendition of Beyoncé’s ‘Listen’, receiving a standing ovation and leading Gary Barlow to describe her voice as “incredible”. 

Under the mentorship of Sharon Osborne, Sam became a clear favourite on the show, dazzling audiences and judges alike with her stunning voice and natural stage presence.

She received more than a million votes over the course of the final weekend and was crowned winner of the show.

Following her triumph, her debut single, ‘Skyscraper’, reached Christmas number one and her debut album, The Power of Love stormed to the top of the UK album charts in 2014.

Sam is one of the most talented performers in the music business and her first headline tour in 2015 received rave reviews.

Sam lives in Leicester with her husband Craig, and their three children – Tommy, Brooke, and Miley. 

All proceeds from the Llanelli Côr Curiad concert will go to Marie Curie Wales.

The compere will be TV and radio personality and ‘local hero’ Kev Johns MBE. Tickets are £32 and £28.

Côr Curiad musical director Alex Esney said: “It’s the first time Sam has performed in Llanelli, so we are very excited.

“We are hoping to smash our charity fundraising target of £20,000 by the end of this year.

“We are also organising a Halloween themed ball for Marie Curie Wales, with the date and venue to be confirmed. 

“We are also planning our usual Stradey Castle Christmas events, dates to be announced later in the year. 2019 will also see a new Christmas concert at St Elli Parish Church in Llanelli.

“Our Christmas craft fayre at The Diplomat Hotel in Llanelli will be in November, plus we have an Autumn Leaves service in Burry Port on December 5.

“Côr Curiad will be celebrating 25 years in 2020, so, by popular demand, we will be having another Côr Curiad Calender Girls calender ready for 2020!”

In Llandyfaelog, the ‘boys’ of Côr Meibion Dyffryn Tywi have been hatching their plans for 2019.

Concert dates include – 

February 1, Llandybie Church.

October 12, Annual concert at the Gwenllian Centre, Kidwelly. The choir will be joined by Mynydd Mawr Choir and guests Trio and Piantel, with compere Eirian Wyn.

November 17, National Botanical Gardens of Wales, Llanarthne.

In other news, The Miners’ Theatre in Ammanford will be staging a St David’s Day Concert on Friday, March 1 (7pm).

The popular Cor Meibion Dyffryn Amman will share the stage with three highly-talented young musicians from the Ammanford area – clarinettist Catrin Soons and the beautiful voices of Neve Summers and Osian Clarke. The guest accompanist will be Joseph Cavalli-Price.

Ffwrnes Theatre in Llanelli always stages a hugely-popular St David’s Day concert. This year it will be held on Saturday, March 2.

The concert will feature the world-famous Morriston Orpheus Choir, conducted by Joy Amman Davies, and Côr Lleisiau’r Cwm, under the baton of Llanelli’s Catrin Hughes.

Sharing the spotlight will be two highly-talented young singers from the Loud Applause Rising Stars stable – mezzo soprano Nikkila Thomas, from Llanelli, and tenor Osian Clarke, from Tycroes. 

Wednesday, March 6 (7.30pm) will see the appearance of Gruffydd Wyn at Ffwrnes Theatre, Llanelli.

Gruffydd is a talented Classical crossover artist who hails from Anglesey, North Wales.

A singer from an early age, he has dedicated his life to following his dream of becoming a world class vocal performer.

Gruffydd has recently seen success as a finalist on the talent show ‘Britain’s Got Talent’, where he received Amanda Holden’s Golden Buzzer.

During the series, he received widespread acclaim for his big voice and professional performances under pressure, with judges’ comments such as ‘Epic, phenomenal and outrageously good’ and Simon Cowell calling him ‘The musical version of Rocky’.

If your taste veers to pop and folk, then you’ll enjoy Barbara Dickson in concert at The Lyric Theatre, Carmarthen, on Friday, March 8 (7.30pm).

Barbara will perform a wonderful range of material, drawing on her folk roots as well as performing globally known hits such as The Caravan Song, Another Suitcase in Another Hall plus lots more.

The Lyric will also be the venue for one of the UK’s longest-running musical theatre concert tours – Beyond the Barricade (Saturday, March 23, 7.30pm).

The show features past principal performers from Les Miserables.

It will deliver more than two hours of the best of Broadway and the West End and, of course, end with a stunning finale from Les Mis.

The concert features David Fawcett (Valjean) Andy Reiss (Enjolras and Resident Director for the National Tour of Les Miserables) Katie Leeming (Eponine) and Poppy Tierney (Cosette), together with a live band who capture the feel of the original orchestrations of the chosen musicals.

To this day every musical note is still played and sung live – very rare indeed.

Beyond the Barricade gives musical theatre songs a bold concert format treatment – but with the conviction and intention to deliver the material as if the audience are watching the original performance. This incredible concert is now in its 19th successive year.

April sees the spotlight fall on local theatre group Curtain Up at Ffwrnes Theatre, Llanelli.

They will be performing Broadway and Beyond on Wednesday and Thursday, April 3 and 4 (7pm start).

Broadway and Beyond will be an evening of musical songs from the wonderful world of the stage and your favourite movie films – from La la land, Les Miserables, Chess, Avenue Q, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and many more.

Tickets will be £12 and in aid of Alzheimer’s.

April will also see 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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