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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 talented Corran Singers will feature in a special concert at St Peter’s Church, Carmarthen, next month.

The Laugharne-based choir will be singing to raise much-needed funds for Carmarthen’s historic church.

The concert is on Friday, March 27, at 7pm. Tickets are £7.

The Corran Singers choir was formed in 1994 by people who loved choral singing.

In October 2005, the choir went on their first choir tour to Pipriac, in Brittany, singing in Pampont Abbey, and Pipriac Church.

Membership currently stands at 43.

In the 26 years of the choir’s history, their philosophy has remained unchanged – they sing for the joy of singing, they give their services free of charge and have raised thousands of pounds for charitable causes along the way.

The choir has built up a varied repertoire. Aiming to appeal to all ages, their music ranges from the Faure – Cantique De Jean Racine, The Trumpet shall Sound, a choral anthem, to songs from West End musicals and more traditional Welsh items, Y Tangnefeddwyr, Gwcw Fach to the Teddy Bears’ Picnic and the African National Anthem.

The Corran Singers are led by musical director Heather Jenkins.

They have produced two CDs, entitled Every Morning When I Wake and Evening at Sundown, both named after words from the writing of Dylan Thomas, the world famous poet, who lived in Laugharne.

In October 2008, the choir toured France, visiting Paris and on to Caen, giving two concerts, one in St Catherine’s Church in Honfleur and the other in the Eglise Reforme Church in Caen. In 2013, the choir visited Cork, Ireland, singing in St Fin Barre’s Cathedral and St Anne’s Church Shandon. In 2016, the choir visited Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral and the Welsh Church of London and St James’ Church Paddington.

Tickets for March 27 are available from the Church Wardens at St Peter’s, A Dean Carpets & Flooring (by the train station) or by phoning 07974 772393. Tickets can also be purchased online at https://www.ticketsource.co.uk

The choir will be helping preserve the rich history of St Peter’s, the much-loved church in the centre of Carmarthen.

St Peter’s is first recorded in the Chronicles of Battle Abbey, when it was donated to Battle Abbey, along with a monastic house known as Llandeulyddog, in about 1110.

Llandeulyddog was founded in the 6th Century and it is thought that St Peter’s is the sole survivor of a number of churches, associated with the monastery, which once stood within the walls of the old Roman town of Moridunum.

St Peter’s would have been a simple timber church in this period and not the impressive stone building it is today. As a church, it has served Carmarthen for more than 1500 years.

The church is home to the tomb of Sir Rhys ap Thomas, who was instrumental in the accession of the Lancastrian Henry Tudor to the throne when he became King Henry VII in 1485.

There is also an interesting story behind the organ at St Peter’s.

The organ was ordered by King George III (1760-1820) and was intended for Windsor Castle. It was built by George Pike England but was never installed in the Castle for reasons unknown.

It was bought for St Peter’s Church by private subscription and erected in the south end of the gallery in 1796. In 1851 it was moved to the north transept, which involved the destruction of the medieval arch between transept and nave. In 1865 it was rebuilt by J. W. Walker and moved back to the north end of the gallery.

It was finally placed in its present position in 1886, although the present casework dates from a rebuild of 1896.

The organ underwent a major reconstruction in 1958 when the detached console was fitted and the action was electrified. The rebuilding in 2001 was undertaken as a result of the subsidence that was affecting its foundations and the opportunity was taken to update the action with electronic components and add additional stops.

In other news, musical links which have been developed between Carmarthenshire, Cardiff and Hungary took a novel twist earlier this month during Welsh Language Music Day.

A popular café in central Budapest, Hungary, surprised guests with a new name – Y Tair Cigfran – Welsh pop music and a bilingual drinks menu on the fifth annual Dydd Miwsig Cymru (Welsh Language Music Day).

Having hosted Welsh Language Music Day events with live bands in previous years, Budapest café Három Holló (The Three Ravens in English) went one step further, adopting a Welsh-language name and a specially curated music playlist for one night only.

Visitors to Y Tair Cigfran were invited to enjoy a “coffi” or a “cwrw” as they browsed a special edition bilingual drinks menu.

To the surprise of locals and tourists alike, the venue featured Welsh-language hits throughout the night, with a range of songs from the likes of Super Furry Animals, Cate Le Bon and Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci playing in the background.

Those ordering food and drinks at the counter were also encouraged to put their language skills to the test, thanks to basic Welsh phrases and a Hungarian phonetic guide by Welsh-Hungarian information hub Magyar Cymru.

The unusual “rebrand” was arranged by Welshophile music fan and record collector László Záhonyi, in partnership with Három Holló café and Balint Brunner, Editor of Magyar Cymru.

László Záhonyi, who has been organising Welsh Language Music Day events in his native Hungary for several years, said: “I fondly remember the moment I came across the Welsh language for the first time.

“I was reading The Pendragon Legend, a novel by Hungarian writer Antal Szerb, and he claimed the Welsh language had a wonderful sound, like something from another world. Before I knew it, I’d fallen in love with Welsh culture and boasted the biggest Welsh-language record collection in Hungary.

“I don’t understand much of the lyrics, but that doesn’t stop me. I just listen to the tune and let the words stay a mystery – a story from another world, just like Szerb said it!”

Next month, Hungarian and Welsh families will come together in Cardiff for an annual celebration of their close cultural ties.

Held in the Urdd Hall of the iconic Wales Millennium Centre, the fourth Welsh-Hungarian Concert and Folk Dance Event is set to take place on March 14, to tie in with St David’s Day and one of Hungary’s national holidays.

The concert series is organised by Hungarian-born classical singer Elizabeth Sillo and the Kodály Violin School of Carmarthenshire, directed by Dorothy Singh.

Over the years, many acclaimed Welsh and Hungarian folk artists, the 1st Hungarian Hussar Banderium UK and members of the National Chorus of Wales have all joined the initiative.

Három Holló (The Three Ravens), in downtown Budapest triples as a bar, an art gallery, and a concert venue. Named after the favourite watering hole of Hungarian poet Endre Ady, it is renowned by Hungarians and tourists alike for its variety of events.

Magyar Cymru is a hub for Welsh-Hungarian news, events and stories, launched in 2019 by Editor, Balint Brunner. You can follow Magyar Cymru on Facebook and Twitter (@MagyarCymru).

  • If you have news about the choral or concert scene in Llanelli, email robert.lloyd01@walesonline.co.uk or rlloydpr@btinternet.com

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