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Latest On Song column

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Latest On Song column

Posted By Robert Lloyd

Latest On Song column from the Carmarthen Journal and Llanelli Star –

IF you like big ‘raise the roof’ choirs, then ‘The Lyric’ theatre in Carmarthen is the place to be on Saturday, April 1.

The famous Pendyrus Male Choir will be teaming up with the youngsters from Loud Applause Rising Stars (LARS) in what promises to be an inspirational evening of song.

LARS has a very close association with Pendyrus. Last year, the choir held a fundraising concert for LARS in their home village of Tylorstown in the Rhondda Fach, featuring youngsters from Rising Stars and the choir.

Later in the year, LARS performed once again with the choir in the ‘Night with the Stars’ Gala Concert in Llanelli.

LARS singers are often seen on stage with the choir across south Wales and across the border.

Pendyrus Male Choir has been at the forefront of the Welsh Male Choir world since its beginning back in 1924 – nearly 100 years ago!

It has boasted famous musical directors such as Arthur Duggan MBE, Glynne Jones MBE, John Samuel and Stewart Roberts.

It is now under the baton of Ieuan Jones and its accompanist Gavin Parry is a legend in the choral world, having been helping choirs for a remarkable 50 years!

Gavin Parry will be at the piano at The Lyric and the guest conductor will be the celebrated Dr Alwyn Humphreys MBE.

Osian Clarke and Lauren Elizabeth Williams will be the two members of LARS being featured as soloists on The Lyric stage.

Boasting more than 80 members and multiple Eisteddfod wins, the Pendyrus choristers are always in demand – whether it’s performing to thousands of rugby fans at the Principality Stadium, or on some of the Wales’s biggest stages.

Guest conductor Alwyn Humphreys combines two busy careers as a television presenter and choral/orchestral conductor. He is Principal Guest Conductor of the Chamber Orchestra of Wales and Conductor Emeritus of the Morriston Orpheus Choir.

The concert starts at 7.30pm and tickets are £14 and £12.

You can get tickets from The Lyric box office or from the Theatrau Sir Gar website at –


LARS soloist Osian Clarke is 22 and is a former Head Boy at Ysgol Dyffryn Aman in Ammanford.

He is currently in his fourth year of studies at the very prestigious Royal Academy of Music in London, where he is studying a BMus degree course in Vocal Performance and Opera Studies.

Osian has recently become a member of the world-famous Philharmonia Chorus. Osian has performed with the chorus at numerous concerts, including at Festival Hall with the Philharmonia Orchestra and at the Royal Albert Hall with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.

Through LARS he has been able to significantly develop his solo singing opportunities, being much in demand as a soloist. He has performed at many prestigious events including alongside the Morriston Orpheus choir, Pendyrus Male Choir, at the 2022 Brecon Choir Festival with Dunvant Male Choir and Aberhonddi and District Male Choir, Llanelli’s Ffwrnes Theatre, All Saints Oystermouth and Dinas Powys.

A highlight was performing as one of the LARS soloists at the prestigious World War Two Liberation Concert in the city of s’Hertogenbosch, Netherlands, in 2018.

Osian attended the Junior Conservatoire at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in Cardiff and won a major competition there – ‘The Betty Richards’ prize.

In 2019 he was the recipient of the inaugural Cronfa’r Utgorn Bursary which is awarded to very talented young musicians.

He has appeared on S4C’s Heno and Noson Lawen programmes and was a guest soloist on Rhys Meirion’s 20th Anniversary Tour.

As part of his studies in London, Osian gets the chance to regularly perform both as part of the first and second year’s ensemble concerts and as a soloist in Performance Platforms. These have taken place in Duke’s Hall, David Josefowitz Recital Hall, Angela Burgess Recital Hall and the Henry Wood Room.

Osian has received three Friends of LARS bursaries, a St Elli Lodge bursary and a Cronfa’r Utgorn bursary.

LARS soprano soloist Lauren Elizabeth Williams is from Glynneath and in her third year at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in Cardiff on the BMus degree course in Vocal Performance and Opera Studies.

Lauren has performed for Pendyrus Male Choir, Treorchy Male Choir, Morriston RFC Male Choir, Pontarddulais Male Choir, Cor Meibion Llanelli Male Choir, Brecon Male Choir and Dunvant Male Choir.

As winner of the Dunvant Young Singers Competition in 2020, Lauren was invited to perform last year at the 125th Anniversary Concert of the choir at the Brangwyn Hall, sharing the stage with Sir Bryn Terfel. Last year she also shared the stage with Rhys Meirion in a much-acclaimed concert.

Lauren was a member of the Welsh National Youth Opera for five years and was also a member of the Hywel Girls Choir and Boy Singers From Llanelli and Angelicus Celtis.

Finally, don’t forget this Saturday at Ffwrnes Theatre in Llanelli, when the much-admired Curtain Up Theatre Company are staging their annual fundraising show show at Ffwrnes Theatre, Llanelli.

The show is called “Those Were The Days” and is a trip down memory lane, with songs from the 60s and 70s.

The production is being directed by John-Paul Jones. Doors open at 6.30pm and the show starts at 7pm.

Tickets are £14 and all the proceeds will go to the Llanelli-based Links mental health charity, who provide support and learning opportunities to those experiencing mental ill-health.

Tickets are available at the Ffwrnes box office and through the Theatrau Sir Gar website at https://www.theatrausirgar.co.uk/en

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