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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 the Llanelli Star –

CARL Orff’s Carmina Burana is coming to Llanelli on September 30.

Under the musical direction of Piet Zorn, Llanelli Chamber Choir are joining forces with organist William Reynolds, pianist Siân Davies, and percussionists Gareth Hamlin, Huw Griffiths, Graham Bradley, Dave Danford and Alun Hathaway.

So, if you remember the famous tune from the Old Spice advert, then you are already in the right zone.

Just imagine this live performance surrounded by the medieval features of St Elli Church, together with the beautiful voices of the soloists Morgan Summers (soprano) and Kieran Rayner (baritone) bringing an atmospheric performance of Carmina Burana, one of the most iconic compositions of the 20th century.

Llanelli Chamber Choir was founded by Piet Zorn in October, 2021.

The aim of the choir is to bring a variety of classical and traditional music to Llanelli and add to the rich musical culture in south Wales.

The Llanelli Chamber Choir is much more than just performance.

Piet hopes that by providing a space, where people are welcome to sing regularly, this will improve wellbeing and the mental health within our community.

He has ensured that joining the choir is accessible to everyone who has the desire to learn and sing, bringing joy to both the participants and the audience members.

Singing together is a fantastic experience – it can elevate, free up headspace, boost confidence, and keep the mind active.

Piet Zorn is a professional opera singer, vocal teacher, pianist, and composer.

He currently teaches music at a comprehensive school and has many of his private students go on to study singing, theatre and some who have become professional singers themselves.

He graduated with a master’s degree in music education from the Hamburg College of Music and Drama and went on to teach music teachers in Germany before moving to Wales eight years ago.

He has performed in many operas and oratorios both in Germany and Wales. Regular recitals and choral concerts round up his professional career.

Piet’s desire to start a chamber choir in Llanelli filled a gap within the community for this style of music.

You can find out more about the Llanelli Chamber Choir on their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100090227216918

Meanwhile, Welsh National Opera is delighted to announce a new WNO Cradle Choir in Llanelli, partnering with Carmarthenshire Theatres and Ffwrnes Theatre, where the choir will be based.

Expanding on existing choirs in Milford Haven and Llandeilo, the new branch in Llanelli will broaden the reach of the Cradle Project into more communities across Wales.

WNO Cradle Choirs are choirs for people living with dementia, their friends and families, Cradle Choirs aim to provide fun, inclusive sessions where daily challenges and cares can be left at the door and connections made and enabled through the joy of community singing.

Cradle Choirs have proved to be significant hubs for social connection within the community and encourages participants to step out of their typical daily routine with a dose of singing. Cradle Choir is part of the wider WNO Cradle Project, which seeks to raise awareness of the disease within school children through a variety of workshops.

The new WNO Cradle Choir in Llanelli starts on Tuesday, September 19, initially running for eight weeks.

Sessions are led by David Fortey (Cradle Choir Vocal Leader) and pianist Mark Jones, who will incorporate a wide range of music from stage and screen to folk songs and popular music.

After the session, there are refreshments and an opportunity to socialise with other members of the choir.

On the announcement, WNO Producer Jennifer Hill, said: “We’re delighted to be able to pilot a new Cradle Choir in Llanelli. Members of our existing choirs in Milford Haven and Llandeilo tell us how much they value the companionship and fun they have singing together on a weekly basis and so being able to further extend the reach to another area and a more urban setting is very exciting.

“We’ve been very lucky to have support on the ground from fantastic people and organisations who are embedded in their communities and hope to be able to add to their amazing work.”

Reflecting on previous success with the Llandeilo Cradle Choir, Sue Smith, Community Project Manager for Hywel Dda University Health Board said: “The response from the community with the development of a Cradle Choir in Llandeilo has been very positive. The reason it worked so well is not only the ability of a small rural town to access the great partnership with Welsh National Opera but also the dynamic Llandeilo Dementia Friendly Community Group and their ability to draw on community skills to make this sustainable.”

If you would like to find out more about our Cradle Project or are interested in joining one of the choirs, please contact Jennifer Hill at jennifer.hill@wno.org.uk

Upcoming events at Carmarthenshire Theatres (Theatrau Sir Gar) include –

Edwina Hayes will be performing at the Miners’ Theatre in Ammanford on September 8.

Edwina brings together English folk, Americana and the rich Northern singer-songwriter tradition to create a sound that’s truly her own. She’s toured with Jools Holland, Van Morrison, Nanci Griffith and Loudon Wainwright III and played on some of the country’s biggest stages including Glastonbury and the Royal Albert Hall.

Edwina will be supported by The Eclectic Shed Experience.

Carmarthenshire-based band The Eclectic Shed Experience is made up of a trio of musicians – Ron Savory, Liz Crippin and Alan Thomas. Eclectic is the perfect word to describe the music ESE perform; having three songwriters means that there is a great deal of diversity in the style of their songs, and it would be impossible to limit the description of their material to one genre.

Eclectic Shed initially built a following as a duo, performing at festivals all over the UK and abroad. During this time, they shared the stage with luminaries including The Daoiri Farrell trio, Kieran Halpin, Edwina Hayes and Marla and David Celia.

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