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Latest On Song column – April 17

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Latest On Song column – April 17

Posted By RobertLloyd58

A west Wales charity, which is designed to help mentor talented young musicians, has celebrated its 10thanniversary in style.

Members of Loud Applause Rising Stars (LARS) took part in a special celebration night hosted by Kevin Johns MBE at The Diplomat Hotel in Llanelli.

Cerith Owens, the chairman of Loud Applause Rising Stars explained how the charity started –

“Ten years ago, it all started with an idea. Through Loud Applause Production concerts, we were able to showcase young, talented musicians. This led to the realisation that a separate organisation was needed to nurture and support these emerging talents.

“It was named Loud Applause Rising Stars. Over time, the name was shortened to LARS to avoid confusion with Loud Applause Productions.

“LARS is a charitable organisation supported by volunteers and patrons who are known as the Friends of LARS.

“To establish LARS and lend it credibility, we assembled a team of respected musicians and experienced professionals.

“Our first meeting was around the kitchen table with Alison Owens, Susan Roberts (now our Vice Chair), Andrew Pike, and myself. We were fired up at the prospect of what could be achieved. Soon after, Catrin Hughes (who has been with us now for nearly 10 years) and Hywel Bassett (our treasurer for eight years) joined us.

“At the beginning, we received numerous inquiries from young singers eager to join LARS, particularly from the Llanelli area.

“Samuel Wyn Morris was the first to be invited into LARS, emerging as one of our greatest ambassadors. Subsequently, we encountered talented individuals from beyond our local area, like Callum Scott-Howells, star of It’s A Sin, The Way and The Beautiful Game.

“To enhance the LARS Team, we appointed Huw Tregelles Williams OBE as our Honorary Patron. Stewart Roberts joined our music team, broadening LARS’s reach to East Wales, while Mark Llewelyn Evans became our Musical Ambassador.

“Key members also included Louise Fleet, who is now the Lord Lieutenant of West Glamorgan, along with Alun Gibbard, Andrew Windsor, Helen Hansen Williams, Carol Collier, Shirley Sullivan and guest accompanist Sian Davies.

“LARS operates as a voluntary organisation, and the dedication required from team members can be demanding, subject to changing individual circumstances. Despite losing some exceptional team members over the years for various reasons, we must always acknowledge their commitment and hard work for LARS.

“In the past two years, we’ve reinforced the team with new members to infuse fresh perspectives, ideas, and expertise. Welcome additions include Eirwen and Maurice Clarke, Ryan Wood, and Hywel Houghton-Jones.

“Now operating at full strength, our primary focus remains on supporting our Rising Stars Members.

“The evolution of LARS over the past decade reflects a journey marked by steadfast support from team members, Friends of LARS, and dedicated supporters. Many have been with us throughout our 10-year journey, contributing to what LARS has become today.

“We are proud of the fact that we have supported more than 30 young people.

“Looking towards the future, with 15 members currently, most are either in conservatoires or music colleges, or will be attending in the autumn.

“This presents a prime opportunity to welcome new, younger members, ideally around 15 or 16 years old.

“We continue to support our members until they complete their studies, providing mentorship, staging opportunities, and bursaries along the way.

“This funding for bursaries comes from our patrons, external bursary sponsors, as well as gifts and legacies.

“Our celebrations will extend throughout the year, concluding with a third visit to the World War Two Liberation Commemorations in the city of s’Hertogenbosch in the Netherlands, where we will showcase five of our Rising Stars in prestigious concerts and events.

“Our gratitude goes to Lieutenant Colonel David Mathias in his role as the international cultural ambassador for the city’s commemorations and for facilitating our visit there once again.

“The next decade holds the promise of another successful period for LARS.”

You can find out more about Loud Applause Rising Stars on their website at – https://www.loudapplauserisingstars.co.uk

Huw Tregelles Williams was Honorary Patron for 10 years. On his departure, he wisely suggested, it was essential to welcome new blood and someone younger into our fold.

The new LARS Honorary Patron is Trystan Llyr Griffiths, an internationally acclaimed soloist, counted among Wales’s finest young singers.

Enjoying widespread popularity across Wales, regularly appearing on TV, in concerts, opera performances, and as a soloist at the Millennium Stadium before rugby matches, Trystan honed his craft as a student at prestigious institutions such as the Royal Academy of Music and the National Opera Studio in London, and the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in Cardiff.

Among his many accolades, he was named the ‘Voice of Wales’ by Decca Records after a search of more than 600 singers in a series televised by S4C.

He was also one of the first recipients of a Study Award from the Bryn Terfel Foundation, a MOCSA winner and a recipient of the prestigious W Towyn Roberts Scholarship at the National Eisteddfod of Wales.

His self-titled debut album was released on the SAIN label.

Trystan has announced he will be the host at this year’s Night with the Stars Gala concert on October 5 at Ffwrnes Theatre, Llanelli.

This weekend, the busy ladies of the popular Côr Curiad Choir in Llanelli have a special concert coming up right in the heart of the town.

The historic St Elli Parish Church will be the venue for a spring charity concert on Friday, April 19 (7pm).

All proceeds from the concert will go towards church funds.

Tickets are £10 and are available from the email address marianneosborne@cinw.org.uk or by ringing 01554 227427.

Côr Curiad ladies choir has been running for more than 25 years and has 40-plus members. The choir includes mothers, daughters and sisters, as well as ‘pals’. They even have members who live outside of Wales.

The choir’s musical director is Alex Esney.

Down the years, the choir has raised thousands for charities, including Llanelli’s Ty Bryngwyn Hospice and the Wales Air Ambulance.

You can find out more about Côr Curiad on their Facebook page at – https://www.facebook.com/Corcuriad

Meanwhile, members of Llanelli Youth Theatre are getting warmed up for what is going to be a busy 40th anniversary year.

LYT will be staging a special 40th anniversary concert at Ffwrnes Theatre in Llanelli on Saturday, June 1.

Then, in September, LYT will be staging Stephen Sondheim’s Tony award-winning musical Sweeney Todd.

On April 20, Tony Toes Ballet will bring their Movie and Musicals show to Ffwrnes Theatre, Llanelli.

Tiny Toes Ballet take you on a journey of imagination, exploration, fun and dance as their young dancers perform classic hits from your favourite movies and musicals. You’ll leave the theatre smiling from ear to ear.

Tickets are £12.

More information about Theatrau Sir Gar shows can be found on their website at – https://www.theatrausirgar.co.uk

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Written by RobertLloyd58

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