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News

Lights, camera action! Film festival heading to Llanelli!

Posted By Robert Lloyd

There’s just four weeks to go to the start of the prestigious Carmarthen Bay Film Festival in Llanelli.

The festival is now in its seventh year and continues to go from strength to strength.

A total of 699 entries were received for this year’s festival award categories, from film-makers worldwide.

The festival is being staged at Llanelli’s Stradey Park Hotel, from May 14-17.

All of the film-based events are free to the public.

“It is astonishing how the festival has grown in popularity from very small beginnings,” said Festival CEO and organiser Kelvin Guy.

“They say great things grow from little acorns and that is very true of the film festival.”

The Welsh fourth channel S4C will be sponsoring the awards dinner at this years’ festival.

“That just shows how much importance is being attached to the festival,” said Mr Guy.

“In recent years we’ve had added glitz and status as the event is on the approved list for BAFTA Cymru Wales.”

Mr Guy added: “The BAFTA abbreviation is pretty special in the world of film. The British Academy of Film and Television Arts is recognised as a hugely prestigious organisation worldwide. To get this recognition from BAFTA Cymru Wales is a huge honour and is a great achievement when you consider what the festival has achieved since it launched in 2011.

“Being on the list of approved BAFTA Cymru Wales festivals helps give added prestige and stardust to the festival, with entrants now being eligible for BAFTA awards as well as the ones on offer at the festival.”

Mr Guy added: “We hope the festival really catches the imagination of the public in Llanelli, Carmarthenshire and the rest of South Wales. It’s free. The only ‘pay’ part of the event is the awards dinner at the end.

“The festival will follow closely on the heels of the Celtic Media Festival at Ffwrnes Theatre, Llanelli, so it’s clear that Llanelli and Carmarthenshire is making headway in terms of being recognised for film, television and digital media.”

Entries for this year’s festival have come from all corners of the globe, including Syria, Hong Kong, China, Korea, Taiwan, Iran, Iraq, Israel and North and South America.

Mr Guy said: “The global response has been fantastic and I’d like to think that the festival is doing its best to put Llanelli and Carmarthenshire on the world map for film-makers.”

Weblinks to the festival website and Facebook page –

http://www.carmarthenbayfilmfestival.co.uk

https://www.facebook.com/CarmarthenBayFilmFestival/posts/1708492442563525

Some scenes from previous film festivals held at the Stradey Park Hotel –     

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News

Countdown is on to Carmarthen Mayor’s Fun Run races

Posted By Robert Lloyd

There’s three weeks to go to the annual Carmarthen Town Mayor’s Fun Run races.

The races take place in the town centre on Monday May 7, with a 10am start.

Last year’s event saw 768 runners taking part, a record for the fun run races in their current format.

This year will be the 37th running of the Carmarthen Mayor’s Fun Run races.

Last year’s feature 5K race was won by Thomas Jones of Carmarthen Harriers in a time of 16.56.

“We are hoping for a bumper turnout in both the 5K and the fun run races,” said race organiser Noelwyn Daniel.

“In particular, we are keen to inject as much fun as possible into the event – encouraging people to take part in fancy dress and asking local sporting teams, organisations, pubs and clubs to consider entering teams.”

Mr Daniel added: “The beauty of the Carmarthen Mayor’s Fun Run races is that they take place in the heart of the town centre, affording great opportunities for spectators to cheer on the runners.

‘We are also encouraging local businesses to enter teams. Businesses can dress up in the corporate colours and logos and earn themselves some free publicity by taking part.”

The event has raised thousands of pounds for charity over the years, with many local groups and organisations benefiting.

The usual race routes will be in place for 2018.

Once again, for the serious runners, there will be electronic chip timing in operation for the 5k Fun Run.

The Mayor of Carmarthen will be on hand to start all the races and present medals and trophies to all runners taking part.

 

RACE TIMETABLE

10:00am – 5km FUN RUN

Males under 40, V + 40, V + 50, V + 60

Females under 35, V + 35, V + 45, V + 55

Best Fancy Dress / 1st Relay Team

1st Corporate Team

CHILDREN’S RACES FOR 2018

11:00 Primary School Girls Years 1& 2

11:10 Presentation of trophies for adult fun run

11:20 Primary School Boys Years 1 & 2

11:35 Primary School Girls Years 3 & 4

11:50 Primary School Boys Years 3 & 4

12:05 Primary School Girls Years 5 & 6

12:20 Primary School Boys Years 5 & 6

12:35 Secondary School Girls & Boys Years 7 & 8

1:10 Presentation for Junior Races. 1st, 2nd & 3rd in all categories.

Schools are being contacted and visited by race organisers to encourage the pupils to sign up for the event.

 

Volunteers will be needed on the day.

Do you have a few hours to spare on May 7?

Why not come and help out with some marshalling and feel the reward of helping others and contributing towards the success of the event?

If you are able to, then the marshalls are all asked to meet in St Peter’s Hall at 9:00am on race day.

For more information and details of how to enter the fun run races, go to the following website –

http://www.healthylifeactivities.co.uk/mayors-fun-run

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News

Today’s Great Welsh Marathon and Half Marathon in Llanelli

Posted By Robert Lloyd

A few photos from today’s The Great Welsh Marathon and Half Marathon at Llanelli’s Millennium Costal Park.

Apologies for the quality, but the weather was rough.

Link to photo album –

https://photos.app.goo.gl/1VDKIXVe3Djs23pI3

Link to website –

Home

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Phil Evans

Blog posts

The latest Phil Evans column

Posted By Robert Lloyd

Comedian Phil Evans is from Ammanford. He is known as the man who puts the ‘cwtsh’ into comedy. Website – www.philevans.co.uk
………………………….
When I was a lad, our house always seemed to be full of grown-ups, our small living room bursting at the seams with friends, neighbours, strange relatives and relative strangers, the rent man, the Man From The Pru, the bailiffs . . . all of them larger than life and full of bonhomie.
Or, in the case of Aunty Glad, full of Dubonnet.
I’d sit under the dining table – which wasn’t easy as I was five feet tall at 12 – and ear wig the fascinating conversations buzzing back and forth around the room.
Politics, religion, nuclear war, what should go on a scone (pronounced ‘skown’) first – the jam or the cream? No subject was deemed too controversial to discuss in front of me.
As people tended to talk over each other, sometimes I didn’t hear clearly what was said.
For example, I misheard a neighbour say, “Neither a borrower or a Brenda Lee”, and thought she was criticising the ’60s pop singer who these days we only hear on the radio in December, singing “Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree’.
Then there was Uncle Hugo, who’d explored many previously unexplored regions of the world that were no longer considered unexplored regions because he’d gone and spoiled things by exploring them.
I was convinced I heard him say, “There are flies, damn flies and stick insects”, referring to one of his trips along the perilous upper reaches of the River Tawe.
In fact, he’d said, “There are lies, damn lies and statistics”, and I thought about my late uncle (he’s not dead – just always late) recently when I read that by 2050 the number of people over 60 in the world will top two billion.
Imagine the queue in the Post Office on pension day!
And, with so many old people around me, I’ll have no chance of getting a full house at Bingo.
Dear, oh dear. It’s all very worrying.
I wonder if Aunt Glad drank all the Dubonnet?
——————
This time of year:
Don’t you just love nature and waking up on a sunny Sunday morning to lawnmower and petrol strimmers howling in the background?
Yes, I bet you do.
Having done a late night gig, Sunday morning is the only chance I get to have that extra hour of quality rest to recover from the demands of the weekend – but clearly others among us have their own ideas at this time of year.
Don’t get me wrong, everyone is entitled to a well-kept back yard and a neatly-trimmed bush, but a few of my neighbours have taken this too far and have invested in those high powered, turbo-charged, petrol-driven hedge cutters and their enthusiasm for these new gadgets has meant that the whole street wakes up early to find out where the noise is coming from.
I honestly thought that a Formula One racing team had relocated their practice sessions to Ammanford.
But don’t worry about me, I’ve sorted it and will be ready for next weekend as I’ve invested in a large box of ear plugs.
175 words
——————-
You can follow Phil Evans on Twitter @philevanswales and www.philevans.co.uk

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The Big Cwtsh

Blog posts

Latest podcast from Phil Evans and Robert Lloyd

Posted By Robert Lloyd

The latest podcast from Phil Evans and Robert Lloyd has just been released.

The Big Cwtsh: Episode 11 is now on Soundcloud.

 

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Robert Lloyd

Blog posts

Latest ‘On Song’ column from Carmarthen Journal and Llanelli Star

Posted By Robert Lloyd

Here’s a date for your diary for later in the year. The Annual Royal British Legion Charity Gala Concert will be held at the Lyric Theatre, Carmarthen, on October 27 (7pm).

This year, 2018, marks a significant year for our Armed Forces. It is the centenary of the end of The Great War (First World War) and also commemorates 100 years of the Royal Air Force.

The prestigious annual Royal British Legion Concert has become one of the landmark events in the calendar of South West Wales, providing a platform for the Royal British Legion to pay tribute to the fallen of current and past conflicts.

It also helps the British Legion launch the Poppy Appeal in South West Wales.

The concert features leading soprano and TV and radio personality Shân Cothi, one of Wales’s premier choirs in the form of Dunvant Male Choir, the highly popular Carmarthen-based mixed youth choir Côr Seingar, Swansea-based Dancerama performing arts group youth choir, the stirring sounds of the City of Swansea Pipe Band and the unforgettable Corps of Drums of the 215 City of Swansea Squadron.

The compére will be Brian Sullivan and the guest accompanist Jeffrey Howard.

The evening ends with the poignant Tribute to the Fallen and a Service of Remembrance.

The Royal British Legion is being supported with this event by Loud Applause Productions, the production company run by Llanelli’s Cerith Owens.

Llandovery Male Voice Choir will be staging their annual concert on Saturday, May 5.

The guest soloists will be tenor Aled Wyn Davies and soprano Llio Evans.

Further details about the event will be included in next week’s On Song column.

The much-anticipated ‘Music for the Parc’ is being staged at Llanelli’s Stradey Park Hotel on Friday, April 27 (7pm).

The concert follows a successful ‘Music in the Park’ event organised by the Parc Howard Association.

The evening will be hosted by BBC newsreader and broadcaster Huw Edwards, who is, of course, a native of Llangennech.

The concert will feature The Phil Harmonics, alongside the award-winning Parti Llwchwr, Côr Meibion Llanelli Male Voice Choir, Ysgol Gymraeg Ystalyfera, Otherside, Osian Clarke and Adele O’Neill.

Tickets are £12 and available from Mossies at Llanelli Market Precinct or via members of The Phil Harmonics.

Soloist Adele O’Neill is always a favourite with Llanelli audiences.

Adele is a native of Pontarddulais and an experienced Coloratura Soprano who graduated from The Guildhall School of Music and Drama (2003-07) under the tutelage of Professor Laura Sarti, the celebrated Italian Mezzo Soprano.

Adele has been successful in voice competitions which include the National Eisteddfod of Wales, winning several prizes in the soprano class. She was the winner of the International gold medal singing competition at Llangollen International Eisteddfod in 2008, and a semi-finalist in the International Montserrat Caballe singing competition in Zaragoza Spain in 2008.

Following her competition successes, Adele has performed in many operas with acclaim from both audience and critics.

Her operatic roles include principal roles as Adina (L’elisir d’amore) Donizetti; Leonora (Il Trovatore),  Violetta (La Traviata) Verdi; Micaela (Carmen), Bizet; Adele (Die Fledermaus) Strauss; Norma (Norma) Bellini; Elizabeth (Mary Stuarda) Donezetti.

Adele has performed as a soloist for many ensembles throughout the UK.

International engagements have included concerts in Spain, Italy, Czech republic and Canada.

She has performed with Longborough Festival Opera, Grange Park opera, and most recently Welsh National Opera.

In addition to her operatic work she has recorded with the Pontarddulais Male Voice choir, Côr Meibion Llanelli and Morriston RFC male voice choir.

Tickets are now available for a major concert to be staged at Ffwrnes Theatre, Llanelli on Saturday, May 19, 2018 (7pm).

An array of stars will perform a very special evening of song in celebration of Llanelli Rotary Club marking its landmark Centenary Year.

Shan Cothi, one of the country’s most popular sopranos, will be sharing the stage with two great Welsh international choral ambassadors – Côr Meibion Llanelli, under the baton of conductor D Eifion Thomas, and the Hywel Girls’ Choir and Hywel Boy Singers, under the baton of conductor John Hywel Williams.

Joining them will be the delightful sounds of Cor Ysgol Goffa, an ensemble from Ysgol Y Strade under the baton of Catrin Hughes and the Lewis-Meredith sisters – Calley, Sarah and Steffi.

The event has two aims –

To help commemorate the centenary of Llanelli Rotary Club

To raise funds for the Green Light Postrate Cancer Machine at Prince Philip Hospital.

The concert is another event co-produced by Carmarthenshire Theatres and Loud Applause.

Côr Meibion Caerfyrddin Carmarthen Male Choir’s 60th anniversary concert will be held at the Lyric Theatre, Carmarthen, on Saturday, October 13.

The choir will be joined on stage by four other choirs – Mynydd Mawr, Burry Port, Dyffryn Tywi and Dyffryn Aman.

This will create a combined choir of around 150 voices under the baton of Wyn Maskell, musical director of Côr Meibion Caerfyrddin.

Also taking part will be well known soloists: Jessica Robinson, soprano, and Trystan Llŷr Griffiths, tenor.

The MC for the evening will be television and radio personality Garry Owen.

Soprano Jessica Robinson is from Pembrokeshire and graduated from the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama with a first class Honours Degree.

As a student at the RWCMD, Jessica studied with Beatrice Unsworth and Jeffrey Howard, winning the Aneurin Davies memorial award, The Mansel Thomas prize, The Margaret Tann Award and the Elias Soprano award.

Throughout her studies, Jessica has been fortunate to participate in master classes with artists such as Michael Pollock, Simon Lepper, Adrian Thompson, Simon Keenleyside, Donald Maxwell and John Fisher. Jessica was also chosen to sing as part of an octet for HRH the Prince of Wales.

Her singing life started at a young age as a competitor in local eisteddfodau in her home county of Pembrokeshire.

She went on to gain success nationally in the Urdd and the National Eisteddfodau.

Jessica has represented Pembrokeshire in the Young Farmers Eisteddfod winning the under 26 solo in 2008 and again in 2012. She was awarded Vocalist of the Year in the Pembrokeshire Chevron Music Awards and Musical Student of the Year in her secondary school, Ysgol y Preseli, Crymych.

as an oratorio and concert soloist, Jessica has performed in venues such as the Wales Millennium Stadium, The National Museum of Wales, Dorking Halls and The Dora Stoutzker Hall. She regularly appears in concerts all over the UK as guest artist with many of Wales’ most renowned Male Voice Choirs such as Blaenavon, Bridgend, South Wales and the London Welsh Male Voice choir. A personal highlight for Jessica was being asked to perform to the Welsh rugby team at the Welsh Assembly during the champagne reception celebrating their success in the Six Nations Championship and also alongside Paul Potts in a Charity concert for the Philippines disaster.

Recent oratorio performances include Handel’s Messiah ( Symffonia Tywi and The Mega Messiah), Vivaldi’s Gloria, Rutter’s Mass of the Children, Karl Jenkins’ Peace Makers and Joseph Parry’s Emmanuel (Côr Bro Ogwr). Jessica performed her first operatic role as the Spirit in ‘Dido and Aeneas’ by Purcell with ‘Opera’r Ddraig’, scene credits include Despina (Cosi fan Tutti), Violetta (La Traviata) and the Countess (Le nozze di Figaro).

Jessica is an artist on the prestigious Live Music Now scheme and also performs regularly as an artist with Music in Hospitals.

Jessica performed in China in March as part of a Welsh Government Scheme; she toured around the country introducing Welsh music. Then toured with the Harry Ensemble as their soprano soloist around New York in May.

Welsh tenor Trystan Llŷr Griffiths, who hails from Clunderwen, Pembrokeshire, is a popular concert soloist throughout Wales and further afield.

One of the first recipients of a Study Award from the Bryn Terfel Foundation, he was named the Voice Of Wales by Decca Records in 2012 in an S4C TV series.

Trystan studied initially at University of Wales Trinity Saint David for a Theatre, Music and Media degree. He subsequently completed an MA degree in Vocal Studies at the Royal Academy of Music and a further postgraduate degree in Opera Performance at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. He has recently completed his studies as a Trainee at the National Opera Studio in London.

Prizes and awards include: Ian Stoutzker Prize 2014; Richard Van Allan Award 2014; Bruce Millar Gulliver Singing Prize 2014; RWCMD HRH Prince of Wales Scholarship 2013; Dunraven Welsh Young Singer of the Year 2013; MOCSA Young Welsh Singer of the Year Prize 2012; Sybil Tutton Award 2012; London Welsh Young Singer of the Year Prize 2011; W. Towyn Roberts Scholarship 2011; Osborne Roberts Memorial Prize 2009.

Concert highlights include appearances at the Royal Albert Hall, Hay-on-Wye Festival with Bryn Terfel, the Brynfest at the Southbank Centre, a concert performance of Tristan und Isolde with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and recitals at St Martin-in-the- Fields and the Cardiff Music Festival.

He took the role of Carlos in a recording of Le Duc d’Albe with the Hallé Orchestra for Opera Rara and during summer 2015 received a scholarship to attend the Mozart Residency at Festival d’Aix-en- Provence.

Trystan made his first professional operatic début in the role of Ferrando in Cosi Fan Tutte on tour with Scottish Opera.

 

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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