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Robert Lloyd

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The latest ‘On Song’ column from the Carmarthen Journal and Llanelli Star

Posted By Robert Lloyd

There’s a big night coming up in Burry Port next month when Côr Meibion Porth Tywyn (Burry Port Male Choir) hold their 56th annual concert.

It is taking place at 7pm on Saturday, September 21, at St Mary’s Church in Burry Port.

The guests include bass baritone Anthony Stuart Lloyd, soprano Keely Morgan, harpist Rhian Griffiths and accompanist Caradog Williams,

The compere will be Iwan Jenkins. The musical director will be Ryan Lee and the choir’s accompanist will be John Evans.

Tickets are available at £10.

Anthony Stuart Lloyd’s rich Welsh bass-baritone has been described as ‘a voice of Rolls Royce sumptuousness’.

Award-winning international vocalist Anthony is one of Wales’ most acclaimed, versatile and engaging performers.

Handsome, charming and standing an imposing 6ft7in, he instantly captivates his audiences with his personality and his lyrical, luscious, velvety voice.

He is a regular performer in theatres, concert halls and cabaret stages throughout the UK, Europe, North America, the Middle East, Far East and Australasia.

Anthony studied at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama and won the Royal National Eisteddfod ‘Blue Riband’; the Sir Geraint Evans Memorial Prize and the Welsh Arts Council Young Welsh singer prize.

He has sung with the Welsh National Opera, Freiburg Opera, Toulouse Capitole Opera, the London Symphony Orchestra and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.

London West End credits include Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and Scrooge.

He was invited to perform for the Sultan of Oman and he regularly appears at prestigious events for the Welsh Assembly and the Wales Tourist Board.

Television appearances overseas include America’s NBC Today Show and TVNZ’s Good Morning and his voice features in the animated film of Rigoletto.

Anthony has headlined on luxury cruise lines including Cunard, Holland America, Royal Caribbean and the Fred Olsen line.

In cabaret, he has performed at prestige venues including New York’s Waldorf Astoria and The Rockerfeller Centre and The Carlton Club in London.

Keely Morgan is a soprano, from Mumbles.

She is a former student of Gower College and now studies at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama (RWCMD) on the Vocal and Opera Studies BMus Hons, under the tutelage of Kate Woolveridge and Suzanne Murphy.

Keely has completed her vocal diploma, Trinity College London Vocal Diploma (ATCL). She has also achieved Grade 8 Distinctions in ABRSM, Trinity College and London College of Music in classical singing, acting and musical theatre.

Keely was the 2017 recipient of the Llanelli Grammar School Old Boys and Graig Former Pupils Association Music Bursary and also of the Loud Applause Rising Stars bursary.

Keely has performed as a guest artist with a number of leading male voice choirs, including Morriston RFC, Morriston Orpheus, The Gwalia Singers and Swansea Male Voice Choir.

She has performed in St David’s Hall for the Welsh Festival of Remembrance, Wales Millennium Centre, Christ Church Cathedral in Dublin and Sint Janskerk – Maastricht.

Keely’s choir experience includes BBC National Chorus of Wales, Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama College Chorus and The Ariosa Singers.

Keely has appeared in three West End UK musical theatre tours, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Doctor Doolittle, Joseph and His Technicolor Dream Coat, singing alongside Aled Jones and Tommy Steel.

Her acting roles have included Doctor Who, Loose Women, Newsround, Stella, and Upstairs Downstairs.

She has appeared in an S4C documentary about the life of opera star Adelina Patti, playing the young opera star.

Keely is a former member of the Youth Musical Theatre UK and was honoured to take part in the performance of The Dark Tower, staged in Hammersmith London.

As a member of Loud Applause Rising Stars (LARS), Keely has performed as a guest soloist at The Brangwyn Hall for the Festival of Remembrance 2016 and 2017, soirees at Stradey Castle and Llanelly House, in the Kidwelly Festival Choir Annual Concert alongside tenor Trebor Edwards, and Margam Orangery for the High Sheriff of West Glamorgan’s Charity Concert.

Keely sang at the City and County of Swansea’s Armed Forces Day and Silence in the Square events in Castle Square and performances for Llanelli Rotary Club at their World War One Centenary Concert and at their Annual Ball in Stradey Park Hotel, alongside Peter Karrie. Keely has also performed with Phantom of the Opera Star Peter Karrie in several of his “Small Halls Tours” concerts.

She is currently studying at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama (2016 – 2020) on the BMus Honours Vocal and Opera Studies course under the tutelage of distinguished soprano Suzanne Murphy.

Previous singing tutors include the late Geoffrey Squires and Penny Ryan.

Rhian Griffiths is a harpist from Swansea. Having started learning the harp at the age of eight, she quickly grew to love the instrument and never looked back.

She played at her first wedding when she was just 14, and since then she has played at a variety of functions and events.

Highlights of her concert diary include playing in An Evening with Kevin Johns at Swansea Grand Theatre, and playing at a private function with guests including Fergus Walsh (BBC Medical Correspondent) and Toni Mascolo (Toni and Guy).

Caradog Williams is a freelance pianist based in Cardiff.

While a pupil at Ysgol Gyfun y Strade, Llanelli, he studied piano with D Hugh Jones FRCO, and following a degree in Music at Oxford University, studied Piano Accompaniment at the Royal College of Music under Roger Vignoles and John Blakely, where he was an Associated Board Scholar.

Caradog’s work in Cardiff has included being a repetiteur for Welsh National Opera, the Wales International Academy of Voice and the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, where he has worked with leading singing teachers and conductors in the field of opera, including Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, Richard Bonynge, Dennis O’Neill and Carlo Rizzi.

On the concert platform, Caradog has partnered Sir Bryn Terfel, Gwyn Hughes Jones, Rebecca Evans, Elin Manahan Thomas and Sir Willard White, and regularly appears alongside John Owen Jones, Only Men Aloud and the Three Welsh Tenors, with whom he has toured three times to North America and on whose two albums Caradog features as composer and arranger.

Caradog was the official accompanist for the last four massed choral festivals of the Welsh Association of Male Voice Choirs at the Royal Albert Hall, and has toured with the Association to Russia and Eastern Europe.

Today (Wednesday, August 14), sees the Wales Clarsach (Harp) Society performing at Carmarthen’s St Peter’s Church (1pm).

Finally, a diary date for next month – Lleisiau Llan Choir’s year-long fundraising for the Uganda Dr Vaughan Fund will culminate in their annual concert at the Stradey Park Hotel on Friday, September 27, at 7pm. The guests will be Y Tri Tenor (Rhys Meirion, Aled Hall, Aled Wyn Davies).

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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Mark Jones

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The latest Clay Shaw Butler Money Matters column

Posted By Robert Lloyd

By Mark Jones, director of Carmarthen-based Clay Shaw Butler chartered accountants and business consultants. The Money Matters column appears in the Pembrokeshire Herald, the Carmarthenshire Herald and the Llanelli Herald newspapers.

The government is reminding working parents that they could ease this summer’s childcare costs by using Tax-Free Childcare (TFC).

The scheme is worth up to £2,000 a year for each child and allows parents to save regularly for childcare costs.

For each £8 saved, the government will make a top-up payment of £2.

The money saved can be put towards a range of registered childcare options from more than 68,000 childcare providers.

These include summer camps across the UK, as well as before and after school care during term time, nurseries and childminders.

The scheme is open to working parents, including the self-employed, who earn between the 16 hours a week at the minimum wage and £100,000 per year and have children under the age of 12 (or under 17 for children with disabilities).

The government will top-up up to £500 per quarter for each child, or £1,000 if the child is disabled.

Liz Truss, Chief Secretary to the Treasury, said: “We understand making arrangements for summer childcare at this time of year is important and can be a stressful time for parents.

“Tax-Free Childcare makes things easier, putting more money in the pockets of parents and supporting as many families as possible to secure high-quality, affordable childcare.

“Parents should visit the Childcare Choices website and take advantage of the range of offers to help balance their work and family lives while saving money.”

You can find out more and apply through the Childcare Choices website, www.childcarechoices.gov.uk.

It includes a Childcare Calculator that compares all the government’s childcare offers to check what works best for individual families.

How Tax-Free Childcare works:

Working parents can apply, through the childcare service, to open an online childcare account.

The scheme is available for children under the age of 12, or under the age of 17 for children with disabilities.

If you or your partner have an ‘adjusted net income’ over £100,000 in the current tax year, you will not be eligible.

This includes any bonuses you expect to get.

For every £8 that families pay in, the government will make a top-up payment of an additional £2, up to a maximum of £2,000 per child per year (or £4,000 for disabled children).

This top-up is added instantly and parents can then send payments directly to their childcare providers.

The maximum government top-up is £500 per quarter for each child, or £1,000 if the child is disabled.

All registered childcare providers – whether nannies, nurseries, childminders or after-school clubs – can sign up online now to receive parents’ payments through Tax-Free Childcare.

Parents need to sign back in every three months and confirm their details are up-to-date, to keep getting government top-ups.

Tax calendar date for your diary –

August 2019

Monday 19 – PAYE, Student loan and CIS deductions are due for the month to 5th August 2019.


You can find out more about money matters on the Clay Shaw Butler website (under our news for business section) – http://www.clayshawbutler.com/news/latest-news-for-business

We have a strong and experienced team with great local knowledge all geared-up to helping you get the very best from your finances – whether that is as an individual or as a business.

We stay ahead of the game by putting great store by continual professional development for our staff.

With Investors In People status at Clay Shaw Butler, we care passionately about making sure our staff have all the tools they need to serve you, our customers.

Weblink – http://www.clayshawbutler.com

The team at Clay Shaw Butler can be contacted on 01267 228500.

The team at Clay Shaw Butler are on Twitter. Look for @clayshawbutler.

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Robert Lloyd

Blog posts

The latest ‘On Song’ column from the Carmarthen Journal and Llanelli Star

Posted By Robert Lloyd

The countdown is on to two big concerts being staged in Carmarthenshire in October.

The annual Gala Concert of Loud Applause Productions will be at Llanelli’s Ffwrnes Theatre on Saturday, October 12 (7pm).

And the Royal British Legion Charity Gala Concert will be at Carmarthen’s Lyric Theatre on Saturday, October 19 (7pm).

Both events are being coordinated by Llanelli-based impresario Cerith Owens.

The first event is billed as A Night With The Stars.

Sharing the stage with the Loud Applause Rising Stars (LARS) singers will be Samantha Thomas, who has been busy in London’s West End starring in Wicked.

Also taking part will be the very popular Kenfig Hill and District Male Voice Choir, a group from of young students from the Royal Welsh Music and Drama in Cardiff, called ‘Melodynamic’ and fronted by LARS member Callum Howells, and Halfway Primary School Choir.

Hosting the concert for the first time will be Samuel Wyn-Morris. Supporting accompanists to the LARS singers will be Catrin Hughes and Andrew Pike.

The Royal British Legion Charity Gala Concert the following weekend will feature a terrific line-up, with an emphasis on local talent.

The mighty sound of a 100-strong male choir, under the baton of the renowned maestro Dr Alwyn Humphries, will ‘raise the roof’ of the Lyric.

Four of Carmarthenshire’s famous male voice choirs will share the stage – Côr Meibion Caerfyrddin, Côr Meibion Dyffryn Tywi, Côr Meibion Mynydd Mawr and Côr Meibion Porth Tywyn.

The guest accompanist will be Caradog Williams.

Also on stage will be Côr Persain, the popular ladies choir based in Carmarthenshire.

Guest soloists will be young tenor Osian Bowen, Forces Sweetheart Kirsten Orsborn and Lauren Fisher, one of the young singers of LARS (Loud Applause Rising Stars).

The evening will end with the
Tribute to the Fallen with stirring sounds from the 215 (City of Swansea) Squadron Corps of Drums and the Service of Remembrance.

This special evening will be hosted by Brian Sullivan and produced by Loud Applause Productions for the Royal British Legion.

The members of the Hospital Notes Choir, based in Llanelli, are getting ready for a big concert next month.

Hospital Notes will be joined by Côr Meibion Llanelli Male Voice Choir for ‘The Greatest Show’ on Friday, September 6 (7.30pm) at The Diplomat Hotel, Llanelli.

You can expect plenty of excerpts from the hit film musical The Greatest Showman.

It’s been quite a year for the Hospital Notes choir as they were featured as the Choir of the Week on the popular Roy Noble radio programme on Radio Wales earlier this year.

The Hospital Notes Choir was founded last year to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the National Health Service.

The initial aim of the choir was to bring together colleagues from the hospital and community sectors, past and present, to celebrate the anniversary of the NHS.

Under the talented leadership and direction of musical directors Andrew Harries and Stacey Harris, the choir rehearses at Prince Philip Hospital.

On the same night (September 6), there will be a Cyngerdd Mawreddog (Grand Concert) in Neuadd Sant Iago (St James’ Hall) in Cwmann, Lampeter (7pm).

The concert will feature soloists Ellen Williams, Cardiff, and Kees Huysmans, Lampeter.

It will also feature Plant Ysgol Carreg Hirfaen and Côr Meibion Cwmann a’r Cylch.

The president for the evening will be Twynog Davies, of Pentre-Bach. Tickets are £8.

It’s a busy August at St Peter’s Church in Carmarthen.

Today (Wednesday, August 7 at 1pm) sees the accomplished organist Carl Grainger performing at the church.

Carl is well known as an organ recitalist and has performed widely throughout the England and Wales.

On Wednesday, August 14, the Wales Clarsach (Harp) Society will be performing at Carmarthen’s St Peter’s Church (1pm).

Wednesday, August 21 (1pm) sees classical guitarist Duncan Leigh perform at St Peter’s.

Duncan is a classical guitarist, composer and teacher based in Swansea.

He performs the Renaissance and Baroque era music of Scarlatti and Handel, the Classical and Romantic compositions of Sor and Giuliani, traditional Spanish and Latin American guitar music (e.g. Tarrega and Villa-Lobos), up to modern day pop tune arrangements and his own original compositions.

The summer concert season at St Peter’s will finish on Wednesday, August 28 (1pm), with the organist Meirion Wynn Jones.

In other news, tickets have been released for the popular Loud Applause Rising Stars (LARS) afternoon concert at The Orangery in Margam.

It takes place at 3pm on Sunday, September 1, at The Orangery.

The concert will feature LARS singers, the group Melodynamic from the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama (which includes Callum Howells), Crescendo Youth Choir from Kenfig Hill and host Huw Tregelles Williams.

Sensational Welsh brother duo Richard and Adam Johnson return to Carmarthenshire on October 20 (7.30pm) after wowing the nation with their extraordinary harmonies on Britain’s Got Talent.

Having performed to more than 14 million people around the world, they return for their much-anticipated UK Tour.

Their success on Britain’s Got Talent was followed by their debut album ‘The Impossible Dream’, which sold more than one million copies. The album shot straight to the No.1 spot for four consecutive weeks, making it the UK’s longest-running No.1 album of the year. Their success continued with their next three albums, which reached top 10 positions in the UK, and each one was No.1 in the Classical Charts.

Richard and Adam are now on their The Greatest Songmen tour – a night of world-class music, including A Million Dreams, Volare and The Impossible Dream, performed by the duo with flawless technique and robust clarity.

Welsh brothers Richard and Adam first burst onto the nation’s TV screens on Britain’s Got Talent, making it to the final in 2013 performing their classical crossover version of The Impossible Dream. The show established them as two of the greatest vocalists singing opera in this country.

​They credit their “Nan” as being their biggest influence. When they were young, she played music by Caruso, Mario Lanza and The Three Tenors and she encouraged them to sing along, building their confidence and encouraging them to follow an opera career.

Finally, the choristers from Llandyfaelog-based Côr Meibion Dyffryn Tywi are getting ready for their annual concert.

It will be at the Princess Gwenllian Centre in Kidwelly on Saturday, October 12, 7pm. The choir will be joined by Gwendraeth Valley’s Côr Meibion Mynydd Mawr. The evening will also feature special guests Pantel and Trio.

Trio are a male vocal group from Snowdonia – formed by renowned pianist/accompanist Annette Bryn Parri in 2012.

The group gave its first public performance at Galeru Caernarfon in June 2013.

  • 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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Howzat! Jenkins Bakery help Llanelli Cricket Club

Posted By Robert Lloyd

The team at Jenkins Bakery are helping Llanelli Cricket Club by sponsoring the shirts for junior teams. Russell Jenkins, operations director at Jenkins Bakery, said: “We like to help community groups and sporting organisations where we can. In particular, we like to see youngsters taking part in sporting activities. “We were delighted to add to our name to the shirts for Llanelli Cricket Club’s junior section.” The shirts were officially presented at a special event at the club’s Stradey Park ground.
The picture above features a selection of the juniors from under 9 to under 15. The picture below features Vaughan Thomas, club chairman, receiving the shirts from Mr Russell Jenkins of the Jenkins Bakery.
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Latest Carmarthen Town AFC match report from John Collyer

Posted By Robert Lloyd

Match Report – Cinderford Town v Carmarthen Town (3 August 2019)

Cinderford Town (0)  Carmarthen Town (1)

Carmarthen concluded their pre-season programme with a visit to Cinderford Townwho operatein the Southern League Division One South (the fourth tier) of the English Non-League Football pyramid – and after a keenly contested match the Old Gold secured a narrow victory thanks to a smartly-taken goal from Luke Bowen.

The opening stages of this game were fairly uneventful with the play largely confined to unproductive midfield exchanges and neither defence was subjected to any noticeable pressure – yet with players on both sides enthusiastically showing a refreshing commitment to this contest, there was certainly a welcome competitive ‘edge’ to enliven these proceedings.

It was not until the 18thminute that the first scoring opportunity arose when Lewis Harling won a free-kick just outside the penalty area –  however while Chris Jones neatly drove the ball around the defensive ‘wall’, he saw it fly narrowly past the far post.

Cinderford eventually went close to taking the lead on 28 minutes when Logan Bowkett struck a free-kick into the packed goalmouth where Ethan Moore connected with a close-range shot that ‘keeper Lee Idzi, with a smart reaction save, claimed at the foot of the post.

Yet moments later the Old Gold took the lead.  Josh Bull sprinted forward along the left flank then from near the corner flag he fired an inviting cross into the goalmouth where Bowen arrived with perfect timing and cleverly diverted the ball beyond the reach of ‘keeper Andy Hannah and into the far corner of the net.

At last the game had become more open with both sides showing welcome attacking flair.

After 38 minutes Lee Surman, from deep inside his own half, launched a huge clearance upfield which Bull eagerly chased to the corner of the penalty area before dispatching a rasping strike that flew across the face of the goal but went just outside the post.

Then on 41 minutes Bull, continuing his impressive pre-season form, produced a delightful back-heel that set Bowen racing free along the left-wing – the experienced striker, from the wide edge of the penalty area, then struck a fine shot that slid narrowly beyond the far post.

After the interval Carmarthen produced an early chance in the 53rdminute when Harling received the ball from Greg Walters’ quick throw-in then released a stunning 30 yard drive that substitute ‘keeper Jordan Dibble turned aside with a superb flying save.

On 64 minutes Jones won the ball off a defender then played it forward to Bull who from just inside the penalty area instantly fired a crisp shot that went marginally wide of the post.

Even though the hosts were enjoying their fair share of possession during that period they failed to create any notable scoring chances, often due to wayward passing/crossing or indecision at critical moments.

But in the 77thminute they eventually broke through the visitors’ defence – Moore chased after a fine through-ball into the penalty area only to be denied by Idzi who sprinted quickly out of his goal and bravely claimed the ball at the striker’s feet.

Then shortly afterwards Josh Hunt produced a spectacular long-range drive that drew an equally impressive full-length save from Idzi.

Yet the Old Gold again went close in the later stages of this match.  On 82 minutes Declan Carroll raced forward to the edge of the penalty area before releasing a crisp strike that went just wide of the post.  Then moments later Ceri Morgan enjoyed a smart interchange of passes with Carroll before he fired a close-range shot that Dibble superbly turned aside.

So Carmarthen’s pre-season campaign, while having begun with a disappointing display against Haverfordwest, soon progressed satisfactorily with particularly impressive performances against Swansea City U23s (in terms of the quality of the football they played against skilful, well-drilled opponents) and Llanelli (in terms of the clinical fashion in which they created and scored goals, albeit against weaker opposition).

Town’s next fixture is on Saturday 10thAugust at Richmond Park (k/o 2.30pm) when they entertain Cymru South side Cwmamman United in the Nathanial MG Cup (Round 2).


Lee Idzi;  Greg Walters;  Dave Vincent (sub Jordan Vickers 63);  Lee Surman;  Jordan Knott; Chris Jones;  Ceri Morgan;  Lewis Harling;  Jay Woodford (sub Declan Carroll 73);  Luke Bowen (sub Gwion Howell 75);  Josh Bull;

Goal:  Luke Bowen (27).

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Interview with Paolo Piana

Posted By Robert Lloyd

Interview with Paolo Piana for the Llanelli Talking Newspaper for the Blind.

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