The latest 'On Song' column from the Llanelli Star

The latest 'On Song' column about the choral scene in and around Llanelli from the Llanelli Star - 

It promises to be the concert event of the year in Llanelli.
Côr Meibion Llanelli celebrate their 50 anniversary with a special concert at the newly-refurbished Selwyn Samuel Centre in Llanelli.
Saturday, September 20, 7pm is the date and time and the guest star is West End and Broadway star John Owen-Jones.
John, a true ‘local hero’, is an award winning and record-breaking West End and Broadway performer.
He is best known for his performances as Jean Valjean in Les Miserables and as The Phantom in The Phantom of the Opera.
After training at London’s Central School of Speech and Drama, John, at the age of 26, became the youngest actor ever to play the role of Jean Valjean in the West End production of Les Miserables.
He is one of a handful of actors to have played the role of Valjean both in the West End and on Broadway and is in fact the only British actor to do so.
In an online poll, John was voted the “Best Ever Valjean” and “Best Ever Performer in Les Miserables" by fans of the show worldwide.
John returned to play the role of Jean Valjean in a brand new production of Les Miserables for its 25th anniversary tour and was awarded the Manchester Evening News Award for the Best Actor in a Visiting Production for his performance as Jean Valjean.
The Manchester Evening News described his performance as “a truly astonishing achievement that must be one of the greatest stage performances of all time.” John was also part of the Valjean quartet featured in the finale of the Les Miserables 25th Anniversary Concert at the O2 Arena, London.
John originally played the role of The Phantom in The Phantom of the Opera between 2001 and 2004 in the West End production to great acclaim -The Daily Mail said he was "better than all the actors that preceded him in the role".
He returned to the role of The Phantom in the West End in 2011 culminating in a performance as part of the Phantom quartet in a special finale at the Phantom 25th Anniversary Concert at The Royal Albert Hall.
He is the West End’s longest running Phantom with nearly 2000 performances in the role. Most recently he appeared in a special finale of the show at the Majestic Theatre, New York to celebrate Phantom's 25th year on Broadway.
After reinterpreting the role of Valjean on the 25th Anniversary tour of Les Miserables in 2010, John was asked to reinterpret the role of The Phantom in the brand new production of The Phantom of the Opera for it's 25th anniversary UK tour in 2012. His performance on the tour earned him a nomination for Best Actor in a Visiting Production from the Manchester Theatre Awards and he is in the unique position of being the only actor to have the opportunity to reinvent Valjean and The Phantom - two of the greatest roles in musical theatre history.
John has performed extensively in theatre all over the country at prestigious venues such as The National Theatre, London and The Open Air Theatre, Regent's Park, London and The West Yorkshire Playhouse, Leeds.
He has appeared on television and radio in such shows as Scott and Bailey, In The Flesh, The Bill, The Royal Variety Show, Friday Night Is Music Night, Children In Need, This Morning and The Alan Titchmarsh Show. He has performed as a soloist in concerts around the world from Bangor to Bangkok.
John has released three albums. The independently released ‘Hallelujah’ (2006) and on the Sain label 'John Owen-Jones' (2009) and 'Unmasked' (2011).
Tickets (£20) are available from any member of Côr Meibion Llanelli, the Halfway Hotel (telephone 01554 773571) or the Gravells garage showroom in Kidwelly (01554 890436).
Next month, Côr Meibion Llanelli will feature in a Gala Concert to be held at the Christian Temple Church, Ammanford, on Saturday, October 4.
The soloist for the evening will be Trystan Llyr Griffiths.
Also on October 4, the Hywel Girls’ Choir and Hywel Boy Singers will present ‘The Town Remembers’ at St Elli Parish Church.
The Town Remembers will see the massed voices of the Hywel Choir, Llanelli CHoral Society, leading Welsh tenor Aled Hall, drummers, trumpeters and percussionists unite with dignitaries, armed forces and civilian personnel from across the community in the candelit and specially illuminated St. Elli Parish Church to re-tell the story and sacrifice of the great war through song, music, narration and multimedia - all under the acclaimed artistic baton of John Hywel Williams.
Highlights of the evening will include moments from Karl Jenkins’ Armed Man, Hymn to the Fallen, Ode to Remembrance, Last Post, Pie Jesu, The Lord’s Prayer, Abide with Me, Onward Christian Soldiers and popular sing-along songs from World War One.

Robert Lloyd works as a media consultant –
If you have any news about the choral scene in Llanelli, the please contact him on 07777 683637 or email


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