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 - 

TV celebrity and singing star Aled Jones will join forces with Llanelli’s Hywel Choir to thrill local audiences on 11 April at Y Ffwrnes for “Spirit of Song” - an exciting night of music and song.
Aled has strong links with Llanelli, having performed previously at venues including the Selwyn Samuel Centre.
He has also forged strong links with choirs in the town and used Côr Meibion Llanelli (Llanelli Male Voice Choir) on one of his albums.
Today, 44-year-old Aled Jones MBE is best known for his television work with BBC and ITV and Radio Wales and Radio 2.
In the mid 1980s, Aled Jones, the boy treble with the pudding bowl haircut, was seemingly ubiquitous.
The Anglesey.-born singer joined the Bangor Cathedral Choir aged nine, and won many national singing competitions and Eisteddfodau.
He was first recorded by the Welsh company Sain, who were alerted to his talents by a member of the Bangor Cathedral congregation. An invitation followed from BBC Wales to sing the Angel in Handel's oratorio Jephtha with the BBC Welsh Symphony Orchestra and Chorus. Following the broadcast on BBC2, BBC Wales was commissioned to make three TV specials for Christmas and Easter with Aled and the Chorus on location in Israel. Watched by more than18 million viewers, highlights were issued in 1985 on VHS video and on record and many other TV appearances followed.
In July 1985, the BBC issued his rendition of Memory from Andrew Lloyd Webber's Cats. It wasn't a huge success, but his recording of Walking In The Air was a top five smash.
The song became forever associated with Christmas, due to being featured in the evergreen Raymond Briggs animation The Snowman.
It made Aled a huge international star.
When his voice broke, Aled disappeared from the public eye.
He became a county level tennis player, and studied at the Royal Academy of Music where he joined jazz-funk band A2Z. He went on to gain entry at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, where he trained as an actor. It led to appearances in productions of Twelfth Night and Joseph And His Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat.
He has become a regular presenter/performer on Songs Of Praise on TVand, to the delight of many, he returned to recording music. In 2002 he signed a five album deal with Universal, the first of which, Aled, went platinum and the second, Higher, achieved gold within weeks.
Also joining the celebrity line-up at Y Ffwrnes for “Spirit of Song” will be acclaimed violin virtuoso Davinder Singh.
Llanelli’s Last Night of the Proms will take place on Saturday 6 June at Y Ffwrnes.
Hosted by the Hywel Girls’ Choir & Hywel Boy Singers, the flag-waving night will see the 200+ voices of the massed chorus of the Hywel Choir, the mighty Pontarddulais Male Choir, the Llanelli Choral Society join forces with the internationally acclaimed British Sinfonietta Orchestra, TV celebrity and singer Aled Hall, organist Huw Tregelles Williams, pianist Jean Hywel –and all under the magical baton of John Hywel Williams.
“It’s wonderful to see the young choristers thrive on challenges and enjoy the opportunity of performing with world famous artists, sing at world-class venues and perform with such professionalism for TV and radio broadcasts”, explains founder and conductor John Hywel. “I am incredibly proud of their commitment, their efforts and performances which is a wonderful reflection on the town.”
Fresh from over 20 TV and radio broadcasts over the Christmas period, the Hywel Girls’ Choir & Hywel Boy Singers are now welcoming new members aged 8 – 16 years. There are no auditions to join the choir except the love of singing and the willingness to learn. To receive an information pack, please contact 07545 26 88 41 or email jeremywilliams@me.com.
The ladies of Côr Curiad are getting very excited about their special anniversary concert with Paul Potts on Saturday, April 25.
The concert also features Eisteddfod winning Burry Port Town Band and will be hosted by Swansea Sound Radio Presenter Kevin Johns MBE.
Tickets at £27.50 for Premium seats and £22.50 for Standard seats are available from Anyone Waiting either at the Halfway Hotel , Pemberton, Llanelli, from the concert venue at the Selwyn Samuel Centre, Park Crescent, Llanelli, or by telephone on 01554 753571.
The concert will be in aid of Calon Plus, the Cardiac rehabilitation support service at Prince Philip Hospital and will be held at the Selwyn Samuel Centre.
Choir Chair Andrea Matthews said: “The choir adopts a different charity each year to benefit from our fundraising efforts. For our Anniversary Year the ladies have chosen Calon Plus as our charity as we want local people to benefit from our efforts. The ladies have already been busy fundraising. We have had a sponsored walk from Llanelli to Burry Port, fundraising social evenings and a Fashion Show and Craft Fayre at the Diplomat Hotel. The Choir will also be found “busking” for Calon Plus at local Tesco stores in the lead up to Christmas. The Anniversary Concert will be the culmination of a year of fundraising and with Paul Potts as our Guest Star we are anticipating a huge demand for tickets. We are working closely with Paul Francis of Anyone Waiting to host the event at the refurbished Selwyn Samuel Centre. Paul has been immensely helpful and supportive and will be the focus for ticket sales.”
As the country prepares to celebrate the 70th anniversary of Victory in Europe this year, local choirs will lead the town of Llanelli in two poignant commemorations.
The Llanelli Choral Society and conductor John Hywel Williams will present “WE REMEMBER”, a civic commemoration concert, on Saturday 9th May at the spiritual heart of the town at St. Elli’s Parish Church.
“We Remember” will feature the Llanelli Choral Society, guest choir Hywel Girls’ Choir & Hywel Boy Singers, gust artists, patriotic music and poignant marches by serving personnel and veterans of HM Armed Forces.
On Saturday 6th June at Y Ffwrnes, the Hywel Girls’ Choir & Hywel Boy Signers will pay special tribute at their landmark “Last Night of the Proms” with the 275 massed voices and musicians of the Hywel Choir, Pontarddulais Male Choir, Llanelli Choral Society, TV tenor Aled Hall and the acclaimed British Sinfonietta Orchestra. Veterans from all conflicts will be invited on stage to join the giant cast for a major and poignant choral and orchestral tribute with the young Hywel choristers in full world war two costumes. The night will also feature war movie themes and a range of patriotic music including Jerusalem, Land of Hope and Glory, Rule Britannia, Dambusters to name but a few.
“Calling all veterans! We are reaching out to all Veterans from all past conflicts to take part in these events”, explains event director Jeremy Hywel Williams. “This 70th anniversary is probably the last time that the generation who fought in that conflict will be able to assemble in numbers, a final chance for succeeding generations to offer thanks for their sacrifice and to the sacrifice of all veterans.”
If you are a veteran of World War Two or any subsequent conflict and wish to take part in either of these events, please contact Jeremy Hywel on 07545 26 88 41 or email jeremywilliams@me.com

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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