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 -

Llanelli-based concert promoter Cerith Owens is continuing to expand his stable of ‘Rising Stars’ – young singers making their mark in the South West wales area with Loud Applause Productions.
A recent addition to the Loud Applause Rising Stars stable is Johnny Mansel Lewis, aged 21, from Stradey Castle, Llanelli.
Johnny grew up in Llandeilo is a third year student at Plymouth University studying psychology.
His singing career began with a classical focus, in his lower and upper 6th form at Shrewsbury school where he sang in the choir, featured in a number of concerts, starred as Zidler in the school musical production of ‘West Side Story’ and sang the part of Aeneas in a showcase of the opera ‘Dido and Aeneas’.
Since being at University he has starred in the musical ‘The Wedding Singer’ playing the role of ‘Robbie Hart’ and more recently took the supporting role of ‘Stride’ in the performance of ‘Jekyll and Hyde’.
Both performances were produced by the university’s ‘Musical Theatre Society’. Furthermore he has been the resident singer at the University’s ‘Big Band’ for the past three years, performing with the 30-piece Brass and Woodwind ensemble across the whole south west of England.
After completing his degree, Johnny hopes to study for a Masters in Psychology while embracing any and all musical endeavours available.
Meanwhile, TV celebrity and singing star Aled Jones will join forces with Llanelli’s Hywel Choir to thrill local audiences on April 11 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.
Also joining the celebrity line-up at Y Ffwrnes for “Spirit of Song” will be acclaimed violin virtuoso Davinder Singh.
There’s a very big concert coming up later this month when the ladies of Côr Curiad stage their special anniversary concert with Paul Potts on Saturday, April 25.
The concert also features Jordan Williams, a member of the Loud Applause Productions rising Stars stable, the National Eisteddfod winning Burry Port Town Band and will be hosted by Swansea Sound Radio Presenter Kevin Johns MBE.
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 choristers also did some“busking” for Calon Plus at local Tesco stores at 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.”
Tickets for the Llanelli concert are priced 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.
Llanelli’s Last Night of the Proms will take place on Saturday June 6 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.”
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.
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

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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