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 - 

Make a date in your diary for Saturday July 11 and the visit of the prestigious Swansea Bach Choir to Llanelli.
The concert is being organised by Llanelli-based promoter Cerith Owens, of Loud Applause Productions and sees the Swansea Bach Choir performing at Llanelli’s Parish Church.
“It is a very atmospheric setting for a classical concert and we hope to give the Swansea Bach Choir a very special welcome to Llanelli,” said Mr Owens.
The Swansea Bach Choir was formed in 1965 with the aim of presenting the very best choral works from the past five centuries, to as wide a public as possible, and in as professional and authentic a manner as possible.
Many of the choir’s 40 members are trained singers, music students, and teachers of music.
The choir is renowned for its performances of Baroque music, in particular the major works of Bach.
Its performance of the Matthäus-Passion, given with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, was the first time this great masterpiece had been heard in Wales accompanied by a period orchestra.
Other such ‘firsts’ include performances of Bach’s Johannes-Passion and Mass in B Minor, Monteverdi’s Vespers of 1610, Purcell’s King Arthur, Messiah, and several of the late masses of Haydn, all accompanied by London-based period orchestras.
At the other end of the historical spectrum, the choir's performance of the Rachmaninov Vespers, the first by a Welsh choir, was highly acclaimed.
It has also performed many 20th Century works, including major compositions by Pizzetti, Frank Martin, Howells, Britten, Duruflé and works by several Welsh composers.
The choir’s conductor is Greg Hallam.
Following his education at Chetham's School of Music, Greg gained his bachelor degree from the Royal College of Music where he studied voice with Ashley Stafford. He went on to study Choral Conducting at the Royal Academy of Music and was awarded MA and LRAM qualifications, both with distinction.
Greg balances his life conducting, singing and adjudicating. He is Musical Director of Swansea Bach Choir, Bracknell Choral Society and London Youth Boys' and Training Choirs. He teaches singing at Wellington College and Christchurch Cathedral School, Oxford.
Greg is Artistic Director of the Penkhull Festival of Music and Art in Staffordshire and Assistant Musical Director of the National Youth Choirs of Great Britain.
Meanwhile, 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 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.
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 773571.
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-plus 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
Finally, the Rev David Jones of Greenfield Chapel, Llanelli, has asked me to give a special mention to the chapel choir.
“They are a hard-working group of singers,” said David. “They create a lovely sound and they are always on the lookout for new members.”
All choirs, please take note: send any news items to me at

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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