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

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

Côr Meibion Llanelli Male Voice Choir sail off to the Emerald Isle and a short summer tour of County Mayo tomorrow – but they already have their sights set on their annual concert in September.
The ‘annual’ is always a landmark event in the choral calendar in Llanelli and Côr Meibion Llanelli will be in concert at Ffwrnes Theatre, Llanelli, at 7pm on Saturday, September 24.
Their special guests will be Penrhyn Male Choir (Penrhyn Male Choir) from North Wales.
The two choirs are ‘old friends’. Côr Meibion Llanelli performed with Côr Penrhyn at one of the first events to be staged at the new Bryn Terfel Theatre at The Pontio arts centre in Bangor earlier this year.
Côr Penrhyn are paying back the favour by journeying south for the Côr Meibion Llanelli concert.
“We have a great relationship with the boys of Côr Penrhyn,” said Llanelli choir secretary Fred Elias.
“We enjoy working together and, when the two choirs join together in song, it really is a stirring experience not to be missed.”
Côr Penrhyn is based in the old quarrying village of Bethesda in North West Wales.
The Penrhyn slate quarry used to employ 3,000 men providing roofing slate which was exported to most countries in the world. Automation has brought that number down to 300. The area is one of the strongholds of the Welsh language.
Originally, the choir drew its members entirely from the local slate quarry after which the choir is named.
Nowadays, the 100 members are drawn from a large area of North Wales and from a variety of occupations. School teachers are in the majority at present, outnumbering the quarry workers by about four to one. There are professors and plumbers, accountants and ambulancemen, carpenters and computer consultants, television producers and barmen, firemen and farmers, bankers and businessmen – all with one thing in common – the love of good music.
As one of Wales’ oldest choirs, Penrhyn’s repertoire reflects the traditional values of male voice singing.
Recent work commissioned by the choir combines words by one of Wales’ most accomplished poets, Ieuan Wyn, with music by Welsh composer Gareth Glyn.
In a lighter vein, the choir’s programme includes adaptations of pop songs, Welsh and English, as well as the ever popular spirituals and opera choruses.
The choir have recorded a number of albums, including a CD entitled “Dychwelyd” which was recorded to coincide with the choirs centenary return to Chicago in 1993. “Arwelfa” which was recorded in 2006, and the latest offering called Anthem.
On a different note, there’s a big musical event coming up at Ffwrnes, Llanelli, on June 10.
The Freddie Mercury Project features the Sinfonia Cymru orchestra.
In a show directed by Vlad Maistorovici, they will be exploring ‘Freddie Mercury. Icon. Innovator. Musical maverick. Cultural legend.’
Sinfonia Cymru has commissioned internationally-acclaimed composer and violinist Vlad Maistorovici to create Queen Concertante, new arrangements of iconic Queen songs including We Are The Champions, Bohemian Rhapsody and Killer Queen.
Upbeat and stirring, this is a chance to experience Freddie Mercury’s brilliant original compositions played with passion by a live 23-piece orchestra.
Maverick composer-performer Vlad Maistorovici takes on three roles in The Freddie Mercury Project: conductor, violin soloist and composer.
One of the most exciting artists of his generation to emerge from Romania, he performs internationally as a soloist, recitalist and chamber musician in repertoire ranging from classical to modern. His compositions have been championed by world class orchestras and artists.

Future events -
June
June 4, “Last Night of the Proms”. Hywel Girls’ Choir and Hywel Boy Singers, Angelicus Chorale, Llanelli Choral Society, Dunvant Male Choir, British Sinfonietta, Huw Tregelles Williams (organ), Gwawr Edwards (soprano), Ffwrnes, Llanelli.
July
July 9, “A Night of the Classics” Community Recital. Hywel Girls’ Choir and Hywel Boy Singers, Angelicus Chorale, Musicians and singers from Hywel Academy of Music, Huw Tregelles Williams (organ), Jane Jewell (piano), Gareth Hamlin (percussion), John Hywel Williams (conductor), St. Elli Parish Church, Llanelli.
July (to be confirmed) Hywel Girls’ Choir and Hywel Boy Singers Album Recording.
September
Date to be confirmed, Côr Meibion Dyffryn Tywi St Anne’s Cwmffrwd
Côr Meibion Dyffryn Tywi Thursday 29th Sept – Sunday 2nd October North Wales Tour.
September 24, Côr Meibion Llanelli Male Voice Choir annual concert at Ffwrnes (7pm) with special guests Côr Penrhyn from North Wales.
October
Saturday 15th October: Mynydd Mawr Choir and Côr Meibion Dyffryn Tywi concert in Pontyberem Hall.
October 15, “Great Choral Voices”, Hywel Girls’ Choir and Hywel Boy Singers, Angelicus Chorale Llanelli Choral Society and guest choirs, St. David’s Cathedral, to be confirmed.
November
Llanelli's annual Festival of Light event in aid of Ty Bryngwyn Hospice, 6pm Monday 14th November at the St Elli Shopping Centre, Llanelli.
December
December 3, “The Great Christmas Fantasia”, Hywel Girls’ Choir and Hywel Boy Singers, Angelicus Chorale, Llanelli Choral Society, Dunvant Male Choir, British Sinfonietta Orchesta, Huw Tregelles Williams (organ), Ffwrnes.
December 17, Côr Meibion Llanelli Male Voice Choir, Christmas Concert at Ffwrnes (7pm) with special guests The Phil Harmonics.
December 17, “The Miracle of Christmas”, Llanelli Choral Society, Angelicus Chorale, British Sinfonietta Orchestra, Huw Tregelles Williams (organ), guest soloists, St. Elli Parish Church, Llanelli.

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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