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 -

Friday night is a big night for music fans in Llanelli.
Guests at the Llanelli Star Community Awards at the Stradey Park Hotel will be able to listen to Côr Curiad perform under the baton of Alex Esney.
They will also find out the winner of the prestigious Ambassador Award, with three popular figures from the local entertainment scene competing for the prize.
The three are Carwyn Matera Rogers, the manager of Theatrau Sir Gar, Carmarthenshire’s theatres at Carmarthen, Llanelli, and Ammanford; celebrated organist Allan Fewster MBE and Burry Port choir musical director Ryan Lee.
For the best part of five decades, Mr Fewster has played a central role in some of the highest profile musical events in Wales. He is highly-accomplished pianist, organists, conductor and teacher whose services are consistently sought in Eisteddfodau, Cymanfaoedd Canu and a wide range of concerts throughout Wales.
Ryan Lee was born in Llanelli in 1940, was educated at Llanelli Boys Grammar School, Trinity College Carmarthen and then at the University College Cardiff. Ryan joined Burry Port Opera in 1979 as Chorus Master and in 1981 became the Musical Director performing Grand Opera each year. He also conducts Burry Port Male Choir.
Carwyn Matera Rogers has been the long-running manager of Ffwrnes and the old Theatr Elli and has helped bring some of the biggest names to Llanelli to perform over the years.
Meanwhile, also on Friday night, representative of the Rising Stars stable from Loud Applause Productions will be entertaining patrons and friends at Llanelly House.
“It’s very much of a thank you event for people who have supported our young singers over the years,” said Loud Applause Productions director Cerith Owens.
It’s a busy time for Burry Port Male Choir conductor Ryan Lee as he is starting preparations for the annual concert season.
The choir has a rich history.
The choir took its present shape way back in September 1962, when a meeting was called at the Memorial Hall inviting along any persons interested in reforming the choir to attend – some 30 people turned up.
The meeting concluded with Mr. Raymond Morris being appointed the new choir’s first conductor.
Mr Lee, the present conductor, is only the seventh in more than 50 years.
The reputation of Burry Port Male Choir has extended under Mr Lee’s leadership to many parts of the Britain, Europe and the United States of America.
Over the years the choir has supported local charitable events and competed at eisteddfodau at both national and international levels.
The choir members have twice visited Holland, Canada once, and they have been to America on three occasions.
The choir has also visited and performed in Paris and at The Royal Albert Hall, London, in the 1000 Voices Concerts.
Mr Lee (his official title is Director of Music) was born in Llangennech and now lives in Burry Port.
Before his retirement, he was a headmaster and had been teaching for more than 15 years in English schools, where he gained valuable experience as a conductor of choirs and operatic societies.
Mr Lee has arranged many of the songs sung by the choir – the music set to Psalm 121 was composed by him and part of the current repertoire was arranged by him.
Many other choirs have benefited by receiving copies of his arrangements.
Mr Lee is also the Musical Director of the Burry Port Operatic Society, one of the very few Operatic Groups performing grand Opera in Wales.
Over the last few years he has been in great demand as a conductor of Hymn singing festivals know in Wales as “Cymanfaoedd Canu” and requests for his services are increasing every year.
Burry Port is very fortunate that the choral and operatic groups in the town are in the safe hands of a dedicated and talented musician.
Choir rehearsals take place every Monday and Thursday nights (except Bank Holidays and the month of August) between 7.00pm and 8.45pm at the Burry Port Memorial Hall.
The choir is available for concerts, weddings and special occasions.
The choir can be contacted through secretary Ian Rees - 07923 480343, email, sec@burryportmalechoir.co.uk
Future events for Burry Port Male Choir include –
July 2, Joint choir concert with Corby at Jerusalem, Burry Port.
September 17, annual concert.
September 24, Return concert to Corby, to be confirmed.
October 15, Mynydd Mawr 50th anniversary concert at Pontyberem Hall.
December 16, Community Carol Concert, to be confirmed.

Events calendar -
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.
Saturday 9th July: Côr Meibion Dyffryn Tywi, annual concert, Princess Gwenllian Centre, Kidwelly.

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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