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

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

The ‘boys’ of Côr Meibion Llanelli Male Voice Choir are back at their twice-weekly rehearsals after their summer break and getting ready for their next big concert.
Côr Meibion Llanelli will be staging their annual concert at Ffwrnes Theatre, Llanelli, at 7pm on Saturday, September 24.
Tickets can be obtained through the Ffwrnes Theatre box office or through the Theatrau Sir Gar website.
The choir’s special guests will be 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.
Côr Meibion Llanelli secretary Mr Elias said now was a great time to join the Llanelli choir.
“We are always looking for new members. There is great camaraderie in being part of a big male voice choir. You get the chance to travel and to make friends around the world.
“Anyone interested in joining Côr Meibion Llanelli can come along to our rehearsals at 7pm on Monday and Thursdays at Furnace Community Hall.”
Meanwhile, tickets are now on sale for A Night With The Stars, the annual showcase concert of Loud Applause Productions, the popular production company run by Llanelli-based Cerith Owens.
A Night With The Stars takes place on Saturday 12th November at Ffwrnes Theatre, Llanelli, 7.00pm start.
This is a Gala Concert featuring the ever popular soprano Shân Cothi, the world famous Morriston Orpheus Choir, the brilliant young violinist Charlie Lovell Jones and an array of very talented vocalists from Loud Applause Rising Stars.
It will be a bilingual evening of first class musical entertainment to suit all tastes - choral, opera, classical musical theatre, jazz.
The host is BBC TV and radio personality Garry Owen and the accompanists for the Rising Stars are Andrew Pike and Rhiannon Williams Hale.
The busy ladies of Côr Curiad are planning Christmas already.
A special Christmas-themed evening at Stradey Castle is already a sell-out.
So, the ladies are staging a second performance on Thursday, December 1.
Côr Curiad, along with accompanist Craig Oldham, will be staging a festive evening of Christmas songs, Carols, Mulled Wine and mince pies set in the beautiful surroundings of Stradey Castle.
Guest performers include Sarah Lewis-Meredith, Steffi Lewis-Meredith and Rhiannon Taylor-Searle.
All proceeds from the event are in aid of Ty Bryngwyn Hospice in Llanelli.
Meanwhile, Llanelli Choral Society members are looking forward to performing at St David’s Cathedral in Pembrokeshire on Saturday, October 15.
The event is being billed as a Journey of World Music.
It will also feature the Hywel Girls Choir and the Hywel Boy Singers, the Angelicus Choral and Haverfordwest Male Choir.
For your tickets, please call 07545 268841.
On Saturday, 15th October, there’s a special 'Canu o'r Cwm' celebration evening at Pontyberem Memorial Hall.
The events marks 50 years of choral singing in the Gwendraeth Valley with guest artists including Shân Cothi and others as well asCôr Meibion Caerfyrddin, Côr Meibion Dyffryn Aman, Côr Meibion Dyffryn Twyi, Côr Meibion Porth Tywyn and Côr Meibion Llandybie.

Events calendar
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.
November
Llanelli's annual Festival of Light event in aid of Ty Bryngwyn Hospice, 6pm Monday 14th November at the St Elli Shopping Centre.
December
December 17, Côr Meibion Llanelli Male Voice Choir, Christmas Concert at Ffwrnes (7pm) with special guests The Phil Harmonics.

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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