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

There’s a big night of choral singing coming up in the Gwendraeth Valley this weekend.
It is all to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Côr Meibion Mynydd Mawr.
Pontyberem Memorial Hall will be the venue for ‘Canu o’r Cwm’ (Singing from the Valley) on Saturday, October 15.
Côr Meibion Mynydd Mawr chorister John Williams said: “It promises to be a very special night as we will be joined by our neighbouring choirs for a wonderful evening celebrating our best Welsh choral traditions.”
Guest artists include star Welsh soloist and TV and radio star Shân Cothi, Côr Meibion Caerfyrddin, Côr Meibion Dyffryn Aman, Côr Meibion Dyffryn Twyi, Côr Meibion Porth Tywyn and Côr Meibion Llandybie.
In its current form, Côr Meibion Mynydd Mawr dates back to 1965.
But the roots of the choir go as far back as 1913 (perhaps 1908) in the Tumble area.
A male choir - Mynydd Mawr Male Voice Party - started in Tumble under the baton of Tom Morgan, Gwendraeth View, Tyisha Road, Tumble, and there is an even earlier record of a choir of the same name dating back to 1908.
This choir performed at the official opening of the Cross Hands Public Hall in 1911 and in its formative years the choir was successful in competitions at Abergwili and Swansea.
The choir disbanded in 1948 but the tradition of choral singing was revived in May 1965 when the male section of Bethesda Chapel's ‘Cymdeithas Ddiwylliadol’ started a choir – ‘Bois y Bryniau’ - under the baton of Lloyd Asa Williams.
Joshua Jenkins, Drefach, was the deputy conductor and the accompanist was Denzil T Jones, also from Drefach.
In 1965, it was decided to establish Mynydd Mawr Choir.
The first AGM was held in January 1966 when an invitation was extended to Sydney Evans to join as a Deputy Conductor. Dr Hopkins, Cross Hands, was appointed President.
In June, the choir was named ‘Côr Meibion y Mynydd Mawr’, recognising the fact that men other than Bethesda Chapel members were eligible to join.
The choir appeared in a BBC programme featuring Tumble in November and adopted a formal constitution.
Gloom was cast over the choir in October, 1968, at the passing of its conductor Lloyd Asa Williams. After a suitable interval, Sydney Evans was appointed conductor. The choir made a recording in December 1968 in memory of Lloyd Asa Williams.
The first appearance by the choir in an Eisteddfod was in Flint in 1969 when it gained third prize. The experience paid dividends when, in the following year, at Ammanford, the choir clinched the first.
A sequel to its success followed when the choir was invited to appear in the annual St David's Day Festival at the Royal Albert Hall, London in March 1971.
The choir has made a valuable contribution to numerous charitable organisations throughout Britain, and has been successful on five occasions on the Royal National Eisteddfod platform, as well as at other eisteddfodau.
In 2000, the choir was successful in winning the Male Voice competition at the Jersey International Music Festival.
Anyone wishing to join the choir should contact choir secretary Roger Walters on 01269 844259.
Choir practices are held from 7pm to 9pm on Monday nights in Bethesda Chapel Vestry, Bethesda Road, Tumble.
Burry Port is getting ready for the annual production by Burry Port Opera.
This year, the featured opera is Samson and Delilah by Camille Saint-Saens.
It will be performed at Burry Port Memorial Hall on Wednesday, October 19, Friday October 21 and Saturday October 22.
The characters and cast include –
Delilah, Lauren Easton; Samson, Philip O'Brien; High Priest, Michael Dewis; Abimelech, Gareth Long; Hebrew Elder, Paul Morgan.
The opera will, of course, feature the Burry Port Opera Chorus and Orchestra, Leader Mansel Hughes.
The producer is Keith J Clarke and the conductor is Ryan Lee.
The opera centres on the Biblical story of the Israeli hero Samson and the sensationally beautiful Delilah.
In other news, 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.
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.

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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