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

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

It’s a question that always pops up at this time of the year: What was your favourite musical moment? After a great deal of thinking, I’ve been able to come up with a ‘magnificent seven’ of the highlights of 2016.
They are in no order of priority . . .
#1 There was a very special celebration for the Amman Valley-based Côr Lleisiau’r Cwm. The ladies choir celebrated their 20th anniversary with a gala dinner dance at the Stradey Park Hotel, Llanelli.
Côr Lleisiau’r Cwm have an enviable reputation for charity work and the proceeds of the event were donated to the Kidney Organisation Wales. The evening kicked off with a superb set by Cantata, one of three choirs under the baton of the gifted Côr Lleisiau’r Cwm musical director Catrin Hughes. Further entertainment was provided by the always-energetic Fat Barry’s Soul Band. It was night full of fun and high energy.
#2 A Night With the Stars gala concert, featuring Shân Cothi , Charlie Lovell-Jones (violin) and The Loud Applause Rising Stars, at Ffwrnes Theatre, Llanelli. A night in which Shân Cothi and Co found themselves eclipsed by Cardiff-based 17-year-old Charlie Lovell-Jones. It was dazzling stuff. Come back soon, Charlie Lowell-Jones!
#3 Loud Applause Rising Stars ‘Music of the Night’ at Machynys Golf Club, featuring host Mark Llewellyn Evans and Rising Stars. Tears of laughter, tears of remembrance . . . this was a night when emotional heartstrings were played in perfect harmony. The Loud Applause Rising Stars charity ‘Music of the Night’ event at Machynys didn’t necessarily set out to have the audience reaching for their hankies, but the power of the music and the singing made it so. It was an evening when the featured artistes were the members of the Loud Applause Rising Stars stable of young up-and-coming performers. But host Mark Llewellyn Evans is such a wonderful performer that he couldn’t help but steal a sizeable chunk of the show.
#4 Côr Meibion Llanelli Male Voice Choir, Côr y Penrhyn, Adele O’Neill at Ffwrnes Theatre, Llanelli. There was a splendid competitive edge to this Côr Meibion Llanelli Male Voice Choir annual concert staged at Ffwrnes Theatre, Llanelli. The Llanelli choir had invited Côr y Penrhyn, from North Wales, to perform – and that meant that we had two of Wales’s finest male voice choirs for the price of one. There was a healthy bit of one-upmanship throughout the concert as both male voice choirs tried to out-perform each other. Playing a diplomatic role between the two choirs was Pontarddulais soprano Adele O’Neill, who sparkled like a diamond all evening long.
#5 St David’s Day Concert at Ffwrnes Theatre, Llanelli, featuring Côr Meibion Llanelli Male Choir and Dunvant Male Choir with Côr Ysgol Iau Llangennech, mezzo-soprano Eirlys Myfanwy Davies, Jordan Williams. It promised to be a spectacular evening celebrating the very best from the land of song – and it certainly lived up to its billing. This production had everything the heart could desire for a St David’s Day celebration. Powerhouse performances from two of our finest choirs were neatly balanced by the sheer delight of the Côr Ysgol Iau Llangennech choir and two up-and-coming solo stars who are Welsh to the core. A grand finale featuring both male voice choirs singing Speed Your Journey, Morte Christe and Tydi a Roddiast will live long in the memory.
#6 Côr Meibion Dyffryn Tywi, TRIO, Joy Cornock, Dawnswyr Talog - Côr Meibion Dyffryn Tywi annual concert at Gwenllian Centre, Kidwelly. There’s a Welsh word that sums up this concert staged by Côr Meibion Dyffryn Tywi. It is ‘bendigedig’, meaning splendid. You could throw a few other Welsh words into the mix – ‘gwych’ and ‘ardderchog’, for example, and you would get a decent idea of how it all went. Côr Meibion Dyffryn Tywi have a fine reputation as one of the smaller male voice choirs in Wales. Indeed, they only fielded 19 choristers, but, rather like the Welsh football team, they are a great team unit and #TogetherStronger.
#7 Burry Port Town Band, A Choired Taste, Sophie McLaughlin in an ‘Audience with Burry Port Town Band’ at QE High School, Carmarthen. It was the night ‘Girl Power’ met the ‘Best of Brass’ at QE High School, Carmarthen. Burry Port Town Band’s status as one of the best brass bands in the UK is well known – and they lived up to top billing in stirring concert which deserved a bigger audience. They shared the stage with the 70 ladies of A Choired Taste, the Carmarthen choir led by one of the winners of the BBC’s Unsung Hero Award for Music, Sarah Kirby. They provided the ‘razzle’ to the band’s ‘dazzle’ – or was it the other way around? Whatever it was, it worked a treat and the razzle-dazzle went down a storm.

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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