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

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

There’s a big concert celebrating St David, the patron saint of Wales, planned for Carmarthenshire in March.
The St David’s Celebration Concert is being staged by Loud Applause Productions at Ffwrnes Theatre, Llanelli, on Saturday, March 11, 7pm.
The concert will featured a more than 100 male voices as the combined choirs of Burry Port, Dyffryn Amman, Dyffryn Tywi and Mynydd Mawr take the stage under the skilful baton of renowned maestro Alwyn Humphreys.
The soloist will be soprano Elin Manahan Thomas and the guest accompanist will be Jeff Howard.
Popular host Garry Owen, of TV and radio fame, will be the compere for the evening.
The event will mark a rare Llanelli appearance for Elin Manahan Thomas.
Thomas was born in 1977 in Gorseinon, the daughter of M. Wynn Thomas OBE, a Professor of Literature at Swansea University, and Karen Thomas.
She was educated at the Welsh-speaking Ysgol Gyfun Gwyr in Gowerton and by the time she was 15 was singing in the Swansea Bach Choir.
Elin Manahan Thomas is one of the most exceptional sopranos of her generation.
Since releasing her début album ‘Eternal Light’ in 2007, with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, she has performed at many of the world’s most prestigious venues and festivals, and with leading orchestras and conductors.
Perhaps most famously known for her performances of baroque masterpieces - such as Handel's Eternal Source of Light Divine at the London 2012 Paralympics Opening Ceremony - Elin is equally at home performing classical and contemporary works.
Elin has performed across Europe at major venues and festivals, including: the Edinburgh, Canterbury, Three Choirs, Llangollen, Mostly Mozart and Lufthansa festivals, St John's Smith Square, Wigmore Hall, Royal Albert Hall, Birmingham Town Hall, Bridgewater Hall, Casa de Musica in Porto, Zurich Tonhalle, and the Concertgebouw Amsterdam. In 2008 Elin gave the World Première of Sir John Tavener’s Requiem in Liverpool Cathedral (also recorded for EMI), and later premiered his Love Duet at the Manchester International Festival in 2013.
Orchestras she has worked with include the Halle, Britten Sinfonia, Royal Philharmonic, Academy of Ancient Music, BBC NOW, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Bournemouth Symphony, City of London Sinfonia, the Malaysian Philharmonic, and Copenhagen Philharmonic Orchestra.
She has performed for many of the world's leading conductors, among them Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Sir Andrew Davis, Harry Christophers, Paul McCreesh, Stephen Layton, Sir Roger Norrington, Vasily Petrenko, Thierry Fischer and the late Richard Hickox.
Equally comfortable performing contemporary music, Elin has been fortunate to work with Sir John Tavener, John Rutter, Sir Karl Jenkins, James Macmillan, Judith Weir and Eric Whitacre, among others.
Alongside concert performances, Elin is also known for her presenting work.
She has been twice nominated for a BAFTA Cymru (Best Newcomer, Best Presenter) and has presented for BBC 4 (The Proms) and BBC 2 Wales (Proms in the Park). Elin regularly presents for Radio Cymru, and is presenter on Radio Three's Early Music Late, on Sunday evenings.
Elin has released five solo albums, and appeared as featured soloist on innumerable discs, for labels such as Universal, Naxos, Chandos, Hyperion, Coro, Signum, Collegium and Sain.
In 2012, her ‘Vivaldi’ recording with Florilegium was Radio 3’s CD of the Week; BBC Music Magazine awarded the disc five stars; while International Record Review placed it in their ‘Outstanding’ category.
Her recordings range from the renaissance to Handel to Elgar and beyond, and 2016 sees the release of a CD of songs by Morfydd Llwyn Owen (previously unrecorded) for Ty Cerdd, and Karl Jenkins' Cantata Aberfan for Deutsche Gramophon, alongside Bryn Terfel.
In April 2016 she was Classic FM's Artist of the Week.
In addition to her singing and presenting, Elin is a passionate advocate of music education, and has led choral workshops with Eric Whitacre, masterclasses at RWCMD, University of Oxford, children's concerts with LPO and OAE, and children's operas with Children's Music Workshop. She is an Honorary Fellow at RWCMD, and at the Universities of Swansea and Bangor, and is currently Artist in Residence at Bangor Music Festival.
In other news, tickets for a special charity concert at Ffwrnes Theatre are going like hot cakes.
The concert is being organised on Saturday, February 4, 2017, by the Chairman of Carmarthenshire County Council, Councillor Eryl Morgan, to support his chosen charities for his year of office.
Councillor Morgan is raising cash for the Ty Bryngwyn Hospice in Llanelli and for a new MRI scanner for Prince Philip Hospital, Llanelli.
Top of the bill will be the sensational Valli Boys, South Wales based performers who specialise in the ‘Jersey Boys’ catalogue made famous by Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons.
The Valli Boys are made up of four very talented West End performers.
The Valli Boys members have appeared in musicals such as Les Miserables, Mamma Mia, The Lord Of The Rings, Merrily We Roll Along, Starlight Express, Miss Saigon and, of course, Jersey Boys.
Ben Evans, the founding member of the group, set up the Valli Boys after understudying and playing the role of Frankie Valli in the West End production of Jersey Boys for five years.
The Valli Boys will take you on a musical journey through major hits from the Jersey Boys, including ‘Sherry’, ‘Grease Is The Word’, ‘Bye Bye Baby’, ‘Stay’, ‘Silence is Golden’, ‘Working My Way Back to You Babe’ and‘Oh What a Night’.
Supporting the Valli Boys will be Côr Meibion Llanelli Male Voice Choir and rock and pop choir The Phil Harmonics.
Tickets can be obtained from the Ffwrnes Theatre box office or from the website on -
https://ffwrnes.ticketsolve.com/shows/873566788/events

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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