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 -
Fresh from their recent successes with the Valli Boys and a Christmas concert at Ffwrnes Theatre in Llanelli, Côr Meibion Llanelli Male Voice Choir are looking forward to their next engagements.
They are busy planning an exciting 2017, but they have hit a speed bump on their St David’s Day plans.
A late cancellation means the ‘boys’ of Côr Meibion Llanelli are still at a loose end for St David’s Day on March 1.
“We are now available for a late booking,” choir secretary Fred Elias said.
“Sadly, a long-standing arrangement for St David’s Day has been cancelled at short notice. It’s unfortunate, but these things happen.
“So, we are now free for a concert on and around St David’s Day in and around South Wales.
“If there is anyone out there looking to arrange a fundraiser for their local church/chapel or charity organisation, then please get in touch. As long as we can cover our expenses, we will do our best to help out.”
Anyone interested in booking Côr Meibion Llanelli can contact Fred Elias on 01554 741027 or email
In other St David’s Day news, there will be a ‘Cawl a Chan’ at Narberth RFC at 7.30pm on Wednesday, March 1, featuring Whitland Male Choir and guests.
West Wales singing duo Aled Edwards and Eleri Owen Edwards will be appearing at Dunvant RFC's Welsh night, ‘Cawl ,Caws and Cockles’ on Sunday March 12th.
And, on February 26 at Capel Newydd, Llandeilo, there will be a St David’s Day concert featuring mezzo-soprano Ffion Haf.
Ffion is a winner of the David Ellis Memorial Prize, the Blue Riband, at the 2015 National Eisteddfod at Montgomeryshire and the Marches.
Also appearing will be Bois y Castell male voice choir and the choirs of the town's primary schools, Ysgol Gymraeg Teilo Sant and Llandeilo Primary School.
Bois y Castell male choir which celebrates its 21st anniversary this year was formed in Spring 1996 to compete in the Bro Dinefwr National Eisteddfod in Llandeilo.
Since then, under the leadership of musical director Nia Clwyd, the choir has won the folk choir competition three times in the National Eisteddfod and twice in the Cerdd Dant Festival.
Over recent years the choir has developed to become a male voice choir and has come second and third on numerous occasions in the National Eisteddfod in competitions for choirs up to 45 in number.
The choir won the male voice competition at the National Eisteddfod in 2015, when Ffion Haf won the Blue Riband, and followed this up by winning the male voice choir competition at the Llangollen International Eisteddfod in 2016 and performing with distinction in the Choir of the World competition.
The choir has also enjoyed success in the Côr Cymru (Choirs of Wales) competition, sponsored by S4C, and has reached the final of the male voice section for the third time this year.
In Llanelli, the big concert is the St David’s Celebration Concert on Saturday, March 11 at Ffwrnes Theatre, Llanelli.
The event will be a Loud Applause production on behalf of Theatrau Sir Gar, Carmarthenshire Theatres.
It will feature combined male voice choirs from across West Wales, under the direction of guest conductor Alwyn Humphreys MBE.
As is customary at these events, Mr Owens likes to introduce a young up-and-coming singer to a wider audience.
This year, it will be the turn of 20-year-old Osian Wyn Bowen from Burry Port.
Osian is currently a student at the Welsh College of Music and Drama.
Tenor Osian has performed at a number of venues including St. David’s Hall, Wales Millennium Centre and Buckingham Palace.
Televised appearances include S4C Heno; Les Miserables – Y Daith; Cyngerdd y 10 Tenor and BBC’s Songs of Praise. Osian is also a patron for Welsh Hearts.
Mr Owens said: “We have a very exciting and inspiring line-up for the concert, which is being held at Ffwrnes on Saturday, March 11.
“Our star attraction will be the exceptional soprano Elin Manahan Thomas.
“It will be an evening with a Welsh theme reflecting the celebrations of our patron saint’s day and the concert promises to have something for everyone.”
Guest Conductor Dr Alwyn Humphreys is well-known throughout Wales for his work as a TV presenter and conductor. He is Principal Guest Conductor of the Chamber Orchestra of Wales and Conductor Emeritus of the Morriston Orpheus Choir.
The choirs taking part are Côr Meibion Mynydd Mawr; Côr Meibion Dyffryn Aman; Côr Meibion Dyffryn Tywi; Côr Meibion Porth Tywyn (Burry Port).
Tickets for the St David’s Celebration Concert can be obtained from the Ffwrnes Theatre box office or from the website –
The compere for the evening will be TV and radio presenter Garry Owen.
Other future events in West Wales include –
JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR - Carmarthen Youth Opera. Musical - 21 Feb, 22 Feb, 23 Feb, 24 Feb, 25 Feb at The Lyric. CDYO are proud to present Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice's masterpiece Jesus Christ Superstar. One of the best musicals of all times this production will be a rock spectacular and celebrate a new generation of young and aspiring talent, it promises to be the 'must see' show of 2017.
SEMELE OPERA - Mid Wales Opera. Opera - 23 Feb at The Ffwrnes. First performed during Lent 1744 at Covent Garden, Handel’s Semele instantly caused a stir. The production used Congreve’s libretto based on Ovid’s Metamorphoses bringing to life Semele’s ill-fated love for Jupiter King of the Gods. Undoubtedly one of the jewels of baroque opera, it features the stunning tenor aria “Where’er you walk” and Semele’s breathtaking “Endless pleasure, endless love”.
COMPANY - Llanelli Stage Company. Musical - 23 Feb, 24 Feb, 25 Feb at Ffwrnes - Stiwdio Stepni. A breakthrough Broadway musical in 1970. COMPANY remains fresh, acerbic and original today. The themes – marriage and commitment, friendship and loneliness – and its innovations in form, mark it as a landmark in American musical theatre; considered by many to have inaugurated the modern era of musical theatre. You can't fail to be dazzled by Sondheim's score – original, pulsating and breathtaking.
THE WIZARD OF OZ - SA15 Stage School. Musical - 2 Mar, 3 Mar, 4 Mar, 5 Mar, 7 Mar, 8 Mar, 9 Mar, 10 Mar at The Ffwrnes. Little Dorothy Gale of Kansas, like so many girls her age, dreams of what lies over the rainbow. One day a twister hits her farm and carries her away over the rainbow to another world. Come join Dorothy, the Scarecrow, the Tinman, the Cowardly Lion and Toto as they travel the universe of Dorothy's imagination.
CHAMBER PHILHARMONIC EUROPE POWERFUL EMOTIONS TOUR 2017 - Kammerphilharmonie Europa. Classical Music - 22 Mar at The Ffwrnes. Chamber Philharmonic Europe with award-winning soloist C. Gussaroff –Trumpet bring an evening of versatilesounds and a repertoire that will lead you through an intricate mix of emotions with their high quality artisitic and enriching classical music and experiences from the world renowned established orchestra that will leave you moved and energized equally.

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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