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 -

Concert promoter Cerith Owens has released further details about the St David’s Celebration Concert he is organising at Ffwrnes Theatre, Llanelli, next month.
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.
Recent guest-conducting engagements include appearances in Russia, Argentina, China, South Africa, Australia, Switzerland, Monaco, Austria, Slovenia, Poland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.
The guest accompanist will be Jeffrey Howard, one of Wales’s best know pianists. He is also an organist, arranger and orchestrator, singer and orchestral and choral conductor. Jeff is a Vocal Coach at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, Welsh National Opera and Welsh National Youth Opera and at the Wales International Academy of Voice.
Gowerton-born Elin Manahan Thomas released her debut album, Eternal Light, in 2007, and is the first singer ever to record a newly-discovered ode by Bach.
She has worked closely with renowned conductors and orchestras across the world, as well as with acclaimed composers such as Judith Weir, John Tavener, Karl Jenkins and John Rutter.
Her repertoire ranges from the Renaissance to the brand new, and Elin is known for her innovative recital programmes, as well as her work in oratorio and on the concert platform. Elin presents a regular show on BBC Radio Three.
The choirs taking part are as follows –
Côr Meibion Mynydd Mawr. Musical Director: Jeff Thomas. Accompanist: Ioan Price
Mynydd Mawr choir was formed in 1965 and has entertained and competed over the years. Chorister numbers have reduced over recent years but the choir is still very active. To celebrate its 50th anniversary, a Grand concert, where the choir joined with four other local choirs, was recently held in Pontyberem; a memorable event. The next highlight will be singing in the Royal Albert Hall next year.
Côr Meibion Dyffryn Aman. Musical Director: Ian Llewelyn. Accompanist: Berian Lewis. Côr Meibion Dyffryn Aman was established in 1990 and has a current membership of 45 choristers drawn from the many towns and villages of the Amman Valley. The choir has performed in over 270 concerts at venues all over Britain, France, the Netherlands and most recently Belgium. Over the years it has helped to raise many thousands of pounds for worthy causes.
Côr Meibion Dyffryn Tywi. Musical Director: Helen Wyn. Accompanist: Maureen Chapman. The choir was formed in 1975 and in its 41 years of existence has appeared in more than 1000 concerts, the majority for charities. The choir practices every Tuesday at the Red Lion, Llandyfaelog.
Côr Meibion Porth Tywyn (Burry Port). Musical Director: Ryan Lee. Accompanist:John Evans. Burry Port in the period 1910/1930, at the highest point, had a male choir of 160 choristers. Over a quarter of a century then passed before the late Mr Raymond Morris thought over the possibility of once again having a Male Choir in Burry Port. In 1962 the choir was reborn and its success has continued ever since.
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.
Meanwhile, the hard-working guys at Côr Meibion Dyffryn Tywi have put together an exciting line-up for their annual summer concert.
The concert, on Saturday July 22 at the Gwenllian Centre in Kidwelly, will feature, soprano Fflur Wyn, Y Trio Cymraeg – three fine voices from North Wales – and compere Ioan Hefin.
Helen Wyn has stepped up to the podium as temporary musical director as Davinia Harries is on maternity leave. With their regular accompanist, Maureen Chapman, Côr Meibion Dyffryn Tywi have the following engagements planned –
Thursday 9th February, Extra Practice 7 pm.
Thursday 16th February, Extra Practice 7 pm.
Friday 24th February, Pontyberem Hall
Monday 27th February, Burry Port Hall 7 pm.
Thursday 2nd March, Ferryside Hall
Saturday 4th March. Cawl a Chan Red Lion Llandyfaelog 7 pm.
Saturday 11th March Massed Male Choir Ffwrness Theatre pm.
The choir members rehearse at the Red Lion in Llandyfaelog and anyone interested in joining Côr Meibion Dyffryn Tywi, can contact Derrick Rowlands on email on or fill out the contact form on the website
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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