THERE is a big night coming up for Côr Meibion Llandybie as they hold their annual concert on Friday, June 8, at the Memorial Hall in Llandybie.

The choir will be joined by members of Côr Meibion Dinefwr.

The combined choirs will be conducted by Mr Alan Davies and accompanist will be Ms Catrin Morris.

Guest soloist for the evening will be Ms Angharad Davies (soprano) and she will be accompanied by Mrs Gloria Lloyd.

The evening will also feature Rhydian Tiddy playing the trombone.

Llanelli concertgoers can look forward to seeing the Hywel Girls’ Choir and Hywel Boy Singers in the spectacular Last Night of the Proms at Ffwrnes Theatre this weekend.

This year’s mad, fun, flag-waving extravaganza on Saturday (June 2) includes an amazing 200-plus massed voices.

The evening features the symphonic sounds of the British Sinfonietta Orchestra and an army of massed voices of the Hywel Choirs, the TV acclaimed Angelicus Celtis, the mighty Pontarddulais Male Choir and the Llanelli Choral Society and special guest artists – all under the baton of John Hywel Williams MBE.

Highlights of the night will include Land of Hope and Glory, Rule Britannia, Nimrod, Welsh favourites, music from Star Wars, Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark, Schindler’s List and a special tribute to World Ware One and Her Majesty’s Armed Forces and Veterans, including the Dambusters March, the Armed Man, Pack up your Troubles, Hymn to the Fallen, Jerusalem and a poignant Abide with Me.

Côr Meibion Llanelli will be remembering their former accompanist, Gethin Hughes, at their annual concert at Ffwrnes Theatre, Llanelli (Saturday, June 30, 7pm).

Gethin was affectionately known as Llanelli’s ‘Mr Music’ prior to his death in 2011.

Following his death, a special Gethin Hughes Memorial Bursary Scholarship was established.

The first winner of the cash bursary was Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama student Megan Thomas, from Trimsaran.

The choir’s annual concert in June will feature the contest to decide the next winner of the bursary scholarship.

The competition will form the centrepiece of the concert by Côr Meibion Llanelli Male Voice Choir, with the choir performing a wide-ranging repertoire dovetailing the competition.

The Gethin Hughes prize is the brainchild of Côr Meibion Llanelli musical director Mr D Eifion Thomas, a close friend of the late Mr Hughes.

“Gethin was a great pal and a long-serving accompanist for Cor Meibion Llanelli,” said Mr Thomas.

“We travelled the world to concerts and festivals and Gethin was famous the world over for being a real character and a wonderful ambassador for Llanelli.

“Gethin made an outstanding contribution to music in Llanelli and in Wales. It is wonderfully fitting that we should honour his memory and celebrate his life with a musical bursary prize.

“Gethin cared very much about supporting and promoting youngsters on their musical careers. Hopefully, this award will go a long way to encouraging, supporting and developing musical talent in Carmarthenshire.”

The bursary organisers also include Cor Meibion Llanelli chorister Richard Christopher, Gethin’s second cousin.

Mr Christopher explained: “The aim is to perpetuate Gethin’s memory by making this a regular competition for young Carmarthenshire musicians. The prize is a cash bursary to the winner to help them in their first year of music college.”

Gethin died just a few days short of his 76th birthday.

He was closely linked with the famous Triniti Chapel in Llanelli and was a much-respected music teacher at Ysgol y Strade, Llanelli.

He founded the Llanelli Young Music Lovers and spent a substantial amount of his free time taking his concert party on the road to support various charitable events.

For many years, Gethin contributed a regular column in the Llanelli Star newspaper.

The ‘Solo Note’ columns later formed the basis of a book called ‘Always be natural’.

It was a title given to him by the late great entertainer Roy Castle, who told Gethin – ‘Never be sharp, Never be flat, Always be natural’.

Gethin’s stories were always liberally sprinked with stardust. The list of stars and celebrities he met and accompanied was endless. He was lucky enough to call many of them his friends.

From Sir Malcolm Sargent to Gracie Fields, from Betty Driver and Bill Roache of Coronation Street, from Jack Warner to Elsie and Doris Waters . . . Gethin had stories to tell about them all.

Gethin was also known for his sense of adventure.

From scuba-diving off The Great Barrier Reef in Australia to riding a mechanical bucking bronco at a Wild West centre in Denver, Colorado, to playing out his inimitable party pieces at post-concert Cor Meibion concerts, nothing was too much of a challenge for Gethin.

Gethin spent 65 years as an accompanist at his beloved Triniti Chapel in Llanelli.

His work as an accompanist and fund-raiser for various charities earned him an MBE – but it also earned him much more. It earned him the affection and respect of the people of Llanelli and beyond.

In other news, Côr Meibion Dyffryn Tywi have put together an exciting line-up for their annual concert on Saturday, July 21, at the Princess Gwenllian Centre in Kidwelly.

The evening will feature the popular North Wales act Piantel.

Piantel are pianist Annette Bryn Parry and harpist Dylan Cernyw. They are described as ‘a magical musical experience not to be missed!’

The concert will also feature the much-acclaimed Tywi Valley musical duo, the husband and wife team of Aled Edwards and Eleri Owen Edwards.

The compere for the Côr Meibion Dyffryn Tywi concert will be Ioan Hefin

On the same night (July 21), Burry Port Town Band are scheduled to stage their annual summer concert.

Further details about this concert will follow in future editions of this column.

Looking to the autumn, Côr Meibion Caerfyrddin Carmarthen Male Choir’s 60th anniversary concert will be held at the Lyric Theatre, Carmarthen, on Saturday, October 13.

The choir will be joined on stage by four other choirs – Mynydd Mawr, Burry Port, Dyffryn Tywi and Dyffryn Aman.

This will create a combined choir of around 150 voices under the baton of Wyn Maskell, musical director of Côr Meibion Caerfyrddin.

Also taking part will be well known soloists: Jessica Robinson, soprano, and Trystan Llŷr Griffiths, tenor.

The MC for the evening will be television and radio personality Garry Owen.

Welsh tenor Trystan Llŷr Griffiths, who hails from Clunderwen, Pembrokeshire, is a popular concert soloist throughout Wales and further afield.

One of the first recipients of a Study Award from the Bryn Terfel Foundation, he was named the Voice Of Wales by Decca Records in 2012 in an S4C TV series.

Trystan studied initially at University of Wales Trinity Saint David for a Theatre, Music and Media degree. He subsequently completed an MA degree in Vocal Studies at the Royal Academy of Music and a further postgraduate degree in Opera Performance at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. He has recently completed his studies as a Trainee at the National Opera Studio in London.

Prizes and awards include: Ian Stoutzker Prize 2014; Richard Van Allan Award 2014; Bruce Millar Gulliver Singing Prize 2014; RWCMD HRH Prince of Wales Scholarship 2013; Dunraven Welsh Young Singer of the Year 2013; MOCSA Young Welsh Singer of the Year Prize 2012; Sybil Tutton Award 2012; London Welsh Young Singer of the Year Prize 2011; W. Towyn Roberts Scholarship 2011; Osborne Roberts Memorial Prize 2009.

Concert highlights include appearances at the Royal Albert Hall, Hay-on-Wye Festival with Bryn Terfel, the Brynfest at the Southbank Centre, a concert performance of Tristan und Isolde with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and recitals at St Martin-in-the- Fields and the Cardiff Music Festival.

He took the role of Carlos in a recording of Le Duc d’Albe with the Hallé Orchestra for Opera Rara and during summer 2015 received a scholarship to attend the Mozart Residency at Festival d’Aix-en- Provence.

Trystan made his first professional operatic début in the role of Ferrando in Cosi Fan Tutte on tour with Scottish Opera.

Finally, here’s another date for your diary for later in the year. The Annual Royal British Legion Charity Gala Concert will be held at the Lyric Theatre, Carmarthen, on October 27 (7pm).

This year, 2018, marks a significant year for our Armed Forces. It is the centenary of the end of The Great War (First World War) and also commemorates 100 years of the Royal Air Force.

The prestigious annual Royal British Legion Concert has become one of the landmark events in the calendar of South West Wales, providing a platform for the Royal British Legion to pay tribute to the fallen of current and past conflicts.

It also helps the British Legion launch the Poppy Appeal in South West Wales.

The concert features leading soprano and TV and radio personality Shân Cothi, one of Wales’s premier choirs in the form of Dunvant Male Choir, the highly popular Carmarthen-based mixed youth choir Côr Seingar, Swansea-based Dancerama performing arts group youth choir, the stirring sounds of the City of Swansea Pipe Band and the unforgettable Corps of Drums of the 215 City of Swansea Squadron.

The compére will be Brian Sullivan and the guest accompanist Jeffrey Howard.

The evening ends with the poignant Tribute to the Fallen and a Service of Remembrance.

The Royal British Legion is being supported with this event by Loud Applause Productions, the production company run by Llanelli’s Cerith Owens.

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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