ON SONG WITH ROBERT LLOYD
THE members of the Hospital Notes Choir, based in Llanelli, are getting ready for a big concert in September.
Hospital Notes will be joined by Cor Meibion Llanelli Male Voice Choir for ‘The Greatest Show’ on Friday, September 6 (7.30pm) at The Diplomat Hotel, Llanelli.
You can expect plenty of excerpts from the hit film musical The Greatest Showman.
It’s been quite a year for the Hospital Notes choir as they were featured as the Choir of the Week on the popular Roy Noble radio programme on Radio Wales earlier this year.
The Hospital Notes Choir was founded last year to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the National Health Service.
The initial aim of the choir was to bring together colleagues from the hospital and community sectors, past and present, to celebrate the anniversary of the NHS.
Under the talented leadership and direction of musical directors Andrew Harries and Stacey Harris, the choir rehearses at Prince Philip Hospital.
The choir’s first concert performance was at Dafen Church at the annual Remembrance Service. The choir also sang at Their Light Still Shines service at the National Botanic Gardens in Llanarthne.
The choir performed Christmas Carols around the wards at both Glangwili Hospital, Carmarthen, and Prince Philip Hospital, Llanelli.
Meanwhile, it’s going to be a busy August at St Peter’s Church in Carmarthen.
Wednesday, August 7 (1pm) sees the accomplished organist Carl Grainger performing at the church.
Carl Grainger started playing the piano at the age of 12, studying with Tom Bromley.
He read music at the University of East Anglia where his instrumental tutors included the well-known harpsichordist Sir Philip Ledger and David Parkhouse, pianist of The Music Group of London.
On leaving university he took up playing the organ, studying with the respected concert organist David Sanger.
He was appointed as Director of Music of the important Princes Street Church in Norwich, and subsequently served as Organist and Choirmaster of Beccles Parish Church in Suffolk, St James’ Shere and St Saviour’s Church in Guildford.
Carl is well known as an organ recitalist and has performed widely throughout the England and Wales.
Performing regularly as a harpsichordist, Carl has appeared on S4C television with the Chamber Orchestra of Wales and recently gave a critically acclaimed performance of Bach’s 5th Brandenburg Concerto with the Welsh Sinfonia.
Carl has lived in South Wales for many years, but now divides his time between homes in Mid Wales and France.
If you can’t get to Carmarthen, then Carl will be performing an organ recital at St Catherine’s Church, Gorseinon, on Tuesday, August 6 (7pm).
On Wednesday, August 14, the Wales Clarsach (Harp) Society will be performing at Carmarthen’s St Peter’s Church (1pm).
The Clarsach (harp) is Scotland’s oldest instrument, having been played throughout the land from very earliest times.
Two old clarsachs, from the 15th and 16th centuries survive, and may be seen in the National Museum of Scotland.
The modern instrument, though larger and with gut rather than wire strings, is based on their design.
Wednesday, August 21 (1pm) sees classical guitarist Duncan Leigh perform at St Peter’s.
Duncan is a classical guitarist, composer and teacher based in Swansea.
He performs the Renaissance and Baroque era music of Scarlatti and Handel, the Classical and Romantic compositions of Sor and Giuliani, traditional Spanish and Latin American guitar music (e.g. Tarrega and Villa-Lobos), up to modern day pop tune arrangements and his own original compositions.
The summer concert season at St Peter’s will finish on Wednesday, August 28 (1pm), with the organist Meirion Wynn Jones.
A native of Rhewl, Llangollen, Meirion was educated at Wells Cathedral School, before winning a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Music in London, where he studied piano with Alexander Kelly, organ with Nicholas Danby, organ improvisation with Naji Hakim, and choral direction with Patrick Russill.
As a student, he held organ scholarships at Winchester Cathedral and Westminster Abbey, working with David Hill and Martin Neary, respectively.
Having held organist posts at Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral, the Birmingham Oratory and Brecon Cathedral, Meirion now pursues a freelance career as a composer, accompanist and teacher.
He was for many years a staff accompanist at the International Eisteddfod in Llangollen and at the National Eisteddfod of Wales.
His choral and vocal works have been recorded and broadcast on BBC radio and S4C.
In 2011 he was awarded the Musician’s Medal (Tlws y Cerddor) for composition at the National Eisteddfod of Wales.
Recently commissioned works include Ffrindiau Bach a Mawr for Côr Heol y March, and the anthem Beloved, let us love for the John S. Davies Singers, marking the 40th anniversary of their founding.
In other news, tickets have just been just released for the popular Loud Applause Rising Stars (LARS) afternoon concert at The Orangery in Margam.
It takes place at 3pm on Sunday, September 1 at The Orangery.
The concert will feature LARS singers, the group Melodynamic from the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama (which includes Callum Howells), Crescendo Youth Choir from Kenfig Hill and host Huw Tregelles Williams.
The Stage 8 Theatre School will be taking over Ffrwnes Theatre in Llanelli on July 27, 28 and 29 to stage Hairspray Jr.
Picture the scene . . . it’s 1962, and Tracy Turnblad has one big dream – to dance on the popular Corny Collins Show.
When she finally gets her shot, she is transformed from social outcast to sudden star.
In balancing her newfound power with her desire for justice, Tracy fights to dethrone the reigning Miss Teen Hairspray, Amber von Tussle, and integrate a TV network in the process.
With the help of her outsized mom Edna, and guest DJ Motormouth Maybelle, the rhythm of Tracy’s new beat just might prove unstoppable.
The intimate surroundings of Stiwdio Stepni in Ffwrnes Theatre will provide the setting for An Evening with the Songbirds, 7.30pm on July 27.
Songbirds are a trio of local ladies with their unique and exciting sound. They promise to bring you an evening of eclectic music from the charts, the movies and the world of musical theatre. You can be serenaded in a relaxed cabaret style as they showcase some magnificent melodies and heart-warming harmonies. The ticket price includes a glass of prosecco!
For those, who appreciate their music with the volume cranked up a few notches, Ffwrnes Theatre will stage another ‘Cadno Music Live Presents . . .’ evening at 8pm on August 3. Full details of the show line-up will follow in due course.
Top harmony group Blake will be back at The Lyric on September 26 (7.30pm) as part of their Live in Concert Tour.
Their latest (and seventh) album went straight into the charts at No1. Blake have been performing for more than 10 years.