10th November 2018 - a Night with the Stars Gala Concert
27th October 2018 - Royal British Legion Charity Gala Concert
Content to come soon.
4th November 2017 - Night with the Stars Gala Concert
A Night with the Stars Gala Concert
Annual Concert of Loud Applause Productions
Ffwrnes Theatre, 4th November 2017
A capacity audience at Llanelli’s Ffwrnes Theatre had a wealth of first class musical entertainment by a plethora of highly talented musicians and choirs from across South Wales which included the up and coming singers from LARS (Loud Applause Rising Stars). This was the annual Gala Concert of Loud Applause Productions – ‘Night with the Stars’ on the 4th November.
It featured two renowned choirs who gave first class performances – Pontarddulais Male Choir and Côr Ysgol Gerdd Ceredigion. Performing alongside was the brilliant international tenor Trystan Llyr Griffiths and one of the country’s most exciting young violinist Charlie Lovell-Jones, both were accompanied by Jeffrey Howard. The LARS singers performing did themselves proud, aged between 14 and 18 years old: Osian Clarke, Lauren Fisher, Callum Howells, Daisy Owens, Jack Owens, Sydney Richards and Neve Summers accompanied by Andrew Pike and Catrin Hughes. The compe’re was the ever popular Garry Owen. It was wonderful evening and the standing ovations and shouts for more said it all!
Photography by gphotography.org.uk
The Annual Royal British Legion Charity Gala Concert
Lyric Theatre, Carmarthen 21st October 2017
A joint production between the Royal British Legion and Loud Applause Productions
This was a remarkable evening taking the capacity audience through a rollercoaster of emotions. There were unforgettable performances from the Three Welsh Tenors (Rhys Meirion, Aled Hall Aand Aled Wyn Davies), soprano Gwawr Edwards accompanist Caradog Williams, Morriston RFC Male Choir, the City and County of Swansea Pipe Band and the Corps of Drums from the 215 City of Swansea Squadron. Brian Sullivan was compe’re.
This memorable evening ended with a poignant Tribute to the Fallen and the Service of Remembrance.
Photography by innovation-photography.co.uk
St Davids Celebration Concert
at Ffwrnes Theatre, Llanelli on 11th March 2017
A joint production between Carmarthenshire Theatres and Loud Applause Productions
Review by Robert Lloyd
St David’s Celebration Concert at Ffwrnes Theatre, Llanelli, featuring soprano Elin Manahan Thomas, tenor Osian Wyn Bowen, massed male choir from Côr Meibion Mynydd Mawr, Côr Meibion Dyffryn Aman, Côr Meibion Dyffryn Tywi, Côr Meibion Porth Tywyn, conducted by Dr Alwyn Humphreys MBE.
This was an evening celebrating the very best of Welsh singing – and a real ‘coming of age’ for West Wales tenor Osian Wyn Bowen.
The 20-year-old from Burry Port has been quietly refining his craft for a number of years – and his performance before a packed house at Ffwrnes marked him out as a soloist to watch and follow for years to come.
Confident, assured and controlled (with plenty of cheeky stagecraft thrown in for good measure), Osian showed that his time as a student at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama has paid dividends.
A duet with top-of-the-bill soprano Elin Manahan Thomas will live long in the memory.
The couple’s performance of the Joseph Parry classic ‘Hywel a Blodwen’ (complete with a flower prop!) was inspired.
The evening was a Loud Applause production on behalf of Theatrau Sir Gar, Carmarthenshire Theatres, and celebrated St David and many of our finest Welsh songs.
The combined massed choir of Côr Meibion Mynydd Mawr, Côr Meibion Dyffryn Aman, Côr Meibion Dyffryn Tywi and Côr Meibion Porth Tywyn were marshalled by guest conductor Dr Alwyn Humphreys MBE.
It is no easy task bringing four separate choirs together on a concert platform, but Dr Humphreys, ably assisted by accompanist Jeffrey Howard, took it all his stride.
From the opening bars of Llanfair, you knew that Dr Humphreys had the 90-strong massed choir under firm control.
The choristers rose to the challenge of the evening and we were treated to Calon Lan, Robat Arwyn’s Benedictus, Take Me Home, Give Me That Old Time Religion, American Trilogy, Myfanwy, the Ryan Davies classic Pan Fo’r Nos yn Hir, Anfonaf Angel, Mansions of the Lord and Rachie.
Elin Manahan Thomas provided a full demonstration of her talents with Where’er you walk, Mae Hiraeth yn y Môr, The Laughing Song from Die Fledermaus, Gilbert and Sullivan’s Poor Wandering One, Juilette’s Waltz Song by Gounod and the Ivor Novello classic Some Day My Heart Will Awake.
Osian Wyn Bowen marked his first-half arrival with Y Hen Gerddor and My Little Welsh Home before joining Elin Manahan Thomas for Brindisi, the drinking song from La Traviata.
The first-half climax was provided by Elin Manahan Thomas joining the massed choir for a stirring rendition of Morte Christe.
Osian’s second-half slot featured Llanrwst and Elen Fwyn, before that memorable ‘Hywel a Blodwen’ routine with Elin.
The evening closed with an inspiring and emotional Gwahoddiad, featuring the choir and both soloists.
Large parts of the audience rose for a standing ovation. It was a night of celebration. It was a night to remember. It was also a night where Osian Wyn Bowen announced his presence to the West Wales concert stage.
The evening was compered in supremely professional style by radio and TV personality Garry Owen.
A Night With the Stars gala concert, featuring soprano Shân Cothi, Charlie Lovell-Jones (violin) and The Loud Applause Rising Stars, at Ffwrnes Theatre, Llanelli, 12th Nov 2016.
Simply dazzling . . .
No, we’re not talking Shân Cothi’s frocks here (although they were eye-catching, as always!).
On a night of stirring singing, the show-stealing performance of the night was provided by an individual musician.
Cardiff-based 17-year-old Charlie Lovell-Jones has a growing reputation as one of the UK’s finest young musical talents.
And he blew the packed house away at Ffwrnes Theatre with a virtuoso violin performance.
It was stunning stuff.
At times you could swear a small chamber orchestra was playing, such was his dexterity during Rondo Capriccioso by Camille Sain-Saens.
It took some time for some members of the audience to re-set their dropped jaws, but the violinist did reward everyone with a special addition to his set – a wonderfully emotional performance of the famous Suo Gan lullaby.
He followed up with a musical ‘duet’ with Shân Cothi of the Idris Lewis classic Hei Ho.
Make a note of the name: violinist Charlie Lovell-Jones is going places.
In fact, there were quite a few names to add to the notebook of ‘up and coming talent’ during a wonderfully varied and professional musical programme.
The evening was billed as a showcase for members of the Loud Applause Rising Stars team – young artists starting out their musical careers under the tutelage of promoter Cerith Owens and his dedicated team of mentors and accompanists.
Along the way, we heard from the following –
* Daniella Difede, who performed Gimmie Gimmie from the musical Thoroughly Modern Millie.
* Sophie Maliphant, who sang Someone To Watch Over Me, from the Gerswin musical Oh Kay.
* Stephen Davies, who brought a smoky nightclub theme to the proceedings with Mack The Knife.
* Callum Rhys Williams, who performed Make Them Hear You from the musical Ragtime.
* Thomas Bytheway, who sang Anthem from Chess.
* Harpist Ffion Elin Williams, who performed A Thousand Years by Christina Perri.
* Joseph Cavalli-Price, who sang Somewhere from West Side Story.
* Callum Howells, who brought his own stagecraft and showmanship to You’ll Be Back from the hit Broadway musical Hamilton.
* Benjamin Anthony, who sang Madamina, from Mozart’s Don Giovanni.
* Keely Morgan, who performed a very emotional Caro mio Ben.
Faced with competition from 10 ‘Rising Stars’ and a virtuoso violinist, soprano Shân Cothi excelled – as she always does on the Llanelli stage.
She has star quality galore and was worth the admission price just on her own.
There was a timely nod to the Supermoon with Rusalka’s Song To The Moon, followed by Think Of Me from Phantom of the Opera.
She joined the Morriston Orpheus for the Nuns’ Chorus from the Strauss opera Casanova and also included the Welsh ‘anthem’ O Gymru in her programme.
The Morriston Orpheus choir were happy to literally play second fiddle to Shân Cothi and the young musical talent, but they did have their own highspots, particularly with a medley of
songs from World War One, the Gospel I’m Gonna Walk and the Welsh classics Rachie and Llanfair.
As part of a tribute to mark Remembrance Sunday, Callum Rhys Williams read the famous World War One poem In Flanders Fields by John McCrae.
The excellent compere for the evening was BBC TV and radio personality Garry Owen.
The accompanists included Andrew Pike, Simon Lovell-Jones, Llyr Simon and Catrin Hughes.
The evening was brought to a close with a magnificent rendition of You’ll Never Walk Alone, featuring the Morriston Orpheus, Shân Cothi and all the other singers and musicians featured in the programme.
It was a wonderfully memorable and fitting climax to another great Ffwrnes evening.
2015 The Annual Loud Applause Productions Gala Concert – A Night with the Stars – a video memento
Summer Soiree staged by Loud Applause Productions at Stradey Castle, featuring guests Parti Llwchwr ladies choir and Loud Applause Rising Stars Stephen Davies, Johnny Mansel Lewis, Cai Charles, Nia Rees and Ffion Elin Williams.
Read the review
Designed as a showcase for the musical stars of the future in Llanelli and billed as a ‘summer soiree’, this was an evening with a touch of class. As an intimate and dramatic venue, a packed Great Hall at Stradey Castle takes some beating.
Add into the mix one of the finest ladies choirs in Wales, in the shape of Parti Llwchwr, and you have an event which doubled as a musical treat and one of the social events of the year in the Llanelli calendar. Who needs Glyndbourne when you can enjoy canapés, wine and refreshments on the terrace lawn of Stradey Castle?
The sense of ‘occasion’ was provided from the outset as guests at this Loud Applause Rising Stars event were greeted by a glorious solo performance from harpist Ffion Elin Williams. At just 16, Ffion displays a maturity far beyond her years and she set the tone for a wonderful evening’s entertainment.
The showcase soiree was all about nurturing young talent and giving youngsters the chance to perform on a public stage – very laudable ambitions held by Loud Applause director Cerith Owens.
Stephen Davies, 20, was making his very first solo performance in public. He picked the Frank Sinatra classic You Make Me Feel So Young – a choice which went down well with the appreciative and knowledgeable Stradey Castle audience.
It was debut time, too, for Cai Charles, the 16-year-old Ysgol y Strade guitarist who took the Llanelli Rotary Club Young Musician of the Year title earlier this year. He dazzled with a selection which included Sons de Carrilhoes by Jaoa Pernambco, Prelude No4 in E Minor by Heitor Villa-Lobes and Cavatina (The Deer Hunter theme made famous by the legendary John Williams).
It was very much a case of ‘playing at home’ for Johnny Mansel-Lewis, who (accompanied by his school pal Sam Wilson) performed the Ray Charles classic Georgia, No diggity (Blackstreet) and the Bob Marley classic No Woman, No Cry. The audience, of course, included Johnny’s mum and dad, Stradey Castle owners Patrick and Claire Mansel-Lewis.
Nia Rees, a 19-year-old student at City University/Guildhall School of Music in London, put some swing into the proceedings with Fly Me To The Moon and At Last. The ladies of Parti Llwchwr were appearing fresh from their success in the prestigious Côr Cymru (Choir of Wales) competition. The choir won the People’s Vote and musical director Janet Jones won the Best Conductor award.
They were at their very best for a programme which included the Ryan Davies classic Pan Fyddo’r Nos yn Hir, a special arrangement which saw the words of Calon Lan set to the tune of The Rose and As Long As I Have Music. Cwsg Osian, Gwin Beaujolais, Yfori, Noson ar y Danube and Anthem (from Chess) were also highlights.
And Parti Llwchwr even found time to encourage some audience participation with Unwaith Eto Yn Cymru Annwyl.
It was an evening which struck a excellent balance between up-and-coming talent and seasoned performers, with credit going to Mr Owens and his Loud Applause team for providing such an excellent platform for the youngsters to shine.
Parti Llwchwr’s accompanist was D Huw Rees, while Andrew Pike provided piano support for most of the Rising Stars.
The evening’s sponsor was Susan Roberts. The compere was Robert Lloyd.
A Diverse Programme of Beautiful Music
The Swansea Bach Choir, The Singhs violin trio and pianist Guillaume Mathias. Loud Applause productions Midsummer Music concert held at St Elli Parish Church, Llanelli.
Read the review
As you’d expect from a concert in the wonderful surroundings of St Elli Parish Church, this was a ‘heavenly’ occasion. It was music to stir the soul; choral singing at its very best, blended with virtuoso musicianship.
The packed audience at Llanelli’s Parish Church can consider themselves well blessed in being allowed to sit in on such a musical masterclass. The Swansea Bach Choir has made its mark down the years in performing Baroque classics, the major works of Bach and, basically, most of the great choral works of the last five centuries.
There was no Bach on the programme, but no-one was complaining as conductor Greg Hallam carefully chose a repertoire designed to showcase the very best of the choir.
Britten’s Hymn to St Cecilia set the standard for the evening and was followed by Walton’s A Litany and two works by the American composer Whitacre, A Boy And A Girl and Lux Aurumque.
The second half included In Youth Is Pleasure (Howells), The Turtle Dove (Vaughan Williams) and I Love My Love (Holst).
The highlight, however was a dazzling Miserere (Allegri). Conductor Hallam’s clever distribution of voices between pulpit and altar helped weave a musical tapestry of sound. (As a point of interest, one of the members of the Swansea Bach Choir is Claire Mansel Lewis, of Stradey Castle, Llanelli.)
The ‘local heroes’ of the night were The Singhs, three outstanding violinists from the famous Singh family in Llandybie who feel a close connection with Llanelli through the old Llanelli Star Young Musician of the Year competition.
Rakhi, Davinder and Simran Singh are excellent musicians in their own right, but when they come together as a trio the imact isn’t so much ‘multipy by three’ as’multiply by a factor of 10. It sounds strange to say this of a classical music concert, but there were plenty of occasions when they ‘really rocked’ at Saturday’s concert.
Sospan Fach and The Sabre Dance were performed with such energy that many rock bands would be left panting in the wake of The Singhs. There was plenty of emotion along the way, too, as The Singhs included Claire de Lune, Y Bore Glas, Llongau Caernarfon, Hiraeth and Myfanwy in their repertoire.
Pianist Guillaume Mathias was not to be outshone and his performance of two Chopin Mazurkas in the first half of the evening announced his ‘arrival’ at St Elli Church.
After the interval, he left everyone spellbound with Schubert’s Hungarian Melody and Czardas Obstiné by Liszt. In the latter, close observers of Guillaume’s technique were able to confirm that his hands were a blur on the keyboard. There was a predictable (but thoroughly deserved) standing ovation for the artistes.
The reward was an ‘encore’ of Calon Lan as performed by all the artistes. It was stunning stuff. The evening had begun with ‘pre-concert’ entertainment featuring Loud Applause Rising Stars Samuel Morris (singer) and Cai Charles (guitarist) at Llanelly House.
The host for the evening was the splendid Rev Eldon Phillips.
Yes, the audience at St Elli was well blessed indeed!
The evening’s sponsor was Parker Plant Ltd.
St David’s Celebration Concert
Sat 21st February 2015, Ffwrnes Theatre, Llanelli
Loud Applause Productions and Theatrau Sir Gar
A traditional evening of wonderful music making to celebrate our Patron Saint.
The world famous Treorchy Male Choir from the Rhondda Valley made a rare visit to Llanelli, under the baton of their new musical director Jeff Howard. They shared the stage with the very popular Lleisiau’r Cwm under the baton of musical director Catrin Hughes.
Joining them was Samuel Morris, a protégé of Llanelli, currently studying at the prestigious Guildford School of Acting.
Garry Owen was once again host at this popular evening in his own unique way.
Read the review
Compere Garry Owen had it right: We’re ahead of the game in Llanelli. Ymlaen (Forward) Llanelli and all that . . .
It takes a certain amount of swagger and style to stage a St David’s Day concert well ahead of the actual event. But, Llanelli is a place brimful with ‘hwyl’ and making this concert work was never going to be a problem.
It flowed like a river in full flood. Dramatic, inspiring and surprising.
It was something of a surprise to learn that this was only the second appearance in Llanelli by the famous Treorchy Male Voice.
A surprise also to see ‘debut day’ conductor Ryan Wood guiding the 50-plus choristers through a challenging programme which set a high performance benchmark for the evening.
There were old favourites such as Calon Lan, Ar Lan y Mor and Myfanwy. But there were also plenty of surprises – the Xhosa/Zulu South African folk song Senzenina, a cheerful You Make Me Feel So Young and Roses of Picardy, which featured a spoken rendition of the World War One poem In Flanders Fields.
The ‘guys’ on stage received plenty of competition from the ‘girls’.
The Amman Valley Côr Lleisiau’r Cwm have an edge over most female choirs – musical director Catrin Hughes is supremely talented and her arrangements fizz with passion, energy and enthusiasm.
The singers of Côr Lleisiau’r Cwm take a very obvious delight in their singing. The joy shines through in everything they do.
The choir’s programme included the Karl Jenkins favourite Songs of the Plains, Deuwch i’r dyfroedd, Arglwydd Ior fe’th glodforwn (from Sister Act), Y Meysydd Aur and a very topical (well, this is a Rugby World Cup year) Byd Yn Un (World In Union).
Rising tenor star Samuel Morris, already something of a local hero in Llanelli, broke off from his studies at the Guildford School of Acting to join the Ffwrnes bill.
Llanelli audiences are accustomed to Sam’s commanding stage presence, but it was plain from the off that his months away in college have given him an extra edge, an extra ‘wow’ factor.
His first-half Anthem (from Chess) blew the audience away.
And there was further evidence of Sam’s growing maturity as a singer in the second-half of the show when he balanced Bring Him Home (from Les Miserables) with Pan Fo’r Nos Yn Hir (the Ryan Davies classic).
Talk about testing your range from high notes to low notes. It was a challenge, but Sam met it head on, much to the delight of his ‘home fans’.
The evening closed with Sosban Fach, featuring both choirs and Sam. But this was no ‘same old’ arrangement. Under Ryan Wood and accompanist Helen Roberts, Sosban Fach was given some Russian polka folk dance dressing – a fitting touch of swagger and style to close the show.
As we have come to expect down the years, BBC Wales and BBC Cymru presenter and journalist Garry Owen was an excellent host for the evening.
The ‘tie’ change to ‘Armani’ in the interval added to the fun. Perhaps next time, Garry, will borrow Ryan Wood’s bright red shoes? Who knows? But we certainly look forward to the next time!
Christmas at Greenfield with the Rising Stars
Saturday 29th Nov, 7pm
It is always a rare privilege to be able to a debut a brand new choir, especially an exciting youth choir from the area and Loud Applause has that honour in its inaugural Christmas Concert at Greenfield Baptist Church. Cor Ieuenctid Llwyth Y Llan Youth Choir from Llangennech formed only a few months ago but already has 54 members. Under the baton of Lewis Richards who has had numerous successes with his Llangennech Primary School Choir took on the baton to form the choir for members between the ages of 10 and 16 to perform in the medium of Welsh, English and other languages. At the moment the choir are mainly members of past pupils of Llangennech School but the door is open to anyone who would like to join.
In the concert they will perform favourites such as Joyful Joyful, Karl Jenkins’ Adiemus and Byd Yn Un (World in Union). They will be joined by mighty sound of the combined Burry Port and Mynydd Mawr Male Choirs, the very talented young Burry Port trombonists Rhodri Thomas, well known organist Andrew Pike, members of Loud Applause Rising Stars, host Huw Tregelles Williams – and a few surprises !
The Loud Applause Rising Stars performing will be Angharad Elise Thomas, Keely Morgan, Nia Rees, Sophie Maliphant and Jordan Williams, who all made such an impression in Loud Applauses’ sell out concert ‘Night With the Stars’ at Ffwrnes Theatre earlier this month. They have been busy learning a selection of seasonal favourites.
Read the review
The Greenfield Baptist Chapel was the welcoming and festive venue last Saturday evening for Loud Applause Production’s inaugural Christmas Concert.
In between the opening and closing congregational carols, this highly entertaining evening was a showcase for local talent and especially, but not solely, young performers from the area.
Hosted by the engaging Huw Tregelles Williams OBE, who regaled the audience with poetry, anecdotes and background to the performers, the concert provided a platform for several of Loud Applause’s rising stars as well as providing a debut for an exciting new youth choir from Llangennech. Cor Ieuenctid Llwyth Y Llan are already an impressive and accomplished choral group who captivated the audience with their performance. Formed just last September, accompanied by Awena Owen and under the musical direction of Lewis Richards, this 50 strong choir, consisting of past and present pupils of Llangennech Junior School, performed eight eclectic and multilingual pieces including a goosebumps inducing rendition of Suai’r Gwynt.
A lovely contrast to Llwyth Y Llan was the performance of a more, I think it’s fair to say, mature group of singers with the presence of a combined choir of over 40 made up from members Cor Meibion Porth Tywyn and Cor Meibion Mynydd Mawr. Under the baton of Ryan Lee and accompanied by John Evans, performed six pieces including a powerful and emotive rendition of Alwyn Humphreys’s arrangement American Trilogy.
Interspersed between choral performances the audience was treated to superb performances from The Rising Stars. These included four young singers and a musician who, between them performed a wide range of songs drawn from musicals, Christmas carols and hit parade and were more than ably accompanied by Andrew Pike. First on stage, or in the pulpit, was Angharad Elise Thomas, a young soprano from Swansea sang two pieces including a beautiful delivery that gave a modern twist to Silent Night.
Also in the first half we were entertained by Sophie Mailphant, currently studying Performing Arts at Gorseinon College, who gave a wonderful performance of the Sinatra classic The Stars Will Remember.
It is not often that the second half of a concert opens with a trombone solo but, due to a reshuffle caused by the unfortunate withdrawal of Jordan Williams through illness, the audience were enthralled by the undoubted ability of 16 year old Rhodri Thomas as he performed The Acrobat with great accomplishment.
The multitalented Keely Morgan, a student at Gowerton College, gave an impassioned and powerful rendition of Adolphe Adam’s Christmas hymn O Holy Night. The final Rising Star of the evening was Nia Rees, a former pupil of Ysgol Y Strade who is studying Music at City University London. Nia performed two songs including a passionate and soulful interpretation of Mariah Carey’s All I Want For Christmas Is You.
A well though out out and presented evening’s entertainment was rounded off with the Reverend David Jones’s evocative reading of ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas and had accomplished exactly what it had set out to do; highlight the talent of the district and get the audience in the festive spirit.
A Night With the Stars
1st November 2014, Ffwrnes Theatre, Llanelli
Annual Showcase Event of Loud Applause Rising Stars
Host Connie Fisher
The Rising Stars: Daniella Difede, Angharad Elise Thomas, Johnny Mansel Lewis, Sophie Maliphant, Keely Morgan, Samuel Morris, Nia Rees & Jordan Williams accompanied by accompanist to Rising Stars Andrew J. Pike and guest accompanist Bridget Radford
Pendyrus Male Choir with guest conductor John Asquith and accompanist Gavin Parry
Llangennech Junior School Choir with musical director Lewis Richards and accompanist Awena Owen
Davinder Singh violin with accompanist Guillaume Mathias
Promoted and produced by Loud Applause Productions
Read the review
Gala concert ‘A NIGHT WITH THE STARS’ – a Loud Applause Production
Review by Owain Llyr
A wet and windy Saturday evening, a trip to the Ffwrnes theatre, and a night that was not to have been missed.
A Night with The Rising Stars, the mighty Pendyrus Male Voice Choir and the choir of Llangennech School.
The evening opened with Loud Applause director Cerith Owens who gave the history so far of the Rising Stars. Then onto the stage came the host for the evening, West End and television star, Connie Fisher; an ideal choice of host, who endeared herself to both audience and performers.
As Cerith explained, Rising Stars is work in progress, but indeed, what a wealth of talent and musical diversity they provided; Puccini to Sondheim, Lloyd Webber to traditional Welsh music, alongside some jazz and blues singing. It would be unfair to single performances out, but some very fine singing, accomplished with such professionalism from young people. At the piano, accompanying with his usual style, the Loud Applause Rising Stars musical advisor, the well-known Andrew Pike who was ably supported by guest accompanist Bridget Radford.
The Pendyrus Male Voice after an excellent sell out concert earlier in the town this year, returned again. One of South Wales’ premier male choirs much in demand brought another musical dimension to the evening. A refreshing programme of favourites, sang in their inimitable style, especially a great choral arrangement of tunes from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, which brought the audience to its feet.
The Llangennech School choir really shone and what a splendid choir they really are. Ably led by their music teacher Lewis Richards they produced some excellent pieces for the evening. Their rendition of Karl Jenkins’ Adiemus had the audience on their feet yet again.
Risings Stars also has instrumentalists as well as singers and the virtuosic violin playing of Davinder Singh, enthralled and captivated everyone.
Young people, a wealth of talent, and again another fantastic evening’s music, which I’m well sure the audience that were there will remember for quite some time to come..!!!
World War I Centenary Gala Concert
18th October 2014, Lyric Theatre, Carmarthen
Supporting the Poppy Appeal.
Jointly promoted by the Royal British Legion and Loud Applause Productions, produced by Loud Applause Productions.
Soloists: Rhys Meiron, Rhian Lois & Angharad Rees,
Cor Meibion Dyffryn Tywi, Cor Meibion Mynydd Mawr & Cor Meibion Port Tywyn
Accompanists Andrew J. Pike, Delyth Rees & Shan Davies
Coprs of Drums of the 215 City of Swansea Squadron Royal Air Force Cadets
Host: Brian Sullivan
Llanelli Rotary Club World War I Centenary Gala Concert
6th September 2014, Greenfield Baptist Church, Llanelli
Produced by Loud Applause Productions
Cor Meibion Llanelli, Cor Curiad, 215 City of Swansea Corps of Drums, Jordan Williams, Keely Morgan, Robert Lloyd & Monro Walters.
Cantata a Ffrindiau
9th August 2014 – Theatr Ffwrnes, Llanelli
This was an evening to celebrate the success of Cor Cantata and its Musical Director Catrin Hughes.
Cantata, Caryl Parry-Jones, Elin Fflur, Eirlys Myfanwy Davies, Bois Strade and host Garry Nicholas.
Promoted and produced jointly by Loud Applause Productions & Theatrau Sir Gar.
GALA CONCERT WITH CANTATA AND FRIENDS
Bois Y Strade
Caryl Parry-Jones (soloist)
Eirlys Myfanwy (soloist)
Elin Fflur (soloist)
A NIGHT OF SHEER ENJOYMENT
Cor Cantata’s concert at Ffwrnes Llanelli was a night of sheer enjoyment and a musical celebration of the many successes of this wonderful choir. It is pride that we can call this choir our own, made up mainly of present and past pupils of Llanelli’s Ysgol Gyfun Y Strade. Their Musical Director Catrin Hughes is a highly respected musician, conductor and teacher who has taken this choir to musical pinnacles in Wales.
The choir was on great form with a great repertoire showing their diversity and displaying sudden mood changes from All that Jazz, to Jenkins’ Songs of the Plains and a tear jerking Lament i Bosnia with harrowing images of the civil war. The standard of singing was at such a high standard, a disciplined choir, who really worked hard on the concert platform, to provide such quality music. A special mention must be made to the vocal ensemble, again what a musical standard achieved!!
It was indeed a night for Girl Power ! the choir was joined by three very popular contrasting singers who had a close connection with Cantata: Caryl Parry-Jones, Elin Fflur and Eirlys Myfanwy-Davies. Each singer brought to the evening splendid choice of pieces,and styles, endearing themselves even more to the packed theatre present. A few of the male students from Strade School, calling themselves Bois Y Strade, joined Cantata pupils in a few items and the choice of ex deputy head teacher Garry Nicholas was very apt and proved a popular host.
The evening ended with a popular choice Mustang Sally which had the audience on their feet and dancing in the aisles. It was a night of Welsh music making at its very very best.
The concert was produced by Loud Applause Productions and Carmarthenshire Theatres.
By Andrew J. Pike
Nations Hits Swansea Bay Young Achievers Performing Arts Awards
Winner – Samuel Morris
Summer Soirée at Stradey Castle
4th July 2014 – Launch of Loud Applause Rising Stars
Read the review
As intimate concert venues go, you cannot get much better than the Great Hall at Stradey Castle in Llanelli.
And, with a dozen ‘Rising Stars’ taking the stage on the magnificent staircase, this was a musical soiree with something for everyone.
Cerith Owens, the director of Loud Applause Productions, has set up the ‘Rising Stars’ platform in an effort to encourage and mentor up-and-coming youngsters and give them much-needed exposure on concert stages.
Ysgol y Strade head boy Samuel Morris and Coedcae school pupil Daniella Difede are already familiar figures on concert stages throughout West Wales, but this was an event designed to also showcase the talents of other ‘Rising Stars’ members.
Swansea soprano Angharad Elise Thomas set the scene for the evening with delightful renditions of Green Finch and Linnet Bird and the ever-popular Someone like you. Ysgol y Strade 16-year-old Sophie Maliphant performed Love never dies and I don’t know how to love him. And another Strade pupil, 17-year-old Jordan Williams, gave tender and emotional performances of Anfonaf Angel and Music of the Night.
Daniella Difede was at her dramatic best for I’m not afraid of anything from Songs for a New World and the classic I dreamed a dream. Gower College student Liam Reilly displayed a maturity beyond his 19 years with If I can’t love her from Beauty and the Beast and Stars from Les Miserables. Strade pupil Nia Rees brought a gear-change to proceedings with very distinctive performances of Dream a little dream of me and Feeling Good from the Michael Buble songbook.
Bishopston Comprehensive School’s Keely Morgan was at her best for Summertime and Puccini’s O Mio babbino Caro.
Samuel Morris weighed in with another performance which suggests he has a great future in musical theatre. He performed Anthem from Chess and Buo Doi from Miss Saigon before joining Keely for a duet of All I ask of you from Phantom of the Opera. Close harmonies with a swing theme were the order of the day for the Perfect Harmony quartet, who performed a medley of Ar Lan Y Mor and Suo Gan and finished with a rousing Lean on Me. As musical showcases go, the evening was a big hit with the specially-invited audience at Stradey Castle. Only one member of the Rising Stars team was unable to attend. Johnny Mansel Lewis, the one singer who can call Stradey Castle ‘home’ was away on holiday.
The evening was organised by Llanelli-based concert promoter and impresario Cerith Owens and his Loud Applause Productions company.
It was staged at Stradey Castle by kind permission of Patrick and Claire Mansel Lewis.
The compere for the evening was Huw Tregelles Williams OBE.
Kidwelly Gala Concert
19th July 2014 – Princess Gwenllian Centre
Annual Concert of Kidwelly Festival Choir
Ty Hafan at The Grand
21st June 2014 – Grand Theatre Swansea
Only Boys Aloud, Hywel Girls Choir & Hywel Boy Singers, The Ariosa Singers, Samuel Morris, Daniella Difede & host Kevin Johns
Promoted and produced by Loud Applause Productions
Read the review
It was only right and proper that the spotlight was very much on youth in this dazzling charity fund-raiser staged at the Grand Theatre, Swansea.
The average age of the artistes was somewhere in the lower teens, showing that West is Best when it comes to up-and-coming talent. The evening showcased the talents of Only (West) Boys Aloud, the Ariosa Singers and the Hywel Girls’ Choir and Hywel Boy Singers. It also gave a great Grand Theatre opportunity to two rising stars from Llanelli, 18-year-old Ysgol y Strade pupil Samuel Morris and 16-year-old Coedcae student Daniella Difede.
Samuel displays a maturity beyond his years in his handling of some great musical theatre show-stoppers. This time around, it was Bring Him Home, from Les Miserables, and Buo Doi, from Miss Saigon.
Daniella made sure that ‘girl power’ was well represented with On My Own from ‘Les Mis’ and I’m Not Afraid Of Anything from Songs From A New World. The scene had been set from curtain-up by the western division of Only Boys Aloud. Their set for the night included Sospan Fach, Gwahoddiad, Anfonaf Angel, Anthem from Chess, You Raise Me Up and Never Forget.
The Swansea-based Ariosa Singers served up The Rose, a medley from Godspell, God Shall Wipe Away All Tears from Karl Jenkins’s The Armed Man, The Holy City, What Would I Do Without My Music and Don’t Stop Believing.
The Llanelli-based Hywel Girls’ Choir and the Hywel Boy Singers have a reputation which goes before them as globe-trotting junior ambassadors of song for Wales. Their programme included Puccini’s Mia Babbino Caro, Mascagni’s Easter Hymn, highlights from ‘Les Mis’, the Rhythm of Life, Panis Angelicus, the Tritsch Tratsch Polka and Love Changes Everything.
A finale, featuring all the choristers and guest artistes, was brought to rousing conclusion with Calon Lan. It was a concert guaranteed to tug at the heart-strings – and, hopefully, the purse-strings in the audience as well as the proceeds went to Ty Hafan, the leading charity in Wales dedicated to the care and support of life-limited children and their families.
Kevin Jones MBE was a wonderful host for the evening – as we have come to expect from this marvellous man of Swansea. The evening was organised by Llanelli-based concert promoter and impresario Cerith Owens and his Loud Applause Productions company.
St Davids’ Day Concert
1st March 2014 – Theatr Ffwrnes, Llanelli
The Three Welsh Tenors (Rhys Meirion, Aled Hall & Alun Rhys-Jenkins), Llanelli Male Choir, Bridgend Male Choir, Parti Llwchwr & Garry Owen
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It may be that the TV company next door to Llanelli’s swish new Ffwrnes Theatre missed a trick by not televising this St David’s Day concert.
Tickets were like hot cakes and those lucky enough to get a seat were rewarded with a dazzling evening full of Welsh passion and hwyl.
This was an evening worthy of recording for posterity and a great showcase for Wales as the land of song.
The Three Welsh Tenors – Aled Hall, Alun Rhys-Jenkins and Rhys Meirion – never disappoint, but they were never going to be able to steal the show in the face of stiff competition from the combined choirs of Côr Meibion Llanelli (Llanelli Male Choir) and Bridgend Male Choir.
They teamed up with the choirs for the finale of Tydi a Roddaist – ‘Amens’ which provided a spine-tingling climax to a great evening’s entertainment.
The scene was set at the outset with the combined male choirs ticking off first-half crowd-pleasers – Isis and Osiris, Speed Your Journey, You’ll Never Walk Alone and A-men.
The ladies of Parti Llwchwr made sure ‘girl power’ was heard with Pan Fyddo’r Nos, Dysg i mi garu Cymru and Calon Lan (The Rose).
Côr Meibion Llanelli’s ‘solo spot featured a well-known composition by the choir’s musical director Eifion Thomas, Cri yn y nos. For good measure, they also weighed in with Y Tangnefeddwyr, always something of a show-stopper in the hands of Mr Thomas and his choristers.
Bridgend Male Choir were under the baton of Rhiannon Williams-Hale, who also doubles up as the regular accompanist for Côr Meibion Llanelli.
They served up a Matt Monroe classis in Portrait of my love and gave a Welsh twist to the ever-popular Casatchok.
Parti Llwchwr’s second-half appearance featured Ymlaen a’r Gan, Unwaith eto Nghymru annwyl and Lausanne.
In between, Messrs Hall, Rhys-Jenkins and Meirion served up their exceptional repertoire of classics and cheeky chappie humour.
For the finale, the combined choirs were moving like a well-oiled juggernaut, singing Yfory, Llanfair, Myfanwy and Tywi a Roddaist.
The BBC journalist and presenter Garry Owen was the amiable host for the evening and the musical accompaniment was provided by Caradog Williams, Rhiannon Wiliams-Hale and Stephanie Bailey.
Concert promoter Cerith Owens was delighted that the concert “captured the public’s imagination.”
It would have been nice for the whole thing to have been captured for posterity by the TV cameras, but you can’t have everything. Besides, there’s always next year!
by Robert Lloyd
2nd February 2014 – Theatr Ffwrnes, Llanelli
Classical male trio Blake supported by Hywel Girls Choir & Hywel Boy Singers