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Tredegar Town Band with Cor Meibion Llanelli

Conductors: Ian Porthouse & D. Eifion Thomas
Featuring: Cor Ysgol Iau Llangennech
Ffwrnes Theatre
Llanelli
Saturday 16th December

There used to be a well-established tradition of the joint brass band/male voice choir annual concert in Wales. 

Sadly, the decline in suitable venues and a form of musical gentrification pickled in misplaced nostalgia has decimated these types of community events that were once heard on a regular basis throughout the country each year. It’s become an increasingly hard fight to attract audiences.

Bucking the trend

Thankfully, Cor Meibion Llanelli bucks the trend, thanks to the excellence of its singing, as well as its progressive outlook to repertoire and profile - the result of which saw a full house at the recently built Ffwrnes Theatre in the heart of the famous rugby town.

With the added attractions of a super junior school choir and a well advertised menu of easy listening music it was a reminder of how effective and entertaining the mix of brass and voice can be. 

With the added attractions of a super junior school choir and a well advertised menu of easy listening music it was a reminder of how effective and entertaining the mix of brass and voice can be. 

Polished

Tredegar offered up their usual polished musical fayre - from the opening ‘Christmas Festival Overture’ and ‘Calling all Workers’ through to ‘Gypsy Dance’ and ‘Rainbow Connections’ via a few seasonal treats such as ‘Yule Dance’, ‘The Christmas Song’ and 'Sleigh Ride’, whilst the choir kept the festive atmosphere bubbling along with a series of inventive arrangements by their MD of the likes of ‘The Baby Boy Caribbean Carol’, ‘Neapolitan Shepherd’s Song’ and the witty ‘Claude Calypso’ (inspired by the MDs bouncing dog). 

Excellent

The children of course brought the house down with their high pitched efforts, whilst the brass band aficionados would have noted the excellent solo features from Tredegar’s line-up of Ian Roberts, Danny Winder, Martyn Patterson and Chris Davies on ‘La Califfa’, ‘Away in a Manger’, ‘Carmen Fantasy’ and ‘Evergreen’. 

The communal finale of band, choirs and audience in a ‘Christmas Medley’ sing-a-long and ‘Hark the Herald Angels Sing’ rounded off a night that was a timely reminder of what is so good about concerts such as these and what is still in danger of being lost.

Iwan Fox



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