Hywel Choir's Really Big Sing: A review by H. Roberts-Jones
LLANELLI'S Ffwrnes was home to an extraordinary concert on Saturday as Llanelli's Hywel Girls' Choir & Hywel Boy Singers presented The Really Big Sing in aid of BBC Children in Need.
Seven male voices from across south Wales, together with Burry Port Town Band and soprano Adele O'Neill, united in support of the Hywel Choir and director John Hywel Williams for the roof-raising musical extravaganza.
The accomplished direction of Ryan Lee led the massed male choirs of Burry Port, Dyffryn Tywi and Cylch, Carmarthen, Haverfordwest, Cwmann, Mynydd Mawr and Whitland who raised the roof with great choruses such as Morte Christe and Soldier's Chorus.
Burry Port Town Band, under the direction of Tom Davoren, reinforced their award-winning band status, blending both discipline and vivacity to deliver an outstanding performance.
The ever growing young Hywel Choristers sparkled with a much enthused programme spanning the World of Lloyd Webber, Sing-a-long-a-Sound-of- Music and Les Miserables, blending beautifully with soprano Adele O'Neill for emotive renditions of Pie Jesu and Climb Ev'ry Mountain. Adele O'Neill demonstrated her vocal range and style with highlights from opera, film and musical theatre. Despite the capacity audience and large stage crowds, Hywel chorister, Nikkila Thomas gave beautiful performances of Pie Jesu, I Dreamed a Dream, Les Miserables Finale — a solo performance to be proud of.
The BBC and Pudsey Bear came flocking to the event with a fun highlight when Pudsey Bear gave a conducting debut in joining the Hywel Choir for a fun performance of Singing in the Rain.
Sensitive accompaniments were given by pianist Jean Hywel, organist Huw Tregelles Williams, pianist John Evans and percussionist Gareth Hamlin, while BBC Wales's ever popular Garry Owen connected warmly with the audience as host and compere.
In an emotion finale, Jeremy Hywel reflected on the orphans recently met on a 27 country charity tour and the young Hywel choristers, in dedication to the orphans and children in need, gave a highly sensitive rendition of You'll Never Walk Alone. Many a tear was shed across the audience.
This was another successful event under the artistic direction of John Hywel Williams — a performance of big artists, big performances and big applause.
The really big sing was a really big success.