Neath opera singer wins prestigious music competition
A BUDDING young opera singer from Neath has become the latest winner of a prestigious music competition.
Joshua Owen Mills fought off stiff competition to become the Morriston Orpheus Choir Supporters' Association (MOCSA) Young Welsh Singer of the Year.
Previous winners have included Pontrhydyfen-born Rebecca Evans and Bryn Terfel, both of whom have gone on to become international household names.
Mr Mills, from Bryncoch, attended the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, London where he graduated with first-class honours.
He is currently a Samling Scholar on the post-graduate Opera Course under Adrian Thompson and Yvonne Kenny.
The 24-year-old, who is a former Dwr-Y-Felin school pupil, said he was delighted to receive the award.
"It is amazing especially to see the previous winners," said Mr Mills, who now lives in London.
"It is a real honour to win it. I love to come back and perform with a home crowd. It is also lovely to come back and see family."
In the past Mr Mills has won various singing prizes including the Glass Sellers Prize in the GSMD Gold Medal Competition, the Towyn Roberts Scholarship and the Osbourne Roberts Memorial Prize in the 2013 National Eisteddfod, first prize at the Welsh Association of Male Choirs Competition, and the Dunraven Young Welsh Singer of the Year.
As the winner of the MOCSA competition, he has received a trophy, sponsored by Gravells Ltd of Kidwelly, and the Ivor E Sims Memorial Prize of £2,000, donated by the Morriston Orpheus Choir.
The annual competition which is in its 37th year, is organised by the Morriston Orpheus Choir and its Supporters' Association.
The other three finalists each received a commemorative plaque and £300. They were Euros Campbell, a baritone who is originally from Bangor, North Wales, Llanelli mezzo soprano Eirlys Myfanwy Davies and Swansea soprano Rhiannon Llewellyn.
The panel of adjudicators were Julian Smith, who is the music advisor to the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Competition, Dr Richard Elfyn Jones and Leah-Marian Jones a previous winner.