Updated 23rd February 2019 at 16:33
* Hot Off The Press *
The Fair Trade Party An Afternoon of Fun Entertainment to Raise Awareness and Celebrate Llanelli’s Achievement of its Fair Trade Status The Fair Trade Party event at Llanelli’s Selwyn Samuel Centre was first class enhanced by the excellent performances of LARS singers Lauren Fisher and Osian Clarke. They did LARS proud in the way they conducted themselves and performance – both receiving rapturous applause and encores from the packed function room. In the audience civic dignitaries were there in force, along with the general public and members from the other guest performers – Côr Meibion Llanelli, the Phil Harmonics Choir and Carmarthen Ukuleles. The organisers were delighted with the whole event and highly praised the LARS performers. Osian and Lauren were accompanied by Catrin Hughes and Andrew Pike. Osian performed Stars from Les Misèrables, Anfonaf Angel and Caro Mio Ben and Lauren performed a song by Caro Emerald, The Rose and Listen from Beynocé. If you are interested in Fair Trade Llanelli here is the Website address:
We are delighted to announce that Mezzo Soprano Nikkila Thoms has been successful in joining LARS. Nikkila is from Llanelli, a former chorister and soloist in the Hywel Girls Choir and Hywel Boy Singers, chorister with the Swansea Philharmonic Choir and now studying Voice and Opera at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in Cardiff. We warmly welcome her into LARS.
LARS – Loud Applause Rising Stars will be providing the entertainment once again for the Rotary Club of Mumbles in their annual charity Champagne Sunday Lunch at Langland Bay Golf Club this Sunday.
Performing will be Daisy Owens, Lauren Fisher and Jack Owens accompanied by LARS Musical Advisor Catrin Hughes Catrin Lleisiau’r Cwm.
Another sold out event for the Rotary Club this time in support of Talking Hands (a Swansea based group for young deaf people) and Forget Me Not Mumbles Branch (Dementia Care). A privilege for LARS to be supporting the great work of Rotary.
£3,500 in bursaries for members of LARS – Loud Applause Rising Stars
Six young members of LARS achieved bursaries totalling £2,000 from monies raised by the Friends of LARS. Annually LARS allocates a significant amount of their income achieved through various forms of fundraising to be able to award bursaries to successful applicants.
The arts are in difficult times and sourcing additional financial support is paramount for those studying music. Support is needed for vocal coaching, music lessons, attending music courses, travelling costs for interviews, music scores etc.
LARS is delighted to be in a position to help. The bursary money is made available from the ‘Friends of LARS’ support network and through fundraising events.
Our successful recipients were: Callum Howells, Lauren Fisher, Sydney Richards, Neve Summers, Keely Morgan and Osian Clarke. This is the second year for LARS to offer
bursaries. In addition this year £1,500 was made available to LARS members from three other bursaries: St Elli Masonic Lodge Music Bursary (Osian Clarke), Llanelli Grammar School Old Boys and Graig Former Pupils Association (Joseph Cavalli-Price) and the Gethin Hughes Bursary Award (Lauren Fisher).
LARS is grateful to all for their continued support.
Saturday 30th June 2018
Six members of LARS competed in the Gethin Hughes Bursary Competition at Ffwrnes Theatre, which was hosted by Côr Meibion Llanelli as part of their annual concert.
LARS members were Osian Clarke, Lauren Fisher, Daisy Owens, Jack Owens, Joseph Cavalli- Price and Neve Summers. The standard of the competition was exceptionally high and all were worthy winners, however only one could receive the bursary and the accolade went to Lauren Fisher. Congratulations to Lauren who was awarded a bursary of £750.
The feedback received from our other five members was that of gratitude as it had offered them great experience, exposure and confidence building. Our immense gratitude goes to Catrin Hughes who was stalwart in her support to them all day; this was the first time most had competed. It also gave them an uplift to see so many familiar faces in the audience.
The guest accompanist was the Jeffrey Howard and the adjudicators were Meinir Richards, Allan Fewster MBE and D. Hugh Rees.
The LARS singers performed:
Osian Clarke: O Del Mio Dolce Ardor (Von Gluck) and Stars (from Les Miserables)
Neve Summers: Can’t Help Lovin Dat Man (mus. Jerome Kern Words Hammerstein) and Lascia ch’io Pianga (G.F. Handel from Rinaldo)
Lauren Fisher: Maybe I like it that way (from the Wild Party) and And I’m telling you (from the movie Dreamgirls)
Daisy Owens: I’m a Star (by Scott Alan) and Nella Fantasia (by Ennio Morricone)
Jack Owens: Run Away with me and Sychwn Ddagrau
Joseph Cavalli-Price: Total Eclipse (Handel) and The Lotus Flower (Schumann)
Sunday 3rd June 2018
St Elli Masonic Music Bursary
The 2018 bursary was awarded to LARS member Osian Clarke from Tycroes. The presentation was at the Masonic Sunday Lunch in Stradey Park Hotel on 3rd June. Osian and his parents were totally unaware of the accolade until it was announced that day. He had been under the impression that he was there to perform only. He sang two songs beautifully and was accompanied by LARS Musical Advisor Andrew Pike. We are grateful to Andrew for supporting Osian that afternoon.
Andrew Pike read out a letter from Joseph Cavalli-Price, last year’s recipient of the bursary. It is worth noting that on May 19th Joseph was guest accompanist at the Royal Albert Hall at the Welsh Festival of Massed Voices (better known 1,000 voices), which part of his award for winning their young accompanist bursary.
A very special thank you to all those who have generously offered to sponsor our Promotional Video. The video will be released in the near future.
Successful LARS Candidates September 2017
LARS auditions were held on 3rd September 2017
Three very promising young singers were successful in their audition and were invited to the category of Aspiring Loud Applause Rising Stars:
The three new members were invited to perform in the LARS Soirée at Stradey Castle the following week on the 9th September – each gave a praiseworthy performances. LARS is looking forward to working with and helping to musically develop these young singers.
Stewart Roberts – new Musical Advisor
As a solo pianist Stewart has performed concertos by Grieg, Shostakovich, Mozart and Beethoven. His most recent performance was in the ‘Warsaw Concerto’ with the Cardiff Philharmonic Orchestra at St David’s Hall, Cardiff, and the orchestra has invited him to appear with them again in the near future.
We are delighted to welcome on board Stewart Roberts as one of our LARS Musical Advisors.
Stewart Roberts spent his childhood in Pembrokeshire, and when the family moved to Treorchy in the Rhondda he was educated at Treorchy Comprehensive School and later at the University of Wales in Cardiff. Whilst at Cardiff he studied the piano with Richard McMahon and Caroline Rae and cello with Chris Hodges. In 1995 he graduated with a Bachelor of Music Degree, and was awarded the Eleanor Amy Bowen Scholarship which enabled him to pursue his Master’s Degree in 1996. In 2001, Stewart gained the LRSM Diploma in Piano Performance.
Stewart Roberts has accompanied many of Wales’ distinguished vocalists, including Rhys Meirion, Rebecca Evans, Shân Cothi, Wynne Evans and Anthony Stuart Lloyd, and in 2007 he accompanied Hayley Westenra in concert at St David’s Hall.
Stewart’s passion for male choral singing was ignited when he was appointed accompanist to Côr Meibion Morlais at the age of sixteen. Since then he has worked with Dunvant, Ynysowen and Only Men Aloud, and was Musical Director of Dowlais Male Choir 2000-2007. Following the retirement of John Samuel as Pendyrus’ Conductor on 14th January 2009, Stewart readily agreed to take up the baton, and he was formally appointed the fifth Musical Director in the choir’s 94 year history on 22nd February 2009. Two proud moments in Stewart’s career was winning ‘Choir of the Eisteddfod’ and ‘Best Conductor’ with Pendyrus in 2010 & 2012 at the Cardigan Semi-National Eisteddfod. Pendyrus also won best Male Choir at the same competition in 2017. Stewart was appointed accompanist to ‘Noteworthy Mixed Choir’ from Maesteg in 2014.
Stewart currently teaches in Ysgol Gyfun Y Cymer, Tonypandy Comprehensive and Treorchy Comprehensive giving instrumental and vocal lessons in addition to GCSE and A Level.
Stewart is delighted to become part of the LARS team and is looking forward to working closely with Cerith Owens, Catrin Hughes and Andrew Pike to give opportunities to young, talented singers and instrumentalists across South Wales.
LARS performs at Armed Forces Day in Swansea
4th June 2017
Again LARS was invited to provide young singers to perform at the City and County of Swansea’s Armed Forces Day Celebration in Castle Square.
Lauren Fisher, Daisy Owens and Jack Owens gave praiseworthy performances.
2017 Bursary Awards
The 2017 Bursaries were awarded in April.
Successful Applicants for LARS Bursaries:
Keely Morgan, Nia Rees, Joseph Cavalli-Price and Callum Rhys Williams
Successful Applicant for St Elli Masonic Lodge Music Bursary:
Successful Applicant for the Llanelli Grammar School Old Boys Union & Graig Former Pupils Association Music Bursary:
Information on LARS Bursary
A bursary is an amount of money given to a LARS member for the purpose of them being able to study and further develop their musical talents.
LARS will make available in March / April of each year financial support, a bursary, to those who meet the eligibility criteria below and have successfully demonstrated the need for additional help towards their musical development. Those wishing to apply will need to complete a pro-forma and be explicit in describing the reasons for the application and providing detailed costs.
The amount available to award each year.
Applicants may apply for other bursaries provided through LARS in the same financial year e.g. St Elli Masonic Lodge Music Bursary and the Llanelli Grammar School Old Boys Union & Graig Former Pupils Association Music Bursary.
The financial award will normally be for 1 year and will be made up of one payment transferred to the recipient’s bank account. Recipients will be eligible to apply in subsequent years subject to meeting all criteria.
Those under 18 years old will require the support of their parent or guardian before applying.
All candidates will require 2 appropriate referees one of which must be their musical coach/tutor.
Applicants may be requested to attend for interview with a panel made up of LARS trustees.
What we are looking for
We want to invest in talented artists who are performing or creating great music. You must be able to demonstrate that you are already making an impact. You should include in your biography any notable artistic achievements or career highlights to date. These could include:
Prestigious performances or engagements
Qualifications, prizes or awards
Eligibility for applicants
Existing members of Loud Applause Rising Stars and Aspiring Loud Applause Rising Stars who;
Has been a member for not less than 6 months
Can evidence their ongoing professional development
Made available 2 referees as specified.
Evidenced parental support where applicable
Have understood and worked to the agreed LARS Code of Conduct
Have represented LARS in an appropriate and professional manner at all times
Is in full time education or aspiring to become a musician
Completed the questionnaire with sufficient information and detailed costings
Provided an up to date CV and/or biography
Has made themselves available on an ongoing basis for LARS events
Able to evidence the need for financial support and the difference an award would make
Successful candidates must provide a report every 2 months on their progress
The LARS Charity will expect successful candidates to continue as active members for at least 12 months following an award being made.
Examples of eligible support
Master class attendance
Additional musical advice from an agreed coach/ tutor
Travel costs to perform or receive specialist training for a prestigious event
Equipment – contribution to a new musical instrument or refurbishment of existing item
Additional study costs
Additional lessons to increase repertoire