James Oakley

James, whose from Llannon, is one of LARS newest recruits. He is a pupil at Ysgol Gyfun y Strade. Since joining in 2019, he has had opportunities to perform at this year’s St David’s Celebration Concert in the Ffwrnes Theatre, Llanelli, sharing the stage with international soprano Elin Manahan Thomas, Côr Meibion Pontarddulais and Côr Curiad.  Last year through LARS, James took part in two Remembrance Services, in Castle Gardens, Swansea and in Tabernacl Chapel, Burry Port, as well as in the Soirée in Stradey Castle, Llanelli, a Charity Concert in Margam Orangery and the Night with the Stars Concert in Ffwrnes Theatre, Llanelli. 

He was quite at home in Ffwrnes Theatr last year, not only appearing there in the LARS concert, but also as part of the Wales-wide Gwyl Cerdd Dant, a recording of a modern programme in S4C’s Dechrau Canu Dechrau Canmol series and with Côr Ysgol y Strade, Athena and Steffan Rhys Hughes. James has also performed with other choirs on television programmes including S4C’s Noson Lawen, and Côr Cymru. He has recorded a number of CD’s through these performances.

He is a pupil at Ysgol Gyfun y Strade in Llanelli, where he is a chorister in the school choir. He’s also a member of Côr Adran Llwyth y Llan and Only Boys Aloud. He is a former chorister with Ysgol Llangennech and Only Kids Aloud. His involvement with these three choirs has not only given him invaluable singing experience, but also taken him to three different countries. He went with Only Boys Aloud to Ypres and the Somme, as part of the commemorations of the 100th year anniversary of the Battle of Passchendale and the death of Welsh poet Hedd Wyn. He went with his school choir to Amsterdam, and with Only Kids Aloud to Cape Town, South Africa, as part of an event that also included Bryn Terfel and Cape Town Opera.  As well as this opportunity to sing with Bryn Terfel, James has also sang with Shân Cothi, Alfie Boe, Only Men Aloud and Rhys Merion.

James started performing at an early age, while at Ysgol Gynradd Llangennech. In 2015 the school won the BBC Songs of Praise School Choir of the Year. Following that success, they took part in the Songs of Praise Big Sing in the Royal Albert Hall and James sang a solo in that performance. Previously, he sang with the school in Jewin Welsh Chapel, London, at their Christmas concert, as well as taking part in various school productions, a tradition he’s continued since going up to Ysgol Gyfun Y Strade.  In 2014 he was a member of Only Kids Aloud when they sang at The Spirit of Unity opening concert of the Llangollen International Eisteddfod.