Mar 25, 2010

LLANGOLLEN 2010 WELCOMES THE WORLD

“One of the joys of Llangollen is that it brings together in friendly competition some of the finest musical talent the world has to offer”. Mervyn Cousins, Executive Director, Llangollen International Eisteddfod.

“Llangollen boasts many International Stars staring in their own concerts every night of the Festival week. However, during the day one can see a plethora of future International stars in the making in healthy competition on the same stage.” Stifyn Parri, Local Entrepeneur/Concert Producer.

Llangollen Festival is a powerful magnet drawing in singers, dancers and performers from all four corners of the globe and transforming this small town in the Dee Valley into a feast of colour, sound and energy. This, of course, brings a wealth of first-class entertainment to our doorsteps here in Wales- a unique opportunity to experience the finest national and international talent battling it out in exhilarating competition for one action-packed, no-holds-barred week! This year the Eisteddfod is all set to embrace compelling competitors and performers from Europe, the USA, the Caribbean and Asia.




DE LA SALLE UNIVERSITY CHORALE – MANILA- PHILIPPINES Competing on Friday 9 July.



The DLSU Chorale is based at the De La Salle University in Manila and, in addition to winning 1st Prize in the Folkloric Special Category of the Bela Bartok 21st International Choir Competition in Debrecen in 2004 they also have a European tour under their belt together with two full tours of the USA in 2002 and 2004.

What competitions are you taking part in this year? “We will be participating in the Chamber and Folk Choir Competitions in Llangollen, but have also entered competitions in Germany and Italy”.

How many competitions have you entered? “The group has entered several International Competitions since 1992”.


How are you travelling to the UK? “We will be travelling from a choir festival in Switzerland, and then travelling by train to UK”.



How many different types of transport will you have used? “Plane, trains, chartered coaches”.



What mode of transport will you be using whilst in Wales? “Train and coach”.



Have you competed in Llangollen before? Which competition was it...what was the result? “Based on the group's history, with a different conductor, the group was there in 1992. They placed 2nd in the Chamber Choir and Third in Folk Choir”.



Have you been to Wales before? “No”.



Did you have difficulties securing visas? “Hopefully not! We are still processing our US Visa before we can apply to the UK. We will be leaving for the US in April”.



Where will you be staying whilst in Wales? “Hostel”.



How many of you are coming over? “ Nineteen.”



Are you bringing any special costumes/props? “Native costumes and percussive instruments”.



UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS SINGERS - PHILIPPINES Competing on Thursday 8th and Friday 9th July.



With the added participation of the University of Santo Tomas Singers, the Philippines will be particularly well represented this year! Founded in 1992, the UST Singers is a mixed choral ensemble composed of a select group of students and alumni representing the different colleges and faculties of the Pontifical and Royal University of Santo Tomas – the oldest university in Asia, (celebrating its 400th Anniversary this year). The choir has achieved both national and international recognition as one of the top choirs in the world and, in 1995, they triumphed at the 49th Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod winning four First Prizes including the coveted Choir Of The World. Their visit to Llangollen is part of a worldwide tour which starts on April 9th.


What competitions are you taking part in this year? The University of Santo Tomas Singers are taking part in 4 categories: MIXED CHOIRS, CHAMBER CHOIRS, FOLK CHOIRS and YOUTH CHOIRS”.

How many competitions have you entered? As of yet, this is the choir's 16th time to participate in an international choral competition”.



How are you traveling to the UK? We're traveling by plane and bus”.



How many different types of transport will you have used? Plane, bus, train”.



What mode of transport will you be using whilst in Wales? “Bus”



Have you competed in Llangollen before? Which competition was it...what was the result?? “Yes, 1993: 5th Place: Youth Choirs 2nd Prize: Folk Category 3rd Prize: Chamber Choirs 1995: 1st Prize: Youth Choirs 1st Prize: Folk Choirs 1st Prize: Chamber Choirs W. S. Gwynn Williams Prize for Best Folk Group Choir of the World at Llangollen 1995.”



Did you have difficulties securing visas? “We’ve got our visas easily”.

Where will you be staying whilst in Wales? “Hopefully with host families just like in 1995 and 1998”.

How many of you are coming over? “31 of us are coming (30 singers and our conductor)”.



Are you bringing any special costumes/props? “We perform in our national and concert costumes”.



THE YOUNG PEOPLES CHORUS OF NEW YORK CITY - USA Competing on Wednesday 7th, Thursday 8th and Friday 9th July



““The children have been buzzing for months with excitement about our upcoming trip to Wales. They are anticipating seeing the country, learning the culture, but most of all they are eager to experience the high art presented at the Eisteddfod. And, of course, we can’t wait to take to the stage ourselves and show Wales our New York City spirit.” Elizabeth Núñez, Conductor, The Young People’s Chorus of New York City.

The Young People’s Chorus of New York City is an award-winning, internationally acclaimed youth ensemble that has sung everywhere from Carnegie Hall to Smetana Hall in Prague and St. Martin in the Fields in London and this summer makes its third trip to Japan for a 15-city tour. YPC performs repertoire ranging from classical, jazz and pop, to music from many of the world’s cultures and has commissioned more than 50 new works from composers who include Pulitzer Prize, Oscar, and MacArthur “genius” grant winners. The chorus has won five gold medals at the World Choir Games in Germany and Austria and top prizes at other choral competitions in the U.S, Canada, Spain, and the Czech Republic. It has won awards for adventurous programming and education outreach from Chorus America and been cited as a “national model of artistic excellence and diversity” by the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities.

What competitions are you taking part in this year? The Young People's Chorus of New York City will be participating in categories 7: Senior Children’s Choir, 8: Junior Children’s Choir, and 22: Folk Showcase”.



How many competitions have you entered in Llangollen this year? Three”.



How will you be travelling to Wales? We will travel to London by plane and from there to Llangollen by bus”.



What mode of transport will you be using whilst in Wales? Bus.”



Have you competed in Llangollen before? No, the YPC has never travelled to Wales as a group”.



Did you have any difficulties securing Visas? Since we are a children’s choir who are paying for our trip from the US, we do not need to secure Visas and will enter the country with passports”.


Where will you be staying whilst in Wales? We hope to be staying in hotels’.


How many of you will be coming over? Our group will be comprised of approximately 60 people: 10 adults and 50 children”.

Will you be bringing any special costumes or props? We will sing in our regular concert uniforms and may feature an “urban look” during our Folk Showcase”.


DAWNSWYR SIR CONWY - WALES Competing on Wednesday 7th July



There will be plenty of Welsh talent on show too and amongst them will be the dextrous feet of Dawnswyr Sir Conwy. We've been dancing as a group since the Gŵyl Cerdd Dant music festival was held in the Conwy Valley a few years ago”, says their Leader Dr Prydwen Elfed Owens. “We're mostly made up of local teachers, which is great because they all go back to their schools to form dance groups of their own. We’ve competed successfully at the National Eisteddfod and we’ve also represented Wales on several trips overseas. Our fundamental aim is to raise awareness of our rich folk traditions and, of course, to have fun!”

What competitions are you taking part in this year? “The Dawnswyr Sir Conwy are taking part in competition number 171, Folk Dancing for Groups”.

How many competitions have you entered in Llangollen this year? “One”.

Have you competed in Llangollen before? “We have never competed in Llangollen before but we have competed in the National Eisteddfod of Wales and Local Eisteddfod’s”.

How many of you will be at Llangollen? There will be 26 of us”.

Will you be bringing any special costumes or props? “There will be twelve women dancing in traditional Welsh hats. One member of the dance group’s great great great Grandfather, David Edwards of Amlwch was a famous Welsh hatter. We have obtained one of his original hats with his name on it and have had twelve hats made by a local hatter in the exact same style as the original David Edwards hat which was unique to him. Another prop that we will be using is the Mari Lwyd.


SOUL SOUNDS ACADEMY CHOIR – SRI LANKA Competing on Wednesday 7 July and performing on Children’s Day – 6 July.


Sri Lanka will be represented this year by the delightful Soul Sounds Academy Choir. The choir was runner-up in the Youth Choir category in Llangollen in 2004 and, since then they have gone from strength to strength, having performed in both Australia and China. In January 2005 the choir came together as one to work towards a project to raise funds for the victims of the devastating Asian tsunami of 26 December 2004. They were asked to perform for a single, alongside stars like Cliff Richard, Bill Wyman of the Rolling Stones, Russell Watson, Robin and Barry Gibb of the Bee Gees, Steve Winwood, Boy George, Chicago and others, raising millions for the charity.

What competitions are you taking part in this year? “We are performing on the World Stage on Children’s Day and in the Senior Children’s Choir competition”.

How many competitions have you entered in Llangollen this year? “One”.

How will you be travelling to Wales? “We will be flying to the UK and then travelling by bus”.

What mode of transport will you be using whilst in Wales? “We will be travelling by bus”.

Have you competed in Llangollen before? “Yes, we won the Youth Choir category in 2004”.

Have you had any difficulties securing Visas? “Hopefully not”.

Have you been to Wales before? “ Yes”.

Where will you be staying whilst in Wales? “We hope to be staying in student accommodation”.

How many of you will be coming over? “There will be forty competitors plus supporters”.

Will you be bringing any special costumes or props? “Yes, we plan to wear traditional dress throughout our time at the Eisteddfod”.


COMPETITORS CLUB:

The Competitors Club is a haven on the field for all Llangollen competitors, where food, drink, tea and coffee is provided free of charge to all. Local support, be it financial and/or food and drink, is always greatly appreciated.


Last year’s winners of the Choir of the World Competition- the Westminster Chorus from California are sadly unable to attend this year to defend their crown but the good news is that their vast legion of new fans in Wales ( and worldwide ) will be able to see them via a special webcast on April 17th from the Vic Lopez Auditorium at Whittier High School in Whittier, CA. Their spokesperson Colin Plain is excited about the prospect- “This is sure to be a fantastic show, so come on out and enjoy a great night of barbershop singing!” For more details about this webcast log in to the Chorus’s website at www.westminsterchorus.org
Other notable absentees from across the Atlantic this year will be long-time Llangollen favourites the University of Michigan Men's Glee Club. Regular Festival-goers will no doubt recall that the choir participated in the Eisteddfod throughout the sixties, seventies and eighties and this year they are proudly celebrating their 150th anniversary as an ensemble. They plan to present their alumni with a special award to commemorate this important milestone and we are proud to announce that the Llangollen emblem will feature prominently on this award as a testimony to the importance of the International Eisteddfod in the University of Michigan Men's Glee Club distinguished history.



JAMAICAN FOLK SINGERS – JAMAICA Competing on Friday 9th July


The sunshine and exuberance of the Caribbean will be reflected in the glorious presence, once again, of the Jamaican Folk Singers. According to the group’s musical director Christine MacDonald the purpose of this exhilarating ensemble is to share the richness, variety and significance of the island’s musical heritage with people all over the world. "It is the love of Jamaica and a sense of loyalty and dedication to the preservation of Jamaica's folk music heritage that keeps the group going”, she says. “Additionally, we take great pride in sharing the music that has been unearthed and the beautiful arrangements of its founder, Dr. Olive Lewin. The group's activities are very relevant today and will continue to be relevant because of the need for people to know about their country and history, and this can help to instil pride."

What competitions are you taking part in this year? ‘The Jamaican Folk Singers will be competing in the following two competitions – Competition 22 – Folk Showcase and Competition, Competition 23 – Folk Group.’

How many competitions have you entered in Llangollen this year? “Two”
.
How will you be travelling to Wales? The group will be traveling to London via plane, then to Manchester via plane and from there by bus to Wales.’

What mode of transport will you be using whilst in Wales? ‘While in Wales, the group will travel by bus using transportation provided by the Eisteddfod organizers to get to and from the Eisteddfod grounds.’

Have you been to Wales before? ‘It will be group's second visit to Wales, the first being to do a performance scheduled as part of one of the group's concert tours to London.’

Have you competed in Llangollen before? ‘This will be the first time that the group will be participating in the Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod’.

Did you have any difficulties securing Visas? ‘The cost to acquire the appropriate visas has been a challenge, but the group is arranging to get assistance from the local Ministry of Culture to assist in the group's overall travel arrangements’.

Where will you be staying whilst in Wales? ‘The group has indicated its interest in taking advantage of the accommodations offered by the organizers of the Eisteddfod.’

How many of you will be coming over? ‘Presently, plans are proceeding to have 25 members of The Jamaican Folk Singers represent the group at the 2010 Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod.’

Will you be bringing any special costumes or props? ‘The group will be traveling with special costumes designed for participation in the Eisteddfod, these being costumes to be worn on stage and while on the Eisteddfod grounds.’

Llangollen 2010 welcomes the world with open arms and, once again, the world rushes in.
Ticket Office 01978 862001 (or general number 862000).





Llangollen 2010 July 5 – July 11

Monday 5th: Katherine Jenkins Opening Gala Concert – An evening of stunning music to begin the festival and celebrate the reopening of the Royal International Pavilion. This promises to be a night to remember! (www.kj.tv) £55, £35

Tuesday 6th : Karl Jenkins: The Armed Man – A Mass for Peace. Beethoven: Piano Concerto Number 3, Brahms: Academic Festival Overture. Sinfonia Cymru. Llŷr Williams, Piano. Sinfonia Cymru makes its Llangollen debut under the baton of Karl Jenkins as he conducts his own Mass for Peace with a ‘Wales and the World’ choir. The extraordinary Llŷr Williams is at the piano for Beethoven’s third concerto. An absolute must! £35, £25

Wednesday 7th : One World, One Stage: The legendary- and justifiably celebrated Welcome Ceremony and Procession of Performers through the Pavilion. As ever, this will be an unforgettable evening of truly global music and dance which is a favourite with Eisteddfod regulars and a marvellous taster of the week to come. Expect performances from Pakistan, Wales, USA, and North Africa, amongst others. £18, £14

Thursday 8th : Shine with the Bond Quartet: A typically eclectic Llangollen mix, with a new twist. Brilliant dancers perform everything from Bhangra to BreakDance. An international choir of 100 young children come together in peace and harmony, and then the upbeat string players of multi-million CD-selling Bond shine and sparkle. £20, £15

Friday 9th : Only Men Aloud: The hugely popular and Classical Brit-nominated Only Men Aloud at Llangollen for the very first time! The boys will be singing Welsh favourites and other exciting pieces and will be joined by musical friends from around the world. £30, £20

Saturday 10th : Choir of the World and Champions of Brass: The incomparable Choir of the World competition preceded by the world champions of brass! Wales’ own Cory Band in concert in the first half, before the week’s winning choirs “sing off” for the Pavarotti Trophy. £25, £15

Sunday 11th : Nigel Kennedy: One of the world’s great musical stars, the inimitable Nigel Kennedy returns to the festival in spectacular style with his full orchestra and band to perform a smash-hit programme of Bach and Ellington which he is performing in Wales for the first time. £55, £40, £25

Day Sessions:

Tuesday 6th: International Children’s Day: Exotic Traditions: Be transported to the Indian subcontinent, and Sudan, by musicians, dancers and acrobats. Includes Kawa Circus’ breathtaking brand of dance and fun. This is especially for Primary Schools and 5000 children are expected. £5 per child pre-booked – teachers free.

Wednesday 7th: International Song and Dance: Choirs and folk dancers from 20 countries. Also featuring the best young soloists in the world in an event that has been the launching pad for young stars such Faryl Smith in recent years. Performers from five continents on the outside stages – the whole world in one place! Pavilion ticket (including ground entry): £20, £15, £12. Ground Admission: £9 (senior citizen £8, children under 16 £5)

Thursday 8th: Youth Entertains: Young singers and Folk Dancers of the world – Join the musical party with 1000 young performers; Children’s Dance, Youth Choirs, the biggest Junior Children’s Choirs competition, and Songs from the Shows. Enjoy Jazz and Roots, Hip-Hop and Bollywood, and colour everywhere. There will be special Youth Day packages for Secondary Schools. Pavilion ticket: £15, £12. Ground Admission: £9 (senior citizen £8, children under 16 £5) .

Friday 9th: International Celtic and Folk Day: For many this represents the true essence of Llangollen: Mixed and Chamber Choirs, plus the spectacular all-new Folk competitions. Folk music spills out onto the Eisteddfod field, with an extra Celtic flavour. Bands from Wales lead a colourful mix of sights, sounds, dance and art to the outside stages. Pavilion ticket: £15, £12. Ground Admission: Ground Admission: £9 (senior citizen £8, children under 16 £5).

Saturday 10th: International Family Day: Simply the best male and female choirs in the world singing everything from Bach to Barbershop. Luciano Pavarotti won on this day in 1955 so expect high standards! Also, of course, the Peace Message will be delivered to the world by local children. On the field there will be activities for all the family; music, dance, arts, crafts, story-telling, and competitions. Pavilion ticket: £20, £15, £12. Ground Admission: £9 (senior citizen £8, children under 16 £5) but note that Family ticket @ £20

Sunday 12th: During the day, the festival spills out into the town in a carnival atmosphere. Music all over Llangollen! This is the People’s Day with local, regional, and international performers combining their talents. A relaxed day for everyone, culminating in the evening concert of course! Further details later. Tickets: £5 adults, £1 for children under 16.

Season Tickets: This year sees an expanded range of Season Ticket offers; the ‘full Season’ from 2009 is now known as a Gold Season, and the daytime-only package is the Silver Season. For 2010 Llangollen offers a PLATINUM Season, covering everything from Tuesday to Sunday inclusive. This represents a fantastic saving of around 25% on the full prices, with a guarantee of the same seat throughout. If you can, do take this opportunity of making it a ‘holiday week’ and join us for the whole span of the festival. For those coming on the Monday evening and staying through Tuesday; there is a wonderful Vocal Solo Competition (the 15 to 20 age-range) in the Town Hall on the Tuesday afternoon before the Parade of Nations at 4.30pm (weather permitting) through the streets of Llangollen including Commonwealth Games Team Wales athletes as well as all the competitor performers from all over the world.



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