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Haverfordwest Singer on song at festival

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on songSINGER Rowan Staden-Coates, of Sir Thomas Picton School, Haverfordwest was the overall winner of this year’s Secondary Schools Valero Music Festival.

The annual festival, which is organised by the Pembrokeshire County Council Music Service and sponsored by Valero, took place at Sir Thomas Picton School in Haverfordwest on Saturday (November 16).

Over 300 young musicians from the County’s eight county secondary schools took part in individual and ensemble competitions throughout the day.

Later in the evening an enthusiastic audience enjoyed a special concert showcasing the individual winners and the winners of the instrumental and vocal ensemble competitions.

Every secondary school in the county was represented by their school band or orchestra.

As the overall winner, Rowan Staden-Coates was presented with the Tim Bourne Memorial Cup. Earlier in the evening she had performed “Forsake me Not” by J. S. Bach, accompanied at the piano by her teacher Sarah Benbow.

Tuba player Aled Meredith-Barrett, of Ysgol Dewi Sant, was the winner of the Open Brass competition. He performed “Romanza” by Vaughan-Williams and was accompanied by Seimon Morris.

The Open String competition winner was Naomi Hunt from Greenhill School, who played “Polonaise Briliante” by Weieniawski on the the violin. She was accompanied by Anna Tiller. Hannah Taylor, of Greenhill School, was the winner of the Open Piano class. She is a pupil of Jan Hartzel and performed “Nocturne” by Grieg.

Marimba player Melissa Martin, of Sir Thomas Picton School, won the Open Percussion class. She performed “Prelude No1 for solo Marimba” by Rosauro.

The winner of the Open Woodwind class was flautist Amy Taylor, of Greenhill School, who performed “Hypnosis” by Ian Clarke accompanied at the piano by Stuart Evans.

The Open Vocal Ensemble class was won by Sir Thomas Picton Boy’s Quartet, who sang “Blue Moon” accompanied by James Olyott.

Saxophonist Molly Brick, of Tasker Milward School, was the winner of the Open Jazz competition. Her performance of “Georgia on my Mind” was accompanied by Clive Raymond.

The Open Ensemble competition was won by the Sir Thomas Picton year 12 group who performed an arrangement of part of Bach’s “Brandenburg Concerto No2”.

The invited professional adjudicators – Timothy Angel, voice; Adrian Morton , brass; , Lara James, woodwind; Christopher Lovegrove, piano; Denis Mahoney, ensembles; Robin Stowell, strings; Nick Baron, percussion – were greatly impressed with the high standard and strength of schools’ music on show from across the County.

Also performing at the evening concert were: Sir Thomas Picton School Orchestra (conducted by Melanie Walker); Ysgol Greenhill School Jazz Band (Paul Rapi); Milford Haven School Wind Band (Gareth Sanders Swales); Ysgol Dewi Sant School Orchestra (Tom Earey); Pembroke School Orchestra (Rebecca Whitehurst); Ysgol Bro Gwaun Orchestra (Phillipa Roberts); Ysgol y Preseli Wind Band (Gareth Sanders Swales) and Tasker Milward School Orchestra (Phillipa Roberts).

On behalf of Valero, William James said the company was very pleased to be involved in such a prestigious event featuring so many of the county’s talented young musicians.

County Music Co-ordinator and Festival MC Chris Llewellyn thanked the adjudicators, teachers, parents and students for making the Festival such a success.

“Once again the strength and quality of Pembrokeshire Schools’ music is evident at this event,” he said.

 

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Dairy challenges Pembrokeshire kids to win £1,000 for their school

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ECO-FRIENDLY kids in Pembrokeshire are being urged to get creative with recycling and win their school £1,000.

The call comes from Wales’s leading yoghurt producer, Llaeth y Llan, who want to hear from primary schools with wizard ideas for re-purposing their plastic pots.

They’re offering £1,000 for the school with the best plan for reusing those little pots in a fun and useful way.

And to show they’re serious about making sure Llaeth y Llan yoghurt even more environmentally friendly they are also urging schools to collect the lids and send them back to the dairy.

Llaeth y Llan have put up a total of £20,000 to encourage schools across Wales to recycle and Director Gruffudd Roberts said: “Climate change and the environment are now global issues and a lot of that is down to young people and their concerns.

“As a company we believe it’s vital to involve children in spreading the message of the importance of recycling to secure the future of our planet.

“We are extremely excited to see the designs created by each school using our pots.

“Not only is recycling our main focus, we are proud to fund prizes that will assist the children’s future.

“Being able to give £20,000 worth of prizes to schools whose budgets are stretched makes the project worthwhile.

“School funding is simply not going to buy vital equipment such as Chromebooks, garden supplies, sports gear and school trips. We want every school in Wales to have an equal opportunity to win their share of our £20,000 prize fund.”

Llaeth y Llan yoghurt, made with local Welsh milk, was started by dairy farmers Gareth and Falmai Roberts over 30 years ago and is still a family-run operation based at Tal y Bryn Farm, in the Vale of Clwyd.

These days though their yoghurts are on sale all over the country and are on the shelves of the UK’s biggest supermarkets like Tesco, Asda, Morrisons and Co-Op’s.

Those distinctive pots now come off a state of the art production line and Gruffudd Roberts added: “We’ve already seen many innovative ideas for the pots from schools across Wales but there’s still time to stake your claims to a share of the £20,000 prize fund.

“We’d especially like schools to take pictures as they make their creations at each step and send them to us along with a main picture showing the end result.”

Entries for the competition close on February 25th and full details on how to take part in Llaeth y Llan’s are on the website at www.villagedairy.co.uk/school-registration/

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Marisa celebrates in style with Chatty Man Alan Carr

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A Slimming World Consultant from Whitland celebrated their group’s success by meeting chat show host and comedian, Alan Carr.

Alan, a well-loved TV personality, co-hosted the annual Slimming World Awards with the organisation’s founder and chair Margaret Miles-Bramwell OBE. Margaret opened her first group in 1969 and over the last 50 years Slimming World has become the nation’s favourite way to lose weight*, supporting almost one million slimmers.

Marisa Miles, who runs a Slimming World group at Sports & Social Club, Saundersfoot every Wednesday, was delighted to get a chance to meet Alan, and said it was the perfect end to a fantastic year for the Saundersfoot Slimming World group. “The members at our Saundersfoot group make me burst with pride, not only have they seen big changes on the scales, many have improved their health and completely changed their lives too.

“For many people, taking that first step into a Slimming World group takes a huge amount of courage. But they’re always certain of a warm welcome and introduction to our fabulously flexible eating plan which means you’re never hungry while you’re losing weight. And when you join a group and stay each week members support each other with motivation, tips and ideas, cheering each other on and boosting each other to face any challenges.

“Watching people grow in confidence each week and take on things that they didn’t think possible before losing weight absolutely amazes me. I feel proud of the small part I play in supporting people to achieve their dreams and to celebrate alongside them when they do, so I was honoured to represent the Saundersfoot group at the Slimming World Awards. Alan was left in awe of the difference Slimming World makes to people’s lives too.”

Alan, who presented comedy chat show Chatty Man on Channel 4, said it was great to meet Marisa at the event, which was held at Birmingham’s International Convention Centre. He said: “I met so many people who had transformed their lives and it was clear how much the support they received from their ‘Slimming World family’ meant to them. Every one of them spoke passionately about how they couldn’t have made those changes to eat more healthily and become more active without the support of Consultants like Marisa and their group every week. I left the awards feeling so uplifted and positive, I wish I could’ve bottled that Slimming World feeling.

Marisa continues: “Last year was our 50th year, which was full of celebrations and successes. We’ve supported more people than ever to achieve their dreams and we’re so excited about what 2020 has in store.”

“For anyone who may be thinking of taking that step to lose weight and improve their health this New Year I truly believe that joining a local Slimming World group is the best way for people to learn new habits and make long-term healthy changes. At the Saundersfoot group they’ll discover a whole world of support to help them achieve their dreams and stay slim for life – with lots of fun along the way too!”

To find out how you could get that Slimming World feeling call Marisa on 07834643525 or visit www.slimmingworld.co.uk to find your nearest group.

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RNLI in Wales urges people to stay safe as Storm Brendan hits

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The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) is urging people to stay safe near the Welsh coast as severe weather could make our seas and coastlines particularly dangerous.

Lifesaving charity, the RNLI, is encouraging people to exercise extreme caution if visiting the shoreline, especially along exposed cliffs, seafronts and piers.

The expected strong winds and severe gales pose a severe safety risk to those visiting the coast.

Named Storm Brendan by Met Eireann, it swept eastwards across Ireland before making its way through the rest of the UK this morning with yellow wind warning in place for most of the Welsh coast.

Chris Cousens, RNLI Regional Water Safety Lead for Wales said:

‘This rough weather could make visiting parts of the Welsh coastline treacherous and bring very dangerous sea conditions.

‘Sadly, around 150 people lose their lives on British and Irish coasts each year and over half of these people didn’t plan on ever entering the water. Slips, trips and falls can be a major factor in these kinds of incidents.’

If you see someone else in danger in the water, call 999 and ask for the Coastguard. If you have something that floats that they can hold on to, throw it to them. Don’t go in the water yourself – too many people drown trying to save others.

The charity, which provides a search and rescue service around the UK and Ireland, is facing its own Perfect Storm as demand for its services has increased but it is facing a shortfall in funds. This past year, the RNLI has been busier than ever, and stormy conditions can mean additional call outs for the already extremely busy volunteer crews. Whatever the weather, RNLI volunteers will still be on call to rescue those at difficulty at sea.

The RNLI’s major new fundraising appeal, The Perfect Storm, which aims to help the charity get back to living within its means, is running throughout November and December. To find out more or to donate visit RNLI.org/ThePerfect Storm.

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