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Entertainment

World class music at this year’s Fishguard Festival of Music

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FESTIVAL audiences enjoying world class music at this year’s Fishguard Festival of Music. Jazz, folk and world music to feature in final concerts

The annual Fishguard Festival of Music continues its programme of world-class classical music following the Bank Holiday weekend at venues across Pembrokeshire.

The National Youth Choir of Wales conducted by Tim Rhys Evans will start the second week of the festival’s concerts in the magnificent setting of St Davids Cathedral on Monday August 28th at 7.30pm. The following night, Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama students will be paying tribute to two great Welsh composers of the 20th century in this year of significant anniversaries for both: David Vaughan Thomas (150 years) and David Harries (90 years). The concert will include works originally commissioned by the Fishguard Festival in 1986 and 1993. David Vaughan Thomas was the father of broadcaster and long term Fishguard resident, Wynford Vaughan Thomas.

Life, love and loss are explored and celebrated through a special friendship and some of the greatest songs ever written in a concert curated by pianist Andrew Matthews-Owen on Wednesday. Singers Nicky Spence and Claire Booth will perform songs by LGBTQ+ composers and poets, including Leonard Bernstein, Benjamin Britten, and Aaron Copland. Robert Schumann’s iconic song cycle on a woman’s life and love, Frauenliebe und leben, will be interwoven with Nathan James Dearden’s specially commissioned responses of a beloved friend. Since she whom I loved takes place at Neuadd y Dderwen, Rhosygilwen on Wednesday 30 August.

Monteverdi and his contemporaries will feature in the programme of The Gonzaga Band (soprano, cornett and harpsichord) at Bethel Chapel Fishguard on Thursday ,led by Welsh musician Dr Jamie Savan, Professor of Performance-led Research in Music at Birmingham City University.

Outdoor performances will be given by Kosmos Ensemble: Meg Hamilton, Harriet Mackenzie (violins) and Milos Milivojevic (accordion) on Fishguard Quay and at Oriel y Parc St Davids. A special concert will take place the evening before these community concerts at Theatr Gwaun on Friday 1st September.

Pedair – four female singers and instrumentalists: Sian James, Gwyneth Glyn, Meinir Gwilym and Gwenan Gibbard return following the great success of their sell-out performance last year and perform at Theatr Gwaun on Saturday 2 September. Their debut album, ‘Mae na olau’ has just won ‘Welsh language Album of the Year’.

Jazz music will end the festival when Amanda Whiting (harpist) will appear with her jazz trio in the closing evening concert at Theatr Gwaun on Sunday.

Gillian Green MBE, Artistic Director of the Fishguard Festival of Music, said: “The Fishguard Festival of Music is once again delighting audiences with a showcase of world-class music in West Wales at a variety of atmospheric venues. The final week will see the return of some familiar faces to Pembrokeshire in some exciting concerts and audiences will get the opportunity to hear magical music by leading international soloists. Tickets are selling quickly this year.”

Further information and tickets are available via the festival website at www.fishguardmusicfestival.com

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Entertainment

NoFit State Circus set to thrill Pembrokeshire this summer

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NoFit State Circus is set to captivate Pembrokeshire once again this summer, as they bring back their thrilling big top show, Sabotage.

Returning to Haverfordwest from June 13th to 30th, NoFit State promises an experience unlike any other traditional circus. With no sad animals or tired tricks, Sabotage offers a fusion of circus and music, presented by a supremely talented troupe that leaves audiences in awe.

Described as “another full-on, boisterous, and audaciously fierce performance with the NoFit State signature style,” Sabotage introduces a darker, grittier, and more subversive edge to the troupe’s renowned contemporary circus.

“Back in the big top with incredible new acts, original music, new apparatus and a more theatrical feel, Sabotage challenges the status quo,” shares NoFit State. “This is an energising, uplifting, and socially relevant contemporary circus production.”

The show delves into themes of separation and belonging, with each scene narrating stories that range from poignant and heart-tugging to utterly joyful.

“We’ve had a hard time keeping this a secret, but we are finally ready to fill you in,” announced NoFit State yesterday. “Tickets for our big top show Sabotage are now on sale for Pembrokeshire, back in the place where we performed Sabotage for the first time ever back in 2022!”

Pembrokeshire holds a special significance for the troupe, and they invite audiences to witness how the show has evolved since its debut. This year, Pembrokeshire is the sole Welsh location where Sabotage will be performed, with an early bird offer granting spectators 20 per cent off their tickets until midnight on May 6th.

Sabotage will grace Pembrokeshire from June 13th to 30th, with ticket prices starting at £18. “More locations in the tour to be announced soon,” assures NoFit State. “Until then, enjoy your summer in Pembrokeshire in a shiny silver Big Top Tent with us.”

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Education

Pupils take centre stage for dance competitions

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MORE than 230 Pembrokeshire pupils have taken part in exciting dance competitions at primary and secondary school levels.

Sport Pembrokeshire hosted the primary school dance competition on March 19th at Fishguard Leisure Centre.

Seven schools from across the county and more than 160 pupils took part, including both boys and girls from school years 3-6.

All style and street dance were the categories that teams, solos and duos could enter. There were 55 solo performers entering the street dance solo category.

Pupils from Ysgol Bro Gwaun performed a group dance and some performed brilliant solos for the primary pupils to watch.

Finola (FF Dancers), Kelly (Kelly Williams School of Dance) and Lowri (Lowri Jones School of Dance) judged the high standard of competitions with dance coaches Lucy Kerrison and Kelci Francis helping out during the day.

They are all thanked for their help and expertise as putting on an event of this nature would not be possible without their valuable input.

Forty eight medals, 22 trophies and numerous certificates were presented, including awards for stand-out performers.

The atmosphere was great and it was brilliant to see the pupils taking part, getting creative and showcasing their skills, all with a smile on their faces.

The secondary schools dance competition was hosted on Thursday, 29th February at Haverfordwest Leisure Centre.

In total 77 girls from school years 7-11 competed in various categories such as teams, duos and solos. These included street, all style, freestyle, jazz and cheer.

Finola and Kelly judged the day with the help from Lucy and Kelci. Kelci, a former Ysgol Harri Tudur pupil, also gave showstopping performances.

It was a great day with a fantastic atmosphere and very rewarding to see so many girls taking part in sport and enjoying every minute.

Some of the schools who attended are now through to the UDOIT Dance Competition in Cardiff.

Hundreds of pupils have enjoyed school dance competitions over recent weeks.

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Entertainment

Coastal adventures and home revelations: BBC Wales’ exciting new lineup

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BBC WALES is set to enchant viewers with a fresh slate of programming that spans a rich tapestry of Welsh culture, lifestyle, and adventure. Leading the charge are Wales’s beloved presenters, Wynne Evans and Joanna Page, who will take audiences on a scenic journey with their new show, Wynne Evans and Joanna Page: Lost at Sea. This program promises to be a celebration of the Welsh coastline, packed with culinary expeditions, musical interludes, and the spirit of discovery aboard their motor yacht.

Nick Andrews, Head of Commissioning at BBC Cymru Wales, expressed excitement over the diverse array of new and returning series that aim to mirror contemporary Welsh life in all its vibrancy. From the nuances of cooking and music to the intricacies of interior design and the rustic charm of sheep shearing, there’s an offering for every palette.

Lost at Sea will see Evans, celebrated as 2023’s Celebrity MasterChef winner, and Page delving into Wales’s coastal treasures, from quaint fishing villages to bustling towns, unearthing unique dining experiences and cooking up storms themselves.

Another anticipated return is Wales’ Home of the Year, now in its third season with a special Christmas edition on the horizon. Judges Owain Wyn Evans, Mandy Watkins, and Glen Thomas will traverse Wales to spotlight homes that stand out for their architectural and design ingenuity, culminating in the crowning of Wales’ Christmas Home of the Year.

In a gripping narrative departure, Hunting Mr Nice will chronicle the life of Howard Marks, a Welshman turned notorious cannabis smuggler. This two-part series for BBC Two and iPlayer is set against the backdrop of the War on Drugs, featuring exclusive interviews that piece together Marks’ enigmatic existence.

Music aficionados can look forward to Kelly Jones with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, where Kelly Jones, famed for his Stereophonics legacy, will premiere new solo work alongside timeless hits, reimagined with orchestral flair.

Chris Cooks Cymru introduces viewers to Chris ‘Flamebaster’ Roberts, who embarks on a culinary journey across Wales, celebrating local cuisine against stunning landscapes and communal cookouts.

The lineup also boasts a slew of returning favorites and new ventures that explore Welsh life’s breadth, from the competitive spirit of sheep shearing in Rockstar Shearers to the heartfelt community project in Dream Team, and the spiritual and ecological explorations of Skanda Vale Life.

Nick Andrews lauded the lineup, highlighting the joy and impact talent-fronted shows have on audiences. With such a rich and diverse offering, BBC Cymru Wales is poised to keep viewers hooked to their screens, celebrating Welsh culture, heritage, and the universal themes of exploration, creativity, and community spirit. These shows are expected to roll out on BBC Cymru Wales and iPlayer in the coming months, promising a blend of entertainment, insight, and celebration for viewers across the UK.

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