HRH The Prince of Wales praises ‘The West End of Wales’ ahead of virtual St David’s Day Celebration
Since the beginning of lockdown in 2020, The West End of Wales has been the driving force behind some of the most incredible virtual performances featuring top Welsh musicians and have brought joy to over a million people.
Co-founders Laura Llewellyn-Jones and Iestyn Griffiths, have been working hard to create an online musical celebration for St David’s Day, and have received a special message of support from His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales to be played during the concert on March 1st.
In the message, The Prince of Wales says, “All of us who love the Land of Song – Gwlad y Gân – know that we could not possibly let St. David's Day pass without a musical celebration! That is why I was so enormously encouraged to learn of this inspiring initiative by Laura Llewellyn-Jones and Iestyn Griffiths, which has managed to combine celebrating the Patron Saint’s Day with the marvelous intention of helping musicians and performers at this uniquely challenging time.”
His Royal Highness continues by saying. “I understand there are over 200 performers taking part in this event, which is a great testimony to the commitment you have shown to your art, to your audiences, and to your fellow performers. It will certainly take more than a global pandemic to stop the Welsh from singing!”
“We’re absolutely thrilled to have received the message from His Royal Highness. ‘Gwlad!’ - is a showcase that will see some of Wales’ finest performers and entertainers come together for a virtual concert.” explained co-founder Laura Llewellyn-Jones.
“In the last year everyone’s lives have changed so much, the closure of the theatres meant that I was made redundant from my position in the orchestra of The Phantom of the Opera UK and Ireland tour, as the tour was deemed no longer viable. In a casual conversation with Iestyn, we discussed starting a virtual orchestra, and so ‘The West End of Wales’ was formed.
Since then, we have become a Community Interest Company, with the aim of being able to support fellow musicians who like ourselves are not able to work in the current climate. Both Iestyn and I are so proud of what ‘The West End of Wales’ has achieved and would like to thank everyone who has been involved in its journey so far, and we can’t wait to share the concert with everyone!”
Proudly supported by Bluestone National Park Resort, the evening will include performances from West End Stars, including John Owen-Jones (Les Misérables and Phantom of the Opera) and Lucie Jones (Waitress and Legally Blonde), both accompanied by The West End of Wales Orchestra.
A host of star announcers, including Welsh comedian, Rhod Gilbert, are set to welcome each act, which also includes Claire Jones, the former Official Harpist to His Royal Highness, who will be performing a special arrangement of ‘Ar Hyd y Nos’ penned by her husband Chris Marshall especially for the evening.
“I’m delighted to be part of this wonderful collective of Welsh talent. Chris and I look forward to celebrating Wales with an audience joining us from all over the world. It is such a special way to mark St David’s Day and also to support our fellow artists. Chris has put together a beautiful arrangement of this traditional Welsh melody, and we’re excited to debut it on the night, accompanied by The West End of Wales orchestra.”
To join the event and support this celebration of Welsh talent, visit www.stream.theatre. A household ticket is just £10 (+£3 admin fee) all of which will be donated to The West End of Wales.
For press enquiries please contact Laura or Iestyn via firstname.lastname@example.org
The West End Of Wales- The West End of Wales - Community Interest Company - is a collective of professional Welsh musicians who are currently out of work due to the COVID-19 global pandemic. Founded by Laura Llewellyn-Jones and Iestyn Griffiths, The WeoW are actively supporting out-of-work professional Welsh-musicians and creatives and providing them with much-needed paid working opportunities. The WeoW also recognises the impact of COVID-19 on the future generation of Welsh musicians and is working to minimise this by mentoring and inspiring the young musicians of the future through their education collaboration schemes and community projects.