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Sunday, December 24, 2023

Magical Snowman melts the hearts of large Pavilion audiences

* One of the packed houses for The Snowman Concerts.

There was packed houses, standing ovations and plenty of Christmas cheer at Llangollen Pavilion as the NEW Sinfonia orchestra, in partnership with the Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod, staged their two sell-out Christmas concerts yesterday (Saturday).  

The shows, which underlined the Eisteddfod's message of peace and reconciliation, culminated with a showing of the iconic Christmas film The Snowman accompanied by the orchestra, won plaudits from a hugely appreciative audience already in the Christmas mood.   

Local choir NEW Voices, a local community ensemble led by conductor Robert Guy and a guesting Ukrainian refugee Polina Horelova, were augmented by outstanding soprano Kryststyna Makar. 

In a surprise twist NEW Sinfonia were conducted at one point by Santa himself - a very close friend of Llangollen town crier Austin "Chem" Cheminais - for Sleigh Ride.  

Both concerts were sold out weeks ago and raised money for Wrexham-based refugee charity UareUK and Llangollen Eisteddfod itself.   

* The Snowman film on the big screen at the Pavilion.

Earlier in the day UareUk also hosted a Breakfast with Santa event at the Pavilion for dozens of refugees who enjoyed watching the concerts' dress rehearsal.  

NEW Sinfonia also featured renowned percussionist and new artistic director of the Eisteddfod, Dave Danford.

Later, Robert Guy, co-founder and conductor of NEW Sinfonia, said: "It was amazing to bring over 1,000 people to Llangollen - just days before Christmas.  

"People came from across North Wales and the borders for our amazing family event.  

"It was another great opportunity to showcase our outstanding, professional orchestra together with our community choir who sang beautifully. It was also important to us that Polina and Kryststyna led us so well.  

"We also raised a lot of money for Wrexham-based charity UareUK, who organised a packed breakfast of refugees and their families who loved the experience. It was the first time I have ever had my baton snatched from me mid-performance but Santa got a huge cheer."

David Hennigan, a board trustee at the Eisteddfod, said: "Our partnership with NEW Sinfonia delivered such an amazing experience for families just 36 hours before Christmas day itself.  

"The Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod was set up in 1947 to promote peace and reconciliation through song and these events delivered that ethos in spades.  

"We'd like to thank everyone for their support in making this happen including all the volunteers from the Llangollen Eisteddfod and NEW Sinfonia for helping us put these brilliant events together." 

NEW Sinfonia are now taking a well-earned rest after a sell-out Christmas Concert season but return for a New Year Gala Concert on Saturday, January 6 at St Giles' Church, Wrexham.

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