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Premiere of new work to be given by Royal Harpist Alis Huws in Pembrokeshire

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THE FINAL round of concerts for this year’s Fishguard and West Wales International Music Festival will continue on Wednesday, September 8, with a world premiere at Capel Tabor, Dinas. 

Alis Huws, harpist to HRH The Prince of Wales, will give the first live performance of a short piece by mid-Wales composer Steph Power entitled Camddwr Bleiddiaid (Wolf’s Leap). 

The work is a reference to a location on an old drovers’ road in the desolate beauty of the Cambrian mountains. Alis will also perform works by Bach, Debussy and other composers in her recital which will take place at Capel Tabor, Dinas at 7.30pm.

Gillian Green MBE, Artistic Director, commented: “Fishguard Music Festival has a long history of commissioning new works from contemporary composers and includes a new premiere most years. We are very proud to have commissioned a piece for harp by Steph Power and to have someone like Alis Huws to perform it will be magical.”

Alis Huws is from Mid Wales and has played for the Royal Family on several occasions, and given performances across Europe and the Far East. She performs regularly at high profile events for the Welsh Assembly Government, including the opening of their new offices at the British Embassy in Berlin, their St David’s Day celebrations at Lancaster House, and the official Royal opening of the Senedd in 2016. She was also invited to perform at Buckingham Palace to mark 50 years since the Investiture of HRH The Prince of Wales.

Tickets still available to be purchased from http://www.fishguardmusicfestival.com

Capel Tabor will also host a recital the following night by the Meraki Duo, a pairing of flute and guitar, who will perform pieces by Dvorák, Barrios, Piazzolla, Liebermann and Arcaro. Meera Maharaj and James Girling both studied at the Royal Northern College of Music, where they connected through a shared passion for chamber music, jazz, Latin American and European folk, and contemporary works.

The Festival will return to its home town of Fishguard for the penultimate concert (Saturday 11th September) when the Palisander Recorder Ensemble will play at 2pm at Theatr Gwaun. Described as “Early Music’s very own Spice Girls”, Palisander prides itself on presenting imaginative, historical programmes with a wide range of repertoire; performing largely from memory, on recorders up to six feet tall. 

Comprised of alumni from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, Palisander has quickly established itself as a vibrant young ensemble, devising their own choreography, as well as writing new compositions and unique arrangements for the ensemble.

This year’s Festival will end on Sunday 12 September with a recital by rising star Angharad Lyddon. Angharad represented Wales in the 2019 BBC Cardiff Singer of the World competition and was a finalist in the Song Prize. Accompanied by Jâms Coleman, Angharad will perform songs by Schubert, Schumann, Fauré, Mahler and more at Neuadd y Dderwen, Rhosygilwen at 7.30pm.

For tickets and information please visit www.fishguardmusicfestival.com

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News

South West Wales enters a state of Drought as dry weather continues

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FOLLOWING the extended period of dry weather, Natural Resources Wales (NRW) has confirmed that the trigger thresholds have been met to move South West Wales into drought status from Friday, August 19.

NRW’s decision to move from prolonged dry weather status to drought for the area was agreed and shared with a meeting of the Welsh Government’s Drought Liaison Group and after consideration of the exacerbated pressures the high temperatures and lack of significant rainfall have had on the environment in this area.

The rest of Wales remains in prolonged dry weather status but concerns still remain. While essential supplies of water remain safe, the public and businesses in drought affected areas should be very mindful of the pressures on water resources and should use water wisely.  NRW continues to closely monitor the situation across Wales, working with partners and will take action as required.  

Natalie Hall, Sustainable Water Manager for NRW, said: “Prolonged dry weather can lead to drought when rainfall remains low. This can impact some of our most precious habitats and species as well as systems we often take for granted, such as our water supplies.

“We have decided to declare a state of drought in South West Wales after it was clear the lack of rain and recent heat have put a huge strain on our rivers, reservoirs and groundwater levels.“

The areas affected are:

  • North Ceredigion (Rheidol, Aeron, Ystwyth)
  • Teifi
  • Pembrokeshire (Eastern and Western Cleddau)
  • Carmarthen (Tywi and Taf)
  • Swansea and Llanelli (Tawe and Loughor)
  • Neath Port Talbot and Bridgend (Neath, Afan, Ogmore)

South West Wales received just 65.5% of its average rainfall in July and all river levels in the area are lower than expected for this time of the year, with the Ewenny, Teifi and Taf exceptionally low.

Low groundwater levels coupled with record high temperatures, have also put a strain on the region’s ecosystems as well as public water supplies in Pembrokeshire and parts of Carmarthenshire.

The rest of the country continues to experience a period of prolonged dry weather, despite there being some recent rainfall.

Across the rest of Wales, the majority of rivers across Wales are lower than expected for the time of year, with many exceptionally low including the Alyn, Conwy, Clwyd, Taf, Teifi, Ewenny, Wye, Usk and Ebbw. 

Between March and July Wales received just 61% of its expected rainfall resulting in the driest five-month period in 40 years

NRW is advising the residents of Pembrokeshire to follow water conservation advice given by Dwr Cymru/Welsh Water, who have introduced a temporary use ban,  more commonly known as a hosepipe ban, which will also come into effect today (Friday 19 August).

NRW and Welsh Government (WG) also attend the national drought group for England to address any cross-border concerns.

Natalie added: “While certain parts of Wales may be experiencing rain, it can still take a long time to recover from drought, making water a precious resource.

“We’re urging the public to save water where possible; you can find the latest ad advice on water by visiting your water company’s website or Waterwise (www.waterwise.org.uk).

“Please report any incidents on the current dry weather on our 24-hour hotline on 0300 065 3000.”

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News

Llandeilo Youth Club Thrown a Lifeline 

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“A SUBSTANTIAL private donation has dramatically changed our position,” says Llandeilo Children and Youth Society chair Christoph Fischer. “The promise of £10,000 over a period of one year has changed the way we can run the club dramatically.”

The society has had a struggle over the last two years. Set up in response to minor vandalism in Llandeilo during the pandemic, the committee secured a large number of volunteers, support from the Wales Sports Association, CWWYS and secured a grant from the Fund for Wales – BIG scheme. 

Yet, further lockdowns delayed the projects, volunteers returned to work or moved away and buildings that were earmarked as locations for the club were demolished or sold.

“We found the most benevolent support from the Civic Hall where we will share space with the Box of Fists club,” explains Fischer.

“We can now look for a youth worker to run our sessions on Monday and Thursday afternoons,” says the society’s secretary Richard Lashley. “We’re looking for applicants as well as for a suitable partner organisation to take on the administrative sign of this.”

“This money couldn’t have come at a more perfect time,” says treasurer John Meredith Williams. “We almost completed the required training and bureaucratic procedures.”

“It is time there’s something new going on in town for kids,” says Fischer, “and we can’t wait to finally get started.”

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Education

Carmarthenshire students celebrate A Level and A.S. results

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CARMARTHENSHIRE County Council wishes to congratulate all of the county’s students that are receiving their A-Level and A.S. results today, Thursday 18th August 2022.

Whilst this year has seen a return to exam-based results, following two years of assessment-based grading during the COVID-19 pandemic, students and teachers have still had to contend with the ongoing impact of the last 2 years.

A total of 98.6% of A Level students in Carmarthenshire achieved A*-E, which is higher than the 97.3% in 2019 when exams were last sat.

Across Carmarthenshire, a total of 40.1% of A level students have received A or A* this year, which is vastly higher than the 24.9% when exams were last sat in 2019.

After 2 years without examinations, students at AS Level also had the opportunity this year to show what knowledge they had learned and skills they had developed, through a combination of exams and assessments, applicable to different courses. 91.8 % of AS students in Carmarthenshire achieved A-E grades which, again, is higher than in 2019.

Cllr. Glynog Davies, Cabinet Member for Education and Welsh Language said: “Congratulations to every single student receiving their A-Level and A.S. results today. These young people and their teachers have worked extremely hard, within the uncertain climate that exists due to the pandemic, and they should be very proud, as am I, of their fantastic achievements.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank the students, teachers and support staff of Carmarthenshire as well as their families for their hard work over the last two years.”

In a joint statement, Carmarthenshire County Council’s Chief Executive, Wendy Walters and Director of Education and Children’s Services, Gareth Morgans added: “Congratulations to our A-Level and A.S. students for their, well deserved, excellent results. The last two years have been very challenging for students, teachers, support staff, families and friends and we are grateful to everyone for their commitment and support to each other during this period.

“These young people are a credit to their schools and our county, and we wish them every success for the future.”

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