Persain was formed in the autumn of 2000 by a group of ladies who wanted to create a sound which was different from that of other choirs in the area, gaining an established reputation with the help, especially, of conductors Nancy, Glyn and Catrin and accompanists Andrew, James and David, first meeting for rehearsals at the Village Hall, Tycroes, and later at Gosen Chapel, Llandybie.
Persain has performed at various venues in the South West Wales area, and travelled further afield. In 2007, with growing numbers and a new repertoire of songs, the choir undertook its first overseas tour to Torrevieja in Spain, famous for its production of salt and for its Habaneras Choir Festival; and in October 2010 visited Cornwall, to sing in a concert at St. Austell. The Imerys Male Voice Choir from St. Austell returned the visit to Ammanford the next year. The choir has a varied concert programme throughout the year, singing at a number of concerts, weddings, harvest suppers and St. David's Day events, giving recitals to raise funds for charities and entertaining at the National Botanic Gardens of Wales, the Llandeilo Festival of the Senses and the Cenarth River Festival, as well as its Annual Concert in October and its Carols by Candlelight each Christmas. Choir members also enjoy a number of social occasions, holding craft fayres, dinners and visits to concerts and musical events.
In 2009, following the resignation of conductor Catrin Williams, Persain was very fortunate to gain the services of Anne Wheldon as its new Musical Director. Since Anne has taken over the choir has improved steadily and enjoys an excellent reputation. Changes have taken place, too, regarding Persain's accompanist. In 2008, David Rees, our accompanist for a number of years, graduated with a First Class Honours degree in Natural Sciences from Girton College, Cambridge, to study medicine at Swansea University. David left the choir in 2010 to concentrate on his medical studies and future career as a General Practitioner, and Persain was pleased to welcome as our new accompanist Catherine Morgan from Rhydyfro. In 2014 we were pleased to acquire the services of Owen Morgan, who accompanied us when we sang in Plymouth, and in 2016 were delighted to welcome Tom Howell, who accompanied us on our visit to Enniscorthy in Ireland.
Over the last few years Persain has had a busy time, with its second visit to Spain's Costa Blanca, giving concerts at La Zenia and Torre Vieja, performing at weddings and at a variety of local concerts as well as visits to St. Fagans, Tenby, Stoke on Trent and Plymouth. Recent events include taking part in a First World War Commemoration Service in Carmarthen for Dyfed Powys Police, in memory of the sixteen officers of the Police Force who lost their lives in the Great War and we began 2015 with St. David's Day celebrations at Ammanford and the National Botanic Gardens, also travelling to Cardiff to sing on the Glanfa Stage at the Wales Millennium Centre. In April we presented a concert with Treharris Male Voice Choir, a visit we reciprocated in July. The concert raised £350 for Marie Curie Cancer Care and a cheque was presented to a representative of the charity. Our Quiz at Llandybie Social Club raised over £400 for choir funds. In September we entertained at the Food Fayre held at the National Botanic Gardens and held another Quiz at Llandybie Social Club. In October we were pleased to record our first CD, "Sing for Joy", held our Annual Concert and sang at the Diplomat in Llanelli. In December we sang at Aberglasney and the Botanic Gardens and held our annual Christmas Celebration at Llandybie Social Club, Campbell Road. In January 2016 we had the wonderful experience of singing in the Attlee Suite at the Houses of Parliament. We held our Annual Concert in July, with wonderful guest artistes soprano Lisa Carlisle and violinist Abigail Hammett. In September we sang at St. David's Cathedral - a wonderful and memorable experience - before our visit to Enniscorthy in Ireland at the beginning of October. This year we were very sad to say goodbye to our founder and Chairman, Hilary Thomas, who is moving to live in Cardiff. Our grateful thanks to Hilary for all her hard work with the choir. We wish her well in her new home.
In 2017 we visited Oxford to sing at the beautiful Christ Church Cathedral, a wonderful experience. We held our Annual Concert in June at the recently renovated All Saints' Church in Ammanford, and visited Sheffield, where we sang with the Millhouse Green Male Voice Choir in a concert held at St. John the Baptist Church in Penistone.
In 2018, we enjoyed singing at a wedding and performing at our usual concerts, and especially welcoming Saint Senan's Church Choir from Enniscorthy in Ireland to our Annual Concert in June at All Saints Church in Ammanford. After our Christmas events we began 2019 with our visit to Northen Ireland to take part in the Bangor International Choir Festival - in which we gained Second Prize in the Newcomers section!
Persain had a busy Autumn season last year. In October the choir took part in the Royal British Legion Charity Gala Concert at the Lyric Theatre in Carmarthen.
We were delighted to be included in this annual charity event. The evening was led by Dr. Alwyn Humphreys MBE who conducted the hundred male voices of Côr Meibion Caerfyrddin, Côr Meibion Dyffryn Tywi, Côr Meibion Mynydd Mawr and Côr Meibion Porth Tywyn with Caradog Williams as the guest accompanist.
Also taking part were tenor Osian Bowen, Forces Sweetheart Kirsten Osborn, Lauren Fisher, a young singer with Loud Applause Rising Stars and the Corps of Drums of the 215 – the City of Swansea – Squadron Air Cadets. It was both an entertaining and moving evening, ending with a Tribute to the Fallen.
In November Persain enjoyed a wonderful evening when we participated in a concert with tenor Rhys Meirion at Saron Chapel. Also taking part were Rhys Meirion's daughter Elan, young singer Ossian Clarke and Saron School choir. Later in the month we returned to Saron to take part in the Service of Remembrance at the Chapel, singing “Y Darlun”, “A Flower Remembered” and “In Flanders Fields”.
After singing at the Christmas Fayre at Aberglasney, Persain's next event was our own annual Christmas concert held at All Saints' Church in Ammanford. Our guests for the evening were Ammanford Town Silver Band and we experienced an enjoyable evening of Christmas music. For sale at the concert was our new CD of Christmas music, “What Sweeter Music – the Christmas Album”, recorded at All Saints in December.
We are now looking forward to a number of events in 2020. On March 1st Persain is celebrating St. David's Day at a concert at the Wales Millenium Centre in Cardiff, and on March 29th we have a concert at St. Lleian's Church in Gorslas at 7.00p.m. Our main event this year will be on June 12th, when we shall be holding a concert at All Saints Church in Ammanford to celebrate our twentieth anniversary.
Unfortunately, our celebrations will be tinged with sadness, as we will be saying goodbye to our Musical Director, Anne Wheldon, who has been with us for eleven years. Anne has been hard-working and thoroughly committed to the choir, and we shall be very sorry indeed to see her leave.
We are now faced with the task of seeking a new Musical Director and would welcome enquiries. We, too, are a hard-working group of ladies, who love our singing. We have a large and varied repertoire and regularly perform locally and travel further afield, having sung also in Stoke, Cornwall, Sheffield, Oxford, Devon, Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland, Spain and in the Houses of Parliament, at the invitation of our Honorary President, M.P. Nia Griffith.
We always welcome new members - we practise in the warm and comfortable vestry of Moriah Chapel, Tycroes, with our main rehearsal on Tuesdays at 7.30 p.m.
Due to retirement, a new Musical Director is required
(after June, 2020) for an established choir of
twenty years standing.
Côr Persain ladies' choir meets weekly
for practices in Tycroes, Ammanford.
Applicants please send CV to Choir Secretary Rhian
Tel: 01269 851171
Applications in by end of March, please.