Welsh National Opera is delighted to announce a new WNO Cradle Choir in Llanelli, partnering with Carmarthenshire Theatres and Ffwrnes , where the choir will be based. Expanding on our existing choirs in Milford Haven and Llandeilo, the new branch in Llanelli will broaden the reach of the Cradle Project into more communities across Wales.
WNO Cradle Choirs are choirs for people living with dementia, their friends and families and aims to provide fun, inclusive sessions where daily challenges and cares can be left at the door and connections made and enabled through the joy of community singing. Cradle Choirs have proved to be significant hubs for social connection within the community and encourages participants to step out of their typical daily routine with a dose of singing. Cradle Choir is part of the wider WNO Cradle Project, which seeks to raise awareness of the disease within school children through a variety of workshops.
The new WNO Cradle Choir in Llanelli starts on Tuesday 19 September 2023, initially running for eight weeks. Sessions are led by the incredible David Fortey (Cradle Choir Vocal Leader) and pianist Mark Jones, who will incorporate a wide range of music from stage and screen to folk songs and popular music. After the session, there are refreshments and an opportunity to socialise with other members of the choir.
On the announcement, WNO Producer Jennifer Hill, said:
We’re delighted to be able to pilot a new Cradle Choir in Llanelli. Members of our existing choirs in Milford Haven and Llandeilo tell us how much they value the companionship and fun they have singing together on a weekly basis and so being able to further extend the reach to another area and a more urban setting is very exciting. We’ve been very lucky to have support on the ground from fantastic people and organisations who are embedded in their communities and hope to be able to add to their amazing work.
Reflecting on previous success with the Llandeilo Cradle Choir, Sue Smith, Community Project Manager for Hywel Dda University Health Board said:
The response from the community with the development of a Cradle Choir in Llandeilo has been very positive. The reason it worked so well is not only the ability of a small rural town to access the great partnership with Welsh National Opera but also the dynamic Llandeilo Dementia Friendly Community Group and their ability to draw on community skills to make this sustainable.