Saturday 19 July FREE family concert featuring Classical Brit Award and BBC’s Last Choir Standing winners - Only Men Aloud
Brit Award-winning Only Men Aloud and special guests to headline Ponty’s Big Weekend 2014 FREE family concert
FAMILY favourites Only Men Aloud will take to the stage alongside a host of special guests, local talent and exciting rising stars for the FREE Saturday Ponty’s Big Weekend Concert.
Organisers Rhondda Cynon Taf Council and event partners Orchard Entertainment are delighted to have secured the “Nation’s Favourite Choir” for their flagship weekend event, which, for the Saturday, will be hosted by singer, actor and presenter Connie Fisher.
Only Men Aloud, who shot to fame as winners of the Last Choir Standing, have scooped a Classical Brit Award for their album and wowed millions with their performance at the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games.
They may have taken their incredible act around the world, but the Welsh choir loves performing to a Valleys audience and cannot wait to take to the stage in the beautiful Ynysangharad War Memorial Park on Saturday, July 19.
Only Men Aloud will be the perfect headline act for the Saturday afternoon/evening concert, which is designed to be a free, family-friendly event with something for everyone to ensure all the family has a great time. Their sensational performances include operatic classics and musical showstoppers to Tom Jones and Coldplay.
Also adding to the family feel will be popular local talent Lucie Jones, who is also making a welcome return to PBW. She showcased her talent on the X Factor and went on to be signed for performances and appearances across the UK, before landing a role in one of the hottest musicals around – Les Miserables in London’s West End.
Determined to continue the fun – and add a dusting of variety – organisers have also secured the fantastic 57 Chevy, a group of four young, local performers who came together as a result of support from Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s Cultural Services team, using Arts Council for Wales funding.
They will get audiences jigging and jiving, twisting and shouting with hits from the 50s and 60s, from rock and roll to Motown, from doo-wop to twist and shout.
Further local support acts include:
025 Choir, a community-based choir sponsored by RCT’s Take Part programme and Arius Music. They sing everything from Happy by Pharrell Williams and Katy Perry’s Roar to Welsh classics such as Calon Lan.
Reuel Elijah hails from South Wales and studies performing arts and dance. He is an all-round entertainer.
The Tribeless are an exciting young five-piece band from Pontyclun, all aged between 14 and 17. Their influences are Angels and Airwaves and Feeder. Having formed last year, they also write and perform their own material as well as cover versions.
Callum Walsh is a talented 13-year-old from Aberdare and a pupil at Bishop Hedley Catholic High School in Merthyr Tydfil. He made his first public performance in a school production at St Margaret’s RC School, Aberdare, at the tender age of six.He took up the guitar at the age of nine. His huge influences are Kelly Jones of Stereophonics and Ed Sheeran.
Take Part Crew is the exciting new RCT Cultural Services participatory activities programme for the County Borough. Funded by the Arts Council of Wales, it creates opportunities for individuals to get involved with the arts through workshops and talks.
Rachel Stevens is a talented 21-year-old from Treherbert who has just completed a BA Degree. Specialising in musical theatre, she was a 2012 finalist of the Bryn Terfel Scholarship and dreams of one day performing in London’s West End.
Only Men Aloud with Connie Fisher, Lucie Jones, 57 Chevy and a host of local talented acts, complete the Ponty’s Big Weekend 2014 line-up.
They will take to the stage on the Saturday, with boyband sensation Union J, X Factor winner Sam Bailey, Rough Copy, Loveable Rogues, Titch, The Parades and Damage taking Ponty by storm during the Sunday evening concert.
Cllr Maureen Webber, Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s Cabinet Member for Council Business and Corporate Affairs, said: “We have once again worked successfully with our partners to secure a top-notch and varied line-up that offers something for everyone throughout the duration of Ponty’s Big Weekend 2014, which will in turn attract crowds to Pontypridd, boost the town’s profile, businesses and local economy.
“Only Men Aloud and guests will offer a fantastic, free family concert on the Saturday, while the headline concert with Union J and Sam Bailey will see people flock to the park on the Sunday.
“One of the key elements of Ponty’s Big Weekend remains showcasing local talent and offering rising stars the chance to share a stage with household names, giving them a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”
Dave Driscoll, of Orchard Entertainment, said: “The revamped Only Men Aloud went down a storm on their Welsh tour earlier this year, and I know they’ll be warmly welcomed back to Ponty’s Big Weekend.
“We are also lucky to have two more great Welsh artists Lucie Jones and Connie Fisher with us for the day, so fans have a lot to look forward to.”
Brian Greaves, Senior Community Relations Manager at Costain, the Council’s regeneration partner in Pontypridd, said: “As in previous years, the Saturday line up with Only Men Aloud is a great opportunity for local people and others to come to Pontypridd visit the impressive town centre and to experience a first class act. We are really pleased to be supporting Rhondda Cynon Taff Council to provide the opportunity for local people.”
Announcing the Ponty’s Big Weekend date, Only Men Aloud founder and Music Director, Tim Rhys Evans, said: “We play all over the world but, as a Valleys boy myself, I love coming home to play this lovely event, especially with the new generation Only Men Aloud.
“The new line-up has been working hard on material over the past months, and we got a tremendous reaction when we took the show on the road around Wales in the spring.”
Ponty’s Big Weekend 2014 is proudly brought to you by Rhondda Cynon Taf Council, Orchard Entertainment and Capital FM. The event is sponsored by Costain, the Council’s regeneration partner in Pontypridd. Each year, the event attracts thousands of visitors from across the UK, helping place RCT on the music map and delivering a welcome boost for local businesses and tourism as it showcases the area to visitors from across the region and beyond.
Tickets for the Sunday event with Union J, Sam Bailey and guests are on sale now.
Only Men Aloud
Following last year’s shake-up, Only Men Aloud, the Classical Brit Award winners who came to prominence as the nation’s favourite choir with their triumph in BBC’s Last Choir Standing are now an ensemble of eight singers.
After 13 years and some incredible experiences – from winning BBC’s Last Choir Standing and the Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Special to scooping a Classical Brit Album of the Year Award and performing to a global TV audience as the Cauldron was lit at the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympics, Only Men Aloud has undergone a regeneration with a fresh line-up and a new, more individual style that suits their personalities - but with the same popular appeal that has wowed fans across the country.
Over the years the Wales-based male choir has performed a varied repertoire that covers everything from Welsh traditional music and Opera to Tom Jones and Coldplay. Tim and colleagues in OMA are also busy with the Aloud charity which is developing opportunities for Welsh youngsters in Only Boys Aloud and the Wales Millennium Centre Only Kids Aloud Chorus to discover the joys and benefits of choral singing. This has already seen some remarkable achievements, including OBA reaching the top three of Britain’s Got Talent, recording a Top 40 Christmas album, and playing in the gardens of Buckingham Palace. http://www.onlymenaloud.com
Connie rose to fame playing the lead role of Maria in The Sound Of Music at The London Palladium having won ‘How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria?’, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s reality TV show for the BBC. She released her debut album Favourite Things in 2006 and also features on the cast albums for The Sound Of Music and West Side Story.
She has made a number of popular television appearances, including drama acting and presenting for prime-time shows such as the National Lottery. She has also fronted two series for the BBC – Connie’s Musical Map of Wales and Connie’s People, as well as her own radio show. She is currently building on her presenting work with Songs of Praise.
Lucie is a local girl who has taken the world of music, theatre, television and modelling by storm as she continues to showcase her wide range of talent.
She first became a household name when she reached the live finals of the X Factor, only to be voted off – causing national outrage – to Jedward. Despite this, she went on to tour the UK and joined the sell-out, 56-date X Factor live show.
The profile she gained from this led to her being signed up by a top modelling agency and she has fronted a number of high-profile lingerie and skincare ranges. She continues to model and is preparing to launch her own lingerie range.
Lucie also turned her talent to musicals and landed the coveted role of Cosette in Les Miserables, before securing five star reviews from the national press for her performance in The Prodigals. She stepped into the role of Meat in the smash We Will Rock You and is now starring in American Psycho in London.
Lucie has also carved a niche in television, starring in the Sarah Jayne Adventures and turning the tables by becoming a judge on The Stage.
She is also working on her debut album and is busy writing material to be released soon.
57 Chevy is one of the most exciting new shows to be produced in years! You will be rocking around the clock with this nostalgic trip back in time to the roaring fifties, swinging sixties and the summer of love. This group performs everything for Rock ‘n’ Roll teddy boys, Big band and Motown lovers. From doo-wop to She loves Me, you’ll be twisting and shouting with four talented singers, Amy Coombes, Laura Richards, Alun Cowles and Maxwell James and their energetic MD Stephen Preston and band.
Recently they have finished their first tour of Wales and will be looking forward to performing at Pontys Big Weekend. 57 Chevy are four local artists who came together with the support of Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s Cultural Services, using Arts Council for Wales funding. They were brought together in the same fashion as the successful Siren Sisters, who have since gone on to perform across the nation, following the initial boost and support they received from Cultural Services, which included performing at previous Ponty’s Big Weekends.