(English) NHS Gets ‘A Little Help’ from the International Eisteddfod with Big Live Singalong

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TV personality Coleen Nolan and Love Island 2017 Winner, Amber Davies, front ITV’s ‘Big NHS Singalong Live’ to Celebrate 70 Years of the National Health Service 

The second day of the Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod was brought to an emotional and uplifting close as Coleen Nolan and Amber Davies, led a packed Royal International Pavilion in a live nationwide singalong of the iconic Beatles hit With a Little Help from My Friends.

 The performance was the culmination of Endemol Shine North’s attempt to assemble a choir of unsung NHS heroes, singers from the pop world and singers live at locations across the UK, to try and smash the world record for the biggest live singalong to ever be broadcast on radio.

Voices were raised in unison in support of the organisation, which celebrates its 70th anniversary on Thursday 5th July, shortly after The Classical Collection concert, starring International Eisteddfod Music Director, Vicky Yannoula and renowned pianist, Peter Jablonski.

Earlier in the evening, finalists of the renowned Pendine International Voice of the Future competition stunned the audience with breath-taking, world class performances, with Charlotte Hoather, from Cheshire, named the 2018 champion.

During the judges’ deliberations the Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod’s Music Director, Vicky Yannoula, took to her piano alongside acclaimed pianist Peter Jablonski, and treated audiences to a riveting repertoire of much-loved music, featuring iconic pieces from Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker Suite arranged by Nicolas Economou, Fêtes from Nocturnes by Debussy (arranged by Ravel) and Lutoslawski’s utterly thrilling Paganini Variations.

 Following the moving two piano collaboration, the Cantorion Sirenian Singers took to the stage. The formidable 50-strong mixed voice choir from North Wales, which was the first ever Welsh choir to win the Choir of the World trophy at the International Eisteddfod in 1998, delivered a rousing finale that included choral favourites such as Y Tangnefeddwyr, Elijah Rock and Hobed O Hilion.

Speaking after the performance, Vicky Yannoula, Music Director at the Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod, said: “Having the opportunity to perform on the Pavilion stage – during my very first International Eisteddfod and alongside the internationally acclaimed Peter Jablonski – was thoroughly exhilarating.

“Combined with the new and exciting choral talent showcased in the prestigious Pendine International Voice of the Future competition and the formidable performance by the Cantorian Sirenian Singers, the evening was a truly world-class celebration of classical music and it was an honour to be part of it.”

Dr Rhys Davies, Chairman of the Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod, added: “Having worked as a GP within the NHS it is an organisation that is extremely close to my heart. We were honoured to be part of the big singalong, which was a fun and inclusive way to say thank you to the unsung heroes that keep the NHS running and join the nation in the celebration of its 70th anniversary.

“Our recognition of the NHS will continue on Thursday 5th July, when we welcome Olwen Williams OBE as Day President, honouring her own inspirational NHS career.”