Top tenor Rhys delivers triple tonic

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Pendine Parks Tonic concert. Pictured is Pendine Park chief executive Gwynfor Jones with Rhys Meirion and his daughters Elan,16 and Erin,13 at Galeri Caernarfon

A sell-out audience at were treated to a triple tonic.

The concert at Galeri in Caernarfon starred top tenor Rhys Merion and his two daughters Elan, 16, and Erin, 13.

The performance was part of a monthly programme of concerts called TONIC offering older people an opportunity to enjoy the arts.

The programme has been sponsored by the Pendine Park care organisation that’s also supporting a range of other arts-related events at Galeri.

Pendine Park is building a new £7m centre of excellence for people with dementia on the site of the former Bryn Seiont Community Hospital in Caernarfon. It’s due to open in the Autumn.

Rhys Meirion, who hails originally from Porthmadog, says the TONIC programme is vitally important as it gives older people the chance to enjoy a range of music and performers during the early afternoon.

He said: “TONIC is a fantastic programme as it gives some older people, who don’t like to, or who are unable to, come out in the evening a chance to enjoy music and the arts.

“It means they are not excluded from enjoying performances and the fact the concerts are invariably sold out shows how important they are to the Caernarfon public.

“However, without sponsorship from Pendine Park care organisation I’m sure the programme wouldn’t be as healthy, secure or successful as it is. I’m impressed with Pendine Park’s commitments to the arts whether it’s music, painting or even photography.

“Sponsorship from Pendine Park means the older people who attend TONIC events can do so because the tickets are at a price they can afford and that’s vital.”

He added: “This isn’t the first time Elan and Erin have joined me on stage and performed in their own right. They really enjoy what they do and in truth we are a very musical family.

“There is a lot of singing in the Meirion household! As well as Elan and Erin, my wife, Nia, is in a choir and my son, Osian also sings. It’s always a proud moment seeing Elan and Erin on stage and audiences always seem to warm to them.

“We performed a range of music from opera to music from stage shows, accompanied by pianist Annette Bryn Parry. It’s always a pleasure to perform for a North Wales audience.”

Pendine Park spokesman Gwynfor Jones is thrilled the TONIC programme is able to attract stellar performers such as Rhys Meirion.

He said: “Pendine Park is committed to the arts and we know the benefits it can bring to our clients and residents.

“It’s especially important to us to be involved programmes such as TONIC in the Caernarfon area ahead of the opening of our new Bryn Seiont centre in October.

“And we are absolutely delighted to see so many, particularly older people, coming out and enjoying the TONIC performances at Galeri Caernarfon.”

Galeri Caernarfon marketing manager Steffan Thomas said: “We are thrilled with the TONIC programme and Pendine Park’s sponsorship.

“Every monthly performance is either sold out, or very close to sold out, which shows just how popular the concerts are.

“Today, prior to Rhys Meirion’s concert we were able to show a new short film explaining a little about Pendine Park’s commitment to the arts and of course the quality of care they are committed to.”

Life-long friends Marian Wagner, 68, of Groeslon, and Buddug Jones, 69, of Caernarfon, say they never miss a TONIC performance.

Buddug, who is registered blind and takes her guide dog Freya along to enjoy the show, said: “Marian and I have been friends from birth and grew up very close. We really enjoy coming to every TONIC performance and never miss.

“We don’t pick and choose which concerts we come to we come to them all, its great to enjoy what is a wide choice of music.

“I’m particularly looking forward to Rhys Meirion’s performance as I’ve followed his career closely and been to several eisteddfods to listen to him perform.”

She added: “I think it’s wonderful that Pendine Park Care Organisation is supporting the TONIC programme through sponsorship. The concerts are very important for people like Marian and I especially as they are held in the early afternoon.”

Marian added: “Buddug, Freya, her guide dog, and I never miss a TONIC performance and I think everyone is so pleased Pendine Park has sponsored the programme of concerts.

“It really is important for older people to get out and have a chance of watching and listening to music being performed and being able to buy tickets at reasonable prices.

“But that’s only possible thanks to the sponsorship from Pendine Park care organisation. And I think everyone who comes along to TONIC events is really grateful.”