Bronwen Lewis makes her fans’ dreams come true
She’s the fast-rising star of Welsh music famed for her Welsh language versions of popular hits.
Now she’s the subject of a new episode of Canu Gyda Fy Arwr (Singing With My Hero) on S4C tonight.
The show’s presenter, singer Rhys Merion has been lucky enough to be able to perform with some of the biggest names in music, and in the series, he wants to give others the same experience.
With Rhys at the helm traveling all over Wales – and beyond – to make people’s dreams of singing with their musical heroes come true, the series is promising plenty of laughs, a few tears and lots of surprises!
In the second episode of the new series of Canu Gyda fy Arwr, the hero this time is the talented singer and songwriter from Neath, Bronwen Lewis. She’s also famous online with thousands of followers, and her popular videos have been watched millions of times.
“I can’t believe that someone has chosen me as a hero!” Bronwen said, “I would never have believed at the age of 28 that someone would call me a hero!”
The first person who will sing with Bronwen is from Swansea. And different to usual, this time our hero has chosen someone special to sing with! So, it’s a bit of a surprise!
When Bronwen was fifteen years old, Rhys Evans gave her her first ever gig at the Gwachel pub in Pontardawe, as part of his work with Menter Iaith Castell Nedd Port Talbot. And to say thank you for the opportunity that started her career and gave her the confidence to sing in Welsh, Bronwen only had one place in mind for the performance:
“Where else but the center of the universe – the Gwachel pub!”
And luckily, Rhys is up for the challenge!
The second to perform with Bronwen is one of her biggest fans, Dorian, who works as a refrigerator engineer in Carmarthen. He was nominated by his boss, Eirian Jenkins, because, according to Eirian, the only thing he does is talk about Bronwen!
He has followed Bronwen’s career since the very beginning, including traveling all the way to Caernarfon to enjoy one of her performances! And after tricking Dorian to come to work on his day off, he gets a very big surprise to discover that he will sing along to one of Bronwen’s most famous songs, Ti a Fi.
And what was it like for Dorian?
“Special,” he said, “It was a feeling I’ve never had in my life before. It was out of this world.”
The next group that wants to sing with Bronwen is in North Wales. Lleisiau Llawen Choir meet at Y Felinheli from all parts of Gwynedd, to sing and sign. One of the Choir Leaders, Ceri Bostock, has nominated them as they love Bronwen Lewis. The choir are also big fans of the film The Greatest Showman, so signing the song This Is Me is the best possible choice for their special performance.
This inclusive choir was established just before the pandemic, continuing on Zoom throughout the period. And Ceri, together with Sian Williams, lead and translate songs for the choir to sign.
Another surprise for the choir is that they’ll get to perform this song with CF1 Choir, one of the best choirs in Wales. And Ceri and Sian’s vision is that everyone who is a part of the performance also signs – which is a new challenge for CF1 and for Bronwen!
After weeks of online practice, it is an opportunity for the two choirs to join together before the big performance. And the biggest surprise for the Lleisiau Llawen crew is that Bronwen also joins them in the rehearsal!
At the end of the programme, we get to enjoy a very special performance by Bronwen Lewis, Lleisiau Llawen Choir and CF1 Choir of the powerful song This is Me.
Its an emotional experience for everyone, especially Bronwen:
“Music is one thing that joins us all together, that connects us. And today, I’ve felt how lucky I am to have the job that I do.”
Canu Gyda fy Arwr, Sunday 8 January 8.00, S4C
On demand: S4C Clic, iPlayer and other platforms
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What a fantastic program. Tear jerker when the Special Needs Choir, CF1 choir & Bronwen sang using sign language.