A music teacher will reveal an unusual talent on a new TV show by playing three instruments at the same time – a cornet and two trombones with his feet all at the same time.
Osian Davies, 26, from Llanerfyl, near Welshpool, will take centre stage as part of a wacky oompah band in a new programme, Sioe Fach Fawr (Big Little Show) on S4C.
The aim of the six-part series is to unearth and showcase local talent in communities across Wales, with each episode culminating in a variety-style concert.
It’s described as a cross between a traditional Welsh noson lawen and Britain’s Got Talent.
The series made by Caernarfon-based TV production Cwmni Da starts at 8pm on Saturday, May 2, and the episode featuring Osian and his musical feet will be aired at the same time on Saturday, May 30.
Each concert was a sell-out, and raised money for local good causes. The one at the village hall in Llanerfyl resulted in a £1,200 windfall for Montgomery Emergency Doctors (MEDs) which was set up by two local GPs to provide pre-hospital emergency care.
Other ports of call include Hermon in Pembrokeshire, Gaerwen on Anglesey, Tregaron in Ceredigion, Llithfaen in Gwynedd and Penmachno in Conwy.
At the beginning of the Llanerfyl programme, two local coordinators or ‘motivators’, aka local county councillor and novelist Myfanwy Alexander and veterinary practice manager David Oliver, are set the task of scouring the area to find acts to star in the show.
Among the amazing talents they discovered was Osian who is the head of music at the local high school, Ysgol Uwchradd Caereinion.
Other highlights included performances by young farmers’ choir Côr Ffermwyr Ifanc Dyffryn Banw, family trio Triawd Moeldrehaearn, dance group Sêr Syfrdanol Caereinion and stand-up comedian cum local farmer Eifion Blowty.
Affectionately known locally as Osian Trombôn, the talented teacher and his fellow band members took weeks to perfect their performance.
Osian’s inspiration came from a five-piece Austrian ensemble called Mnozil Brass who pioneered this bizarre form of oompah band music.
He said: “I roped in my friend Dave Dart who also played trombone, Robbie Wood, who played bass, Hannah Wood, Ronnie’s wife, who also played trombone and Robbie’s sister Katie, who played cornet.
“We played a piece called Lonely Boy and we even wore lederhosen for the performance, complete with Alpine hats.
He added: “We had to design a new chair to support my legs. I found I was getting terrible back ache and cramp in my legs from holding my legs and feet up to play the trombone sliders.
“It meant I was in a sort of birth position, so the chair might have come in handy for Hannah who was heavily pregnant at the time. I also had to teach her to play the trombone as she couldn’t play it before.
According to Osian, the idea behind Sioe Fach Fawr is inspired and is a great way of showcasing the fantastic talent around Wales.
He said: “From a young age, I’ve been involved with Young Farmers Clubs and we would we often put on shows so it came as no surprise to me that they unearthed so much talent for the show.
“There has always been a strong musical influence in the area particularly with singers, but we also had comedy, sketches and recitals. All in all, it was a brilliant show and the hall was packed to the rafters.
Myfanwy, who has had four detective novels published and has also won a Sony Radio Comedy Award, added: “The show was filmed in one go, no breaks or retakes and we sold every seat.
“What it has done is really show off our community and the fact we have so many talented young people here. The majority of performers were aged around 17. It was fantastic they were prepared to roll up their sleeves and get involved.”
Assistant producer Dafydd Rhys Lloyd says the concept of the show is to show off the “brilliant talent” that can be found around Wales.
He said: “Week in and week out there are shows going on all around Wales in church halls and community centres.
“From a TV point of view, it was challenging as we didn’t want the performance to be stop start so we filmed each of the concerts in one take. Getting the sound and lighting right was vital but it worked and we are really pleased with how it turned out.
“The money raised went to a local good cause supported and chosen by the communities themselves. Being rural communities, the Air Ambulance was a popular choice as were mental health and voluntary emergency service charities.”
He added: “Osian Davies and his ensemble were definitely one of the star turns on the series but the standard was exceptionally high wherever we went. It’s amazing just what talented people we Welsh are!”