Open Day will be held at Canolfan Gerdd William Mathias (Music Centre), Galeri
Caernarfon on Saturday 22 July between 10 -4pm. A range of events for young
people will be held throughout the day; all free of charge, giving a taste of
what is offered by the Centre.
dynamic Centre was established in 1999 in Caernarfon providing opportunities in
music education for people of all ages and abilities through lessons on
instruments and voice by experienced tutors, theory lessons, ensembles, choirs
and much more!
highlight of the Open Day will be celebrating ‘Steps Music’s 10th birthday.
Steps Music is a project that presents the fundamental elements of music in a
fun and educational way for young children from 6 months to 7 years old. At 1pm
there will be a class for children aged 4-7 years, and a class for children
aged between 6 months and 4 years with their parents at 2pm. To follow, we will
enjoy musical performances by former Steps in Music pupils and tutors at a
party with games and cake.
project was established by the William Mathias Music Centre and musician
Marie-Claire; who is a postgraduate student at the University of Sheffield
studying for an MA in Psychology in Music Education. The scheme has managed to
bring an inspirational musical curriculum to communities in north Wales,
reaching into nurseries, nursing homes and schools. Marie-Claire said:
is exciting to see how the way we have used music to empower individuals as a
whole has had such a powerful and positive impact on so many people. As a music
tutor I’m so proud to see former pupils of the project growing in the music
community, and looking forward to hearing them perform on the day.”
workshops will be held during the day. A woodwind workshop at 10am with
tutors Rhiannon Mathias, Marie-Claire and Elin Roberts, and voice Masterclass
with tenor Huw Llywelyn at 2pm. Offering opportunities for young pupils
to learn in groups is important to the Centre, providing opportunities for
individuals to perform and work together with other musicians who share the
taster lessons are also offered during the day on the drums, guitar and piano
with tutors Graham ‘La’ Land, Neil Browning and Diana Keyse. There will
also be an opportunity to enjoy live music performances by pupils and tutors at
the Galeri Café Bar. Weather permitting, the day will end with a
performance by Hidden Talents and Arfon Wyn on the Dock at 3: 30pm.
The event is held with the support of Tŷ Cerdd. All activities are free of charge, and there is a warm welcome to everyone. To express your interest, or for further information please contact the William Mathias Music Centre on 01286 685 230.
year’s Summer Concert was held on a warm and sunny Sunday, 18th of
June in Powis Hall, Bangor University.
were treated to performances by the talented pupils from CGWM as well as the
string quartets and ensembles conducted by Nicki Pearce.
this year we awarded special prizes to the promising pupils of the Centre.
A scholarship in memory of Ben Muskett, awarded to a young and enthusiastic
pianist, and two awards to the pupils who gained the highest marks in their
Muskett Scholarship: Gwydion Rhys – Piano
in memory of Thomas Williams Jones: Leisa Lloyd-Edwards – Voice grade 1
in memory of Noel ab Owen Roberts: Ynyr Pritchard – Viola grade 8
like to congratulate the three on their achievements and performances, and to
everyone who took park in the concert on Sunday.
fair to say the future won’t be short of musical talent.
An open day will be held by Canolfan Gerdd William Mathias Music Centre at Theatr Twm o’r Nant, Denbigh on Sunday the 9th of July.
There will be a
variety of activities happening throughout the day including free music taster
lessons on the harp, violin, singing and piano, Camau Cerdd (Steps in Music)
project for young children, Junior Harp Ensemble for young harpists, and to
finish a concert by the music centre’s students.
The day will begin
with Camau Cerdd (Steps in Music) taster sessions with the tutor Charlotte Amy
Green. The project introduces music in a fun and imaginative way to young
children. There will be a session for children aged 15 months – 3 years old at
10:30am, and a session for children age 4 – 7 years old to follow at 11:30am.
The sessions will be free, however booking is essential.
The Camau Cerdd
has been taking place in Denbigh since two years with one session taking place
at Hwb Dinbych and another at Theatr Twm o’r Nant on Monday afternoons during
the school term.
The Junior Harp
Ensemble will follow under the direction of Morwen Blythin and Dylan Cernyw
which is aimed at young harpists up to grade 3 standard. Following the ‘Telynau
Clwyd’ harp project which meets once a month at Hwb Dinbych, the ambition is to
form a harp ensemble for younger harpists too.
one of the ensemble’s leaders said:
forward to the Open Day at CGWM Denbigh in order to start the new harp ensemble
for junior harpists. Practicing the harp by one’s self can be a lonely task
sometimes, so having this opportunity to play with other harpists and have fun
is of great benefit to the harpists in the area.”
In addition to
these projects, there will be opportunities to have free taster lessons with
the experienced tutors of Canolfan Gerdd William Mathias. Offered during the
open day will be violin lessons with Alfred Barker, harp with Morwen Blythin,
singing with Ann Atkinson and piano with Teleri-Siân.
violin tutor, Alfred Barker, “This open day is a wonderful opportunity for
people who have been thinking of taking up an instrument or voice to have a
free taster lesson and meet the experienced tutors that we have here at Canolfan
Gerdd William Mathias.”
It is necessary to
book your place before hand for the taster lessons by phoning the CGWM office.
To finish the open
day there will be an informal ‘Llwyfan Cerdd’ concert at 3:30pm given by the
music centre’s students. Tickets for the concert will be sold on the door.
In order to book
your free taster lessons, Camau Cerdd or Harp Ensemble, contact Canolfan Gerdd
William Mathias on 01286 685 230 or via email.
Gerdd William Music Centre in Caernarfon and Denbigh will be offering free
music taster lessons during May 2017 for older people who are interested in
taking up a new instrument or singing lessons.
special offer is part of the Gwanwyn Festival, a month long national festival
held across Wales in May each year. Recently the music centre received funding
from the Gwanwyn Festival in order to offer free taster lessons to people over
50 years old as well as to hold a concert with present students during May.
to Elinor Bennett, one of the founders of the Music Centre: “This provides a
great opportunity for individuals over fifty to take up instrumental lessons
after retirement – perhaps on an instrument that they have previously had
lessons when they were a child, or to start instrumental or singing lessons for
the first time. I sincerely hope that many people will take advantage of this
are over 45 experienced tutors at the William Mathias Music Centre who provide
tuition on a broad range of instruments, including singing. It is possible to
learn about the variety of lessons offered as well as booking a taster lesson
by phoning Canolfan Gerdd William Mathias on 01286 685 230.
Jones from Talysarn receives lessons with Geraint Roberts and is also a member
of Côr Hamdden Mathias. She said:
used to have singing lessons when I was about 15 year old onward, but had a
break from the lessons when I started work, and I have now taken up lessons
again after retiring.”
singing lessons with Geraint Roberts at the music centre has given me
confidence and I’m now thinking about getting back into competing.”
student who enjoys his lessons at the William Mathias Music Centre is Huw
Roberts, a retired GP of four years. He said:
retiring I took the opportunity to join local choirs. I hadn’t received any
singing tuition prior to this, and I therefore decided to start weekly singing
lessons at the Music Centre in Caernarfon with Trystan Lewis.”
really enjoy my lessons – and feel lucky to have found such a patient and
weekly cello lessons is an important part of life for Sioned Huws from
Caernarfon. She said:
means a great deal to me – it lifts my spirits and helps to relieve boredom
receives cello lessons with Nicki Pearce as well as being part of the CGWM Adult
well as encouraging people to take up an instrument, there will also be an
opportunity to celebrate the creativity of the music centre’s existing
students, through the ‘Miwsig Mai’ concert held in Stiwdio 1 Galeri Caernarfon
on the 18th of May.
this concert, adults who receive lessons at the centre will have the
opportunity to perform in an informal concert. As well as solo pieces by the
students, the music centre’s choir, Côr Hamdden Mathias will also perform.
choir was formed in 2015 and the members come together weekly during the school
term on Thursday afternoons.
organise your free taster lesson, phone Canolfan Gerdd William Mathias on 01286
12 &13 April 2017: Celebrating the harps of Ireland and Wales.
The Wales Harp Festival will be held on Wednesday 12 &
Thursday 13 April at the arts centre, Galeri, in the culturally dynamic town of
Caernarfon. Directed by world renowned harpist Elinor Bennett, this
year’s Festival features a two-day course for harpists, as well as a concert,
competition and lecture. The Festival is an annual event organised
by Canolfan Gerdd William Mathias Music Centre. Every fourth year it becomes
the larger scale Wales International Harp Festival. The next
International Festival will be held in April 2018.
IRISH HARPISTS COME TO WALES TO REMEMBER AN ANCIENT
The two-day Harp Course takes place from 10am – 5pm on
Wednesday 12 and Thursday 13 April and is suitable for harpists of all ages and
abilities. Leading harpists from Ireland – Denise Kelly and Cliona Doris – will
join Festival Director, Elinor Bennett, Catrin Morris-Jones, and Elfair Grug
Dyer from Wales, to teach and celebrate the long history of the harp in both
Celtic countries. Children and young people from Wales will be taught Irish
harp tunes by the visiting students from Dublin and will be invited to perform
with them during the Festival.
On Wednesday, April 12, at 4pm, at Galeri
Caernarfon, Dr Sally Harper will give a talk entitled :-
tradition together: Welsh and Irish Harpists at the medieval council of
Glyn Achlach, Co. Leinster’
Dr Harper says: “The ‘Legend of Glyn Achlach’ has
fascinated musicians and historians in Wales for centuries. It describes an
early musical partnership between Wales and Ireland that seems to have emerged
during the early years of the 12th century, centring on a ‘council’
of Welsh and Irish harpists who met together at ‘Glyn Achlach’ in Ireland.
Their purpose was to discuss the finest features of their craft, and to write
down the rules associated with it.
But how far should
we believe this account – or is it really just an imaginary story?
Though the ‘Legend’ does reveal some mythological features,
other details are definitely grounded in reality. We now know that ‘Glyn
Achlach’ was the Welsh name for Glendalough in Co. Leinster, home of St Kevin,
while the ‘Mwrthan’ said to have presided over the council was undoubtedly
Muirchertach O’Briain, King of Munster and High King of Ireland until his death
in 1119. But perhaps of most interest for us is the practical outcome of the
council – a set of musical ‘measures’, or structural patterns, that still
survive. Their influence is clearly seen in the famous harp tablature copied
out by the Anglesey harpist, Robert ap Huw, in c.1613 – and it is surely no
coincidence that the titles of these measures bear the stamp of both the Irish
and Welsh language.’
Dr Sally Harper, the leading authority internationally on
early Welsh music, will provide the key to unlock one of Wales’ most
fascinating and forgotten legends, and will recount how Gruffydd ap Cynan
(c.1055 – 1137) known as “The Prince of Wales” brought Irish musicians to Wales
with him, and is said to have organised a great congress or eisteddfod for
Welsh and Irish musicians in Caerwys, Flintshire.
Elinor Bennett, said:
“The harp is the national emblem of Ireland and appears on flags, Irish euros
– and is the logo for Guiness! It is Wales’ national
instrument with an unbroken tradition stretching back for 1500 years, according
to the evidence of poets and their verses. I look forward very much to hearing
what happened when “The Prince of Wales – Gruffydd ap Cynan- brought harpists
from Ireland to meet their Celtic cousins Wales.
“In April this year, young Irish harpists will come to the Wales Harp Festival
to enjoy making music together and to rekindle the memory of a remarkable event
that happened almost 880 years ago.
“The Welsh Government has designated 2017 as the “Year of the Legend”, and I am
delighted that Dr Harper has agreed to come to the Festival to remind present-day
harpists of this ancient legend. It is heart-warming to know that a
distinguished musicologist of English birth has made such an enormous
contribution to the understanding of our ancient heritage! “
Concert“Harps of the Celtic Sea” on Thursday, 13 April, 7.30 pm
will feature performances of traditional and classical music
from Wales and Ireland given by some of the most talented young harpists from
Ten students from the Conservatory of the Institute of
Technology, Dublin, will perform alongside some of Wales’ most talented young
harpists in a varied and lively programme of music from both sides of the Irish
The distinguished harpists and teachers, Denise Kelly and
Cliona Doris will accompany the eight harpists and will bring two traditional
musicians with them to play the Irish pipes and bodhran.
One of Wales’ leading traditional singers, Gwenan Gibbard will bring her brand
new choir – “Côr yr Heli” – to make its concert debut at the Festival before
they cross the Irish Sea to compete at the Pan-Celtic Festival in Carlow,
Ireland the following week.
The Festival is thrilled to invite Côr Telyn Gwynedd / Môn Harp Ensemble,
comprising 18 young harpists, to open the concert with their conductor, Alwena
Roberts, who is the leading peripatetic tutor for Gwasanaeth Ysgolion William
Mathias Schools Music Service in local schools.
A warm welcome will be extended to two ex-students of Canolfan
Gerdd William Mathias’ – Elfair
and Rhiain Dyer – to perform solos and a duo composed by the
Festival’s Honorary President, Osian Ellis.
During the concert, the introductory brochure of the 2018
Wales International Harp Festival will be launched. The Festival will celebrate
the work of Wales’ most distinguished living harpist – Dr Osian Ellis – who
lives in Pwllheli.
Tickets for the Lecture and Concert available form Galeri Box
Office 01286 685 222.
Elinor Bennett and cellist Nicki Pearce will appear at a concert organised by
Canolfan Gerdd William Mathias Music Centre at the Bodnant Welsh Food Centre at
4:00pm on Sunday the 29 January 2017.
prominent harpist and cellist are both tutors at Canolfan Gerdd William
Mathias, a charity which provides one to one music tuition at its centres in
Caernarfon and Denbigh, as well as a wide range of other music activities
across North Wales.
Bennett was one of the founders of Canolfan Gerdd William Mathias and has been
teaching the harp at the centre since the very beginning. She said: “It’s
wonderful to see Canolfan Gerdd William Mathias expanding its provision and I’m
looking forward very much to performing solo pieces and duets with Nicki Pearce
at this special concert.”
concert will also give an opportunity for some of the music centre’s students
of Canolfan Gerdd William Mathias, Meinir Llwyd Roberts said: “The string
ensembles which are coached by Nicki Pearce, provide an excellent opportunity
for young musicians to come together and enjoy performing as part of a group
number of the members also come to us for one to one lessons and being a part
of the ensembles is a great way of developing their musical skills.”
Scourse, a Professor at the School of Ocean Sciences, Bangor University will
appear with Nicki Pearce and the Senior Cello Ensemble to perform the Double
Cello Concerto by Vivaldi during the concert.
are £10 for adults, £5 for childrenare available from Canolfan
Gerdd William Mathias
Gerdd William Mathias music centre in Caernarfon received a huge surprise when
a National Lottery player revealed their application for funding had been
Music Centre was presented with a cheque for £7,000 as part of The National
Lottery’s ‘Thank You Wales’ campaign. The campaign allows players to find out
more about the projects that benefit when they buy a ticket.
Owen, 22 from Llanfairpwll, who has been a keen National Lottery player since
she became eligible to play six years ago, spent a day with harpist Elinor
Bennett finding out more about the organisation and how it supports people with
a love of music, including those with learning disabilities and dementia.
explained how the funding will help the centre purchase new instruments,
upgrade its facilities and improve its teaching provision to people of all ages
from across the area.
renowned harpist Elinor Bennett co-founded Canolfan Gerdd William Mathias and
still teaches there. She said:
National Lottery funding from the Arts Council of Wales will be hugely
beneficial to our organisation. Whether young or old, music can play a
significant role in people’s lives, whether it helps them to express themselves
creatively, communicate with others, develop a talent, form friendships,
provide them with escapism or improve their mental well-being, it can provide a
huge number of benefits.
funding will enable us to not only invest in more equipment but also hold more
classes across north east Wales, where we now also have a branch and reach out
to more communities, particularly Communities First areas. It will also
help us to develop the classes we currently offer to young children as well as
enabling us to grow our Hidden Talent and music memories programmes – which are
dedicated to helping provide people living with learning disabilities and
dementia with a way of communicating with others.”
Owen, who works as a supervisor at Wal restaurant in Caernarfon said: “It’s
great to discover more about a local organisation that is benefitting from
National Lottery funds, and also to be part of such a big surprise.
not every day you get to hand over a cheque to an organisation knowing that the
money is going to help make a difference to the lives of so many people.
was really exciting handing the envelope over to Elinor and waiting for her to
absorb the content. She was so grateful and overwhelmed to receive the funding.
There were so many smiles and hugs – it was overwhelming.
you buy a ticket you usually think about the money up for grabs, but I’ve never
really thought too much about the fact that some of my ticket money goes to
such deserving local organisations like Canolfan Gerdd William Mathias.
been a great experience to be involved in the campaign, and I’m sure the other
National Lottery players have had an equally rewarding experience when visiting
other projects across Wales. I’ll definitely be spreading the word about where
the money goes from now on, especially after seeing the impact it has
first-hand, and how many people benefit as a result.”
O’Sullivan, Director of National Lottery Good Causes, said:
Lottery players have raised a massive £1.6 billion to fund projects right
across Wales. The ‘Thank you Wales’ campaign is thanking lottery players,
without whom none of this would have been possible. We want to make National
Lottery players aware of the thousands of fantastic projects across Wales that
would never get off the ground if it weren’t for their money.”
Gerdd William Mathias, established in 1999, is located at Galeri, Caernarfon.
Individual musical training is offered from beginner to professional level.
Currently, more than 350 students from 5 to 80+ years old attend individual
lessons regularly provided by a team of 40 tutors at the Centre in Caernarfon
and at its Denbigh branch.
Centre also provides other music opportunities including the following:
‘Music Steps’ for children 0-7 years of age • ‘Hidden Talents’ for children and adults with learning disabilities • Choir and chamber ensembles for youth • Adult Choir during the day • theory and composition classes • Concerts and various music festivals • Workshops and master classes by leading musicians • Sessions in homes for the elderly
The grant will fund the replacement and improvement of the Centre’s stock of musical instruments and associated equipment (such as stools) as well as providing a laptop for video editing and other purposes.
Congratulations to several of our students on their success at the National Eisteddfod this year:
Boys’ Solo Under 16 years – 1st Tegid Goodman-Jones / Tutor
Girls’ Solo 16-19years – 1st Tesni Jones / Tutor Ann
Piano Solo Under 16 years – 3rd Gwydion Rhys / Tutor Sioned
Strings Solo Under 16 years – 3rd Gwydion Rhys / Tutor Nicki
Boys’ Solo Under 16 years – 3rd Gronw Ifan Elis Griffith
/ Tutor Mary Lloyd-Davies
Boys’ Solo 16-19years – 3rd Gwern Brookes / Tutor Sian Wyn Gibson
Congratulations also to singing students Leisa Gwenllian and
Fflur Davies for winning third prize in the Cerdd Dant Duet under 21years and
to Math Roberts for winning the John Weston Thomas memorial prize on the triple
harp for the third year running.
Huge congratulations to Ela Haf, the daughter and pupil of our
brass tutor Dylan Williams, on winning the Instrumental Blue Riband for those
under 16 years and to our ex-student Gwyn Owen for winning the Instrumental
Blue Riband for those aged over 19 years. Congratulations also to Gwyn on being
awarded an MA degree with distinction from the Royal Academy of Music, London.
We look forward to following his professional career.
It was great to see so many of our students, tutors and
friends competing as members of choirs and parties, performing in various
events and accompanying during the week.
Following four days of competitions, concerts
and workshops the Wales International Piano Festival came to a close on a high
note on Monday evening (2nd May) with Belgian pianist Yulia Vershinina
being named the winner of the Senior Piano Solo Competition. Yulia who studies
at the Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester was awarded the main prize
of £2,000 donated by Roberts of Port Dinorwic.
Hungarian Domonkos Csabay was the winner of
the competition for piano accompanists. The prize was £1250 donated by the
Sickle Foundation. Domonkoz is currently studying at the Birmingham Conservatoire.
17 year old Callum McLachlan from
Stockport who is a student at Chetham’s School of Music won the Junior Piano
Solo Competition 1st prize of £700 supported by piano tutors of the Canolfan
Gerdd William Mathias Music Centre.
The festival organised by Canolfan Gerdd
William Mathias Music Centre and directed by pianist Iwan Llewelyn-Jones was
held in Galeri, Caernarfon from 29 April – 2 May.