Success for students at Eisteddfod Genedlaethol Môn

Success for students at Eisteddfod Genedlaethol Môn

Congratulations to all CGWM pupils who competed at the National Eisteddfod this year.  Here is a list of winners, including current and former pupils:

Unawd Llinynnau dan 16 oed: Strings solo under 16:
Gwydion Rhys

Unawd piano dan 16 oed:  Piano solo under 16:
Gwydion Rhys
Medi Morgan

Deuawd offerynnol:  Instrumental duet:
Rhiain Awel Dyer & Chloe Roberts
Gwenno & Medi Morgan

Unawd i ferched 16-19 oed: Solo for girls 16 – 19
Tesni Jones
Lisa Dafydd

Unawd i fechgyn 12-16 oed:  Solo for boys 12 – 16
Tomi Llewelyn

Unawd Telyn dan 19 oed:  Harp Solo under 19:
Elain Rhys

Unawd mezzo-soprano 19-25 oed: Mezzo-soprano solo 19 – 25:
Morgana Warren-Jones

Unawd Piano dros 19 oed: Piano solo over 19:
Gwenno Glyn

Unawd Telyn dros 19 oed:  Harp solo over 19:
Glain Dafydd

Rhuban Glas Offerynnol dros19 oed:  Instrumental Blue Ribbon over 19:
Glain Dafydd

CGWM Open Day at Galeri Caernarfon 22/7/17

CGWM Open Day at Galeri Caernarfon 22/7/17

An 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.

This 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!

A 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.

The 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:

“It 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.”

Two 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 same interest.

Free 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.

Summer Concert 2017

Summer Concert 2017

This year’s Summer Concert was held on a warm and sunny Sunday, 18th of June in Powis Hall, Bangor University.

We were treated to performances by the talented pupils from CGWM as well as the string quartets and ensembles conducted by Nicki Pearce.

Again 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 ABRSM exams.


Ben Muskett Scholarship: Gwydion Rhys – Piano

Gwydion Rhys

Award in memory of Thomas Williams Jones: Leisa Lloyd-Edwards – Voice grade 1

Leisa Lloyd-Edwards

Award in memory of Noel ab Owen Roberts: Ynyr Pritchard – Viola grade 8

Ynyr Pritchard

We’d like to congratulate the three on their achievements and performances, and to everyone who took park in the concert on Sunday.

It’s fair to say the future won’t be short of musical talent.

Open Day at Canolfan Gerdd William Mathias Denbigh!

Open Day at Canolfan Gerdd William Mathias Denbigh!

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.

Morwen Blythin, one of the ensemble’s leaders said:

“I’m looking 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.

According to 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.

Free Music Taster Lessons During May 2017 for Older People

Free Music Taster Lessons During May 2017 for Older People

Canolfan 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.

This 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.

According 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 exciting offer.”

There 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.

Elizabeth Jones from Talysarn receives lessons with Geraint Roberts and is also a member of Côr Hamdden Mathias. She said:

“I 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.”

“Having singing lessons with Geraint Roberts at the music centre has given me confidence and I’m now thinking about getting back into competing.”

Another student who enjoys his lessons at the William Mathias Music Centre is Huw Roberts, a retired GP of four years. He said:

“After 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.”

“I really enjoy my lessons – and feel lucky to have found such a patient and experienced tutor.”

Receiving weekly cello lessons is an important part of life for Sioned Huws from Caernarfon. She said:

“Music means a great deal to me – it lifts my spirits and helps to relieve boredom sometimes.”

Sioned receives cello lessons with Nicki Pearce as well as being part of the CGWM Adult Cello Ensemble.

As 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.

In 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.

The choir was formed in 2015 and the members come together weekly during the school term on Thursday afternoons.

To organise your free taster lesson, phone Canolfan Gerdd William Mathias on 01286 685 230.

2017 Wales Harp Festival

2017 Wales Harp Festival

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.


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 :-  

‘Creating a 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.

Festival Director, 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! “


The Festival 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 both countries.

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 sea.

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.

Chamber Concert at Bodnant Food Centre

Chamber Concert at Bodnant Food Centre

Harpist 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.

The 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.

Elinor 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.”

The concert will also give an opportunity for some of the music centre’s students to perform.

Director 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

“A 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.”

James 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.

Tickets are £10 for adults, £5 for children are available from Canolfan Gerdd William Mathias

National Lottery Surprise for Canolfan Gerdd William Mathias

National Lottery Surprise for Canolfan Gerdd William Mathias

Canolfan Gerdd William Mathias music centre in Caernarfon received a huge surprise when a National Lottery player revealed their application for funding had been successful.

The 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.

Bernii 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.

Elinor 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.

Internationally renowned harpist Elinor Bennett co-founded Canolfan Gerdd William Mathias and still teaches there. She said:

“This 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.

“The 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.”

Bernii 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.

“It’s 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.

“It 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.

“When 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.

“It’s 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.”

Jackie O’Sullivan, Director of National Lottery Good Causes, said:

“National 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.”

Canolfan 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.

The 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.
Success for students at National Eisteddfod Monmuothshire 2016

Success for students at National Eisteddfod Monmuothshire 2016

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 Ann Atkinson

Girls’ Solo  16-19years – 1st Tesni Jones / Tutor Ann Atkinson

Piano Solo Under 16 years – 3rd Gwydion Rhys / Tutor Sioned Webb

Strings Solo Under 16 years – 3rd Gwydion Rhys / Tutor Nicki Pearce

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.

Announcing winners of the 2016 Wales International Piano Festival

Announcing winners of the 2016 Wales International Piano Festival

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. 

Let’s stay in touch!

Let’s stay in touch!

We’d love to keep you up-to-date about the latest news and upcoming events at Canolfan Gerdd William Mathias.

I'd like to hear about

You can change your mind at any time by clicking the unsubscribe link in the footer of any email you receive from us, or by contacting us at We will treat your information with respect. For more information about our privacy practices please see our Privacy Policy. By clicking below, you agree that we may process your information in accordance with these terms.

We use MailChimp as our marketing platform. By clicking below to subscribe, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to MailChimp for processing. Learn more about MailChimp's privacy practices here.

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Aros mewn cyswllt!

Aros mewn cyswllt!

Hoffech chi dderbyn y wybodaeth diweddaraf am newyddion a digwyddiadau Canolfan Gerdd William Mathias?

Fe hoffwn glywed am

Mae'n bosib i chi newid eich meddwl ar unrhyw adeg drwy glicio y ddolen dad-danysgrifo ar waelod unrhyw ebost rydych chi'n ei dderbyn gennym ni, neu drwy gysylltu â ni ar Rydym ni'n trin eich gwybodaeth â pharch. Am ragor o wybodaeth am ein harferion preifatrwydd gwelwch ein Polisi Preifatrwydd. Drwy glicio isod, rydych chi’n cytuno i ni brosesu eich gwybodaeth yn unol â’r termau hyn.

Rydym ni'n defnyddio MailChimp fel ein platfform marchnata. Drwy glicio isod i danysgrifio, rydych chi'n cydnabod y bydd eich gwybodaeth yn cael ei drosglwyddo i MailChimp er mwyn ei brosesu. Gallwch ddysgu mwy am ymarferion preifatrwydd MailChimp yma.

You have Successfully Subscribed!