Instrumental and Vocal Tuition
Canolfan Gerdd William Mathias offers one-to-one music tuition by a team of experienced professional musicians. Children and adults of all ages are welcome to take up lessons which are offered on a wide range of instruments and voice.
Tuition is given at our main Centre in Galeri Caernarfon and at our Denbigh Branch at Theatr Twm o’r Nant, Denbigh. Regular weekly or fortnightly lessons are offered which enables each student to develop their skills on their chosen instrument. Students who wish to take exams are offered the opportunity to follow the ABRSM or Trinity College London examination syllabuses and several of our guitarists and drummers choose to sit Rock School exams.
Our aim is to inspire and support our students and provide additional opportunities to enhance their music education. Throughout the year, various performance opportunities are offered in addition to Music Theory tuition, Ensemble classes, Workshops and Master Classes. Lessons are offered daily during school terms.
We advise new students to come for a consultation lesson. You are welcome to contact us for any advice, and we will do our best to meet your needs. The Friends of Canolfan Gerdd William Mathias have established a Bursary Scheme to help ensure that anyone, regardless of their financial circumstances, can benefit from the tuition offered by CGWM. Any student under the age of 18 (or in exceptional circumstances up to 25) is welcome to apply for a bursary. The Friends organise various fundraising events throughout the year to support the work of the Canolfan. Many of these events forge links between the Canolfan and the community it serves. Since its formation in 1997, the Friends have contributed over £85,000 towards Canolfan Gerdd William Mathias. Become a member today!
Tuition is given in purpose built teaching rooms at our main centre in Galeri Caernarfon. All tuition spaces have upright pianos including Kawaii, Yamaha, Kemble, and Rieger Kloss. Advanced pianists are also given the opportunity to perform on a Steinway Grand Piano at formal CGWM Concerts held in Galeri Caernarfon’s Theatre. At our Denbigh branch tuition is given in the main auditorium and two smaller rooms which have pianos.
Other instruments provided for tuition include:
- Lever and Pedal Harps
- Drum Kits & Marimba
- Amps are provided where needed for Guitar tuition
For tuition on any other instrument, students are expected to bring their own. Please contact us if this is not possible.
An important factor that Canolfan Gerdd William Mathias takes seriously is security and protection of all individuals who have contact with us. Many activities involve participation by children, and we are in regular contact with vulnerable adults. We operate a strict Safeguarding policy and ensure that all members of staff and tutors are checked by the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS). All one-to-one tuition rooms have small windows in the doors, and a members of staff is present in the office during teaching hours.
Canolfan Gerdd William Mathias Caernarfon is located at Galeri Arts Centre. The building includes a café and sitting area serving food and refreshments. The building also contains performing spaces including two studios and a theatre which the Music Centre uses regularly for various workshops, masterclasses, concerts and festivals. Toilets and disabled toilets are available on each floor, and the building welcomes guide dogs. Disabled parking and limited pay and display parking is available outside the building. Other pay and display carparks are available a short walking distance away.
Canolfan Gerdd William Mathias Denbigh is located at Theatr Twm o’r Nant. The building includes a sitting area with tables. As well as teaching rooms, the building consists of a theatre which the Music Centre uses for various workshops and concerts. There is wheelchair access to the building, toilets and disabled toilets are available, and guide dogs are welcome. There is disabled and limited parking available at the theatre car par, on-street parking is available, and public car parks are a short walking distance away.
All tutors at Canolfan Gerdd William Mathias are full time professionals within the arts sector, mainly dividing their career in performance and education. All tutors are experienced, committed and inspirational individuals.
After gaining her B.Ed from the University of Wales she initially pursued a teaching career. However, in 1990, Ann gained a scholarship to study singing with Kenneth Bowen at the Royal Academy of Music in London. Since this time she have performed as a freelance singer throughout the UK and abroad, in a variety of venues and with many of Britain’s leading Opera Companies including Scottish Opera and Glyndebourne Festival Opera.
Ann's career has taken her to many different parts of the world, including Europe, the U.S.A., Asia and Australasia. During the summer of 2005 she toured New Zealand and Australia as the soloist with the Lions Choir. The culmination of the tour was a gala concert at the Sydney Opera House. In addition to her singing career Ann is the Artistic Director of the North Wales International Music Festival, Musical Director of the Bro Glyndŵr and the Trelawnyd Male Voice Choirs as well as being a vocal tutor for the William Mathias Music Centre
From 2002 to 2009 Ann was also Musical Director of the Fron Male Voice Choir. During this time they were prize winners at Llangollen International Eisteddfod and at the Harmonie Festival in Germany. In 2006 they secured a deal from Universal and the Cds ‘Voices of the Valley’ were launched and sold over 1 million copies. All four CDs were nominated for ‘Album of the Year’ at the Classical Brit awards. Ann is proud to have both conduct and sung two tracks on all these CDs. In 2007 they performed at the Classical Brit Awards and appeared on numerous television programmes and in numerous concerts over that busy time.
Ann Peters Jones
Ann studied the voice and piano with Colin Jones and Mair Carrington Roberts at Cartrefle College, Wrexham before graduating from the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama (RSAMD) in Glasgow.
She began her career as a primary school teacher and then became the Head of Music at Ysgol Gyfun Llangefni for fifteen years. Now she is a tutor with Gwasanaeth Cerdd Ysgolion Môn a Gwynedd and Canolfan Gerdd William Mathias and takes pride in the success of her students in ABRSM exams and National Eisteddfods including the Bodedern National Eisteddfod in 2017.
Ann is responsible for teaching the Cerdd Dant and the vocal arrangements for “Edern” the vocal ensemble who won in the National Eisteddfod in 2016 and Ann is the official accompanist for Côr Ieuenctid Môn.
Ann has taken up competing again and was successful in the National Eisteddfod in 2015 and 2016 in the Solo Soprano competition.
As well as singing in concerts and singing festivals she occasionally accompanies for Only Boys Aloud Holyhead and is the official accompanist in many local Eisteddfods.
Johanne teaches musicals, pop and Disney repertoire to her singing students at CGWM. She started singing in front of audiences at the age of 11, in her church, school productions and choir.
Developing her voice through classical and opera tuition and competitions, Johanne graduated with a B A Honours Degree in Performing Arts and Media. She went on to work as a Red Coat for a summer before establishing a career as a self employed singer performing in venues all over Wales. She has been giving voice and performance confidence tuition since 2004.
Johanne brings her students together twice a year to perform solos and group songs in a concert in Caernarfon. Her main aim is to instil confidence in people to believe in themselves, not only in singing but in everyday life.
Marian Bryfdir was born in Gwynedd, North Wales, studied at the Royal Academy of Music and sang with the Glyndebourne Festival Opera and at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden before specialising in opera-in-education and voice teaching.
Awarded the Lord Harlech Memorial Fellowship for her work with young singers, Marian Bryfdir has worked for many years in Andalucia as performer and vocal coach, collaborating with actor/director Jose-Maria Penela in courses (not only for performers, but also speech therapists, interpreters and other professional voice users). Their book “A Workbook for the Speaking and Singing Voice” will be published in its Welsh translation shortly.
At her North Wales based voice studio “Y Stiwdio Llais” she offers specialised coaching to singers and actors on technique and repertoire. She arranges short intensive courses of vocal rehabilitation for individuals with vocal problems of all types and also gives short courses for young singing teachers.
Mary Lloyd-Davies was born in Llanuwchllyn, North Wales. She studied singing at the Royal College of Music, London, where she gained many awards –and was twice finalist in the Kathleen Ferrier Memorial Prize. After graduating she went on to win the Miriam Licette Scholarship and studied in Paris with Pierre Bernac.
The earliest part of her career was spent performing in Concerts and Oratorio, where she travelled to Germany, South America, Canada, Holland and Israel. She has performed at all the major Concert Halls and Cathedrals throughout the U.K.
Mary began her Operatic career at Glyndebourne. Her solo career began as a Dramatic Soprano and in later years as a Mezzo Soprano. She has sung as a soloist for the Welsh Opera Company (Die Walkure, Tosca, Fidelio, Elektra, Macbeth, Turandot, Tristan und Isolde, Turn of the Screw, Der Fliegende Hollander, Hansel und Gretel. And also with the English Opera Company (Lohengrin, Isolde, Turn of the Screw, Barber of Seville, Traviata) in addition to various concert performances of operas. She sang the part of Ortlinde in Bayreuth during the period of it’s production (with James Levine) a part that she also sang in the Edinburgh Festival (with Antonio Pappano).
Overseas she has performed in Houston Grand Opera, San Fransisco Opera, the Bastille in Paris and Nurnberg.
Her Royal Opera House debut was as the Fortune Teller in Arabella.
She also performed the Prole Woman in “1984” [Lorin Maazel] there, a role she sang at La Scala, Milan and in March 2010, and Valencia,Spain in 2011. She was invited to sing in “1984-Symphonic Suite”at a concert with the Vienna Philharmonic, celebrating Maestro Lorin Maazel’s 80th birthday.
Mary teaches at the William Mathias Music Centre, Caernarfon, and delights in passing on her knowledge and guidance to young singers.
Rhys Meirion graduated as a Bachelor of Education and worked as a head-teacher before beginning his training as a singer. He completed his studies on the post-graduate Opera Course at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.
Following this course, Rhys joined the English National Opera in 1999 and was subsequently a Company Principal from 2001 to 2004. His roles included Rodolfo in La Boheme, Pinkerton in Madam Butterfly, Alfredo in La Traviata, Nemorino in L’Elisir d’Amore and Nadir in The Pearl Fishers. In 2002, Rhys made his Australian debut as Rodolfo in La Boheme for West Australian Opera and his European debut as Rodolfo for Städtische Bühnen, Frankfurt-am-Main
Concert highlights include a gala concert at the Royal Albert Hall, London with Bryn Terfel, his BBC Prom debut at the opening night of the 2001 BBC Proms, televised on BBC 2 and the Desert Island Discs Anniversary Concert at Royal Festival Hall, London. Rhys has appeared at the Henley Festival, Cheltenham Festival, North Wales Festival, Swansea Festival, in concerts in Patagonia, Barbados, Toronto, Ottawa and Florida and often appears as guest soloist in opera galas with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. Recordings include a duet album with Bryn Terfel entitled Benedictus on the SAIN record label. He has also released a CD entitled Bluebird of Happiness for the Australian label Stanza AV, and three solo CD recordings for the SAIN label, the most recent entitled, ‘Celticae’. Last summer (2010), Rhys returned to Welsh National Opera for a new production of Wagner’s Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg, highly acclaimed by the critics.
Originally from Betws yn Rhos, Siân graduated from the University of North Wales Bangor, having studied under William Mathias, who was her personal tutor for part of the course and where her practical studies concentrated on piano and voice. Following 4 years teaching music in the secondary sector, she went on to study as a Post Graduate in Performing Arts at the Welsh College of Music and Drama in Cardiff. Since then, Siân’s career has been a varied one. Working for the BBC and then for HTV in Cardiff, Sian’s work included performing, composing, scriptwriting, researching and presenting before returning to North Wales in 1990 to work as an Assistant Producer for Teledu’r Tir Glas TV company in Caernarfon. In 1994, Siân became a director of Gwdihw TV company producing documentaries, music and light entertainment programmes for both the BBC and S4C as well as for Radio Cymru. In 2000, Siân and her husband established RYGARUG, a community performing arts project for young people in the Dyffryn Peris area. During that time, Rygarug produced 4 original musicals which were performed in Theatr Seilo, Theatr Gwynedd and Galeri. In 1983 Siân won the Can i Gymru competition and still is a prolific songwriter. A selection of some of her most recent works for children will be published in 2015. Between 1999 and 2010 Siân was the conductor of Côr Eryri and since April 2013, she has been the Musical Director of Côr Dre, an SATB choir from Caernarfon. During this time Côr Dre have been extremely busy with numerous concerts, choral competions and recording sessions at Stiwdio Sain as well as being successful in various festivals such as the National Eisteddfod, Eisteddfod Powys and winning the title Best Choir of the Festival at the recent Pan Celtic Festival in Derry. Sian has been a tutor at CGWM since 2003 teaching piano, voice and music theory. Throughout this time Siân has always continued to perform, compose and teach.
Siân Wyn Gibson
The young Welsh Mezzo Soprano, born in the old slate-quarrying village of Deiniolen, but who now lives outside Caernarfon completed her music training at the Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester gaining a Diploma in professional performance. Sian won scholarships from The Countess of Munster Trust and The Peter Moores Foundation, along with the Buttle Memorial Trust Award, the Gwilym Gwalchmai Prize, and was a finalist in the prestigious Frederick Cox competition. Sian’s Opera performances are numerous, having been with The D’oyly Carte Opera Company and Opera North, Leeds, and her Oratorio performances include Purcell’s “Dido and Aeneas”, Handel’s “Messiah”, and Mozart’s “Requiem Mass in C”. Sian is now concentrating on her Concert and Oratorio work, and also works as a singing tutor at Coleg Menai, and at her home near Caernarfon where she lives with her husband and two young children.
Kiefer Jones first received classical voice training at Bangor University with Marian Bryfdir.
Since graduating with a first-class honours degree in music Kiefer works as a freelance singer/voice teacher, lecturing in voice and performance for Coleg Menai across North Wales.
During September 2017 Kiefer began studies at the RWCMD, Cardiff under the tuition of baritone, Donald Maxwell. Kiefer attended Glyndebourne’s prestigious academy course for young singers in 2017.
Kiefer is a team captain for Only Boys Aloud working with Tim Rhys-Evans and leads the Tenovus Cancer Care choir based in Bangor. Alongside teaching work Kiefer enjoys regular engagement with the WNO Education department's 'Come and Sing Carmen!' workshops singing the Toreador aria.
In 2018 Kiefer performed his first professional role with Opra Cymru, (Dr. Malatesta in Donizetti’s Don Pasquale). Following this he was nominated for the Gus Christie Award from Glyndebourne. Kiefer will sing Aeneas for Mid-Wales Opera this spring.
Born in Cardiff, Charlie Britton first became known as a rock drummer for 1970’s Welsh rock bands and early pioneer of the Welsh rock scene.
He studied graphic design at a London University and attended a gig where the band Warhorse (70s band), a band formed by former Deep Purple bassist Nick Simper was playing.
When he went home months later to his native Wales he brought a drum kit and a vision with him. Later on, as Charlie mastered the drums he went on to be a member of the Welsh band ‘Edward H Dafis’.
He works as a graphic designer in Caernarfon and as a session drummer and tutor.
Dewi Ellis Jones
Dr Dewi Ellis Jones comes from Llanfairpwll, Anglesey, but now lives in Bontnewydd. He graduated with a BMus from the University of Wales, Bangor in 2001 followed by an MA degree, and gained an LRSM diploma from the Royal Schools of Music. He has been awarded a Doctorate in Performance and Composition, having studied with Simone Rebello, Dr Pwyll ap Sion and with world renowned percussionist Dame Evelyn Glennie.
Dewi is the first full time solo percussionist in Wales and he is also a busy free-lance orchestral and brass band player. He is Principal Percussionist with Ensemble Cymru who were short listed for the prestigious Royal Philharmonic Music Society Award in 2006.
He is a tutor at the William Mathias Music Centre and teaches Percussion at the University in Bangor. In 2001 he won the Grace Williams Memorial Prize for Composition at the Urdd Festival. Dewi gained a sponsorship scholarship from S4C to assist in developing his talent as a performer. Dewi is married to Einir Wyn Hughes, who is a professional harpist. They have one daughter, Ela Non.
Graham started drumming from an early age, and shortly after leaving Sir Hugh Owen School in Caernarfon started playing Semi-professionally in local bands, travelling all over Britain learning his craft. Graham moved to Cardiff in the early eighties to play professionally, doing countless Concerts, television, radio, and recording sessions which he still does to this day.
During his time in Cardiff, Graham was travelling back and forth to London to see his Drum Tutor and mentor Robbie France, a world class drummer born in Australia. Here is a short list of artists from Graham’s discography. The Drifters, B.B.C Orchestra, Bryn Terfel, Cerys Matthews, Rhys Meirion, Meic Stevens, Caryl Parry Jones, John Owen-Jones and the list goes on.
He has been a member of Bryn Fôn a’r Band since the mid-nineties recording several best-selling albums. Graham teaches drums from grade 1 to grade 8 and has been with us for fourteen years.
Piano, Clarinet, Saxophone
Piano, Clarinet, Saxophone
Marie-Claire Howorth is an inspirational, creative, professional musician with a proven track record of working in schools and on projects with various partners. She has many years experience as a peripatetic woodwind tutor for Gwasanaeth Ysgolion William Mathias and has taught clarinet, saxophone and piano at the Canolfan since it started. Marie-Claire is on the register of Creative Practitioner for the new Arts Council Arts and Creative learning plan. She has worked with the Canolfan in many of it's projects such as Caru Cerdd, Kids Club Rhyl, Doniau Cudd, Singing for the Brain with the Alzheimers society.
With a keen interest in how people learn and interact, she enjoys her role as guest speaker at the University of Wales, Bangor, for the Music in the Community module.
Marie-Claire writes all the lesson plans and songs for Camau Cerdd. She shares all aspects of her innovative methods and use of resources with new Camau Cerdd practitioners who she trains so that more children can share in the multi layered learning.
Dr Rhiannon Mathias is a flute player and author with a great interest in modern music .
She studied music at Surrey University, St. John’s College, Cambridge, and continued her research on Schoenberg and Stravinsky at Reading University.
She is an experienced lecturer, broadcaster and public speaker, and is an acknowledged expert on the music of Grace Williams, Elizabeth Maconchy and Elisabeth Lutyens.
A very accomplished flute player, Rhiannon has been a tutor at CGWM since 2005.
Alfred Barker was born in Johannesburg and studied the violin at the Windhoek Conservatoire from the age of eight. During this time he performed a number of concertos with both the Conservatoire orchestra and the Namibia National Symphony Orchestra. In 1993 he travelled to London to study at the Purcell School, continuing his studies at the Royal Northern College of Music with Yossi Zivoni and graduating in 2000 with a BMus(hons). He also has a Masters degree from Manchester University and a PGCE from Liverpool Hope University.
Alfred was leader of the City of Sheffield Youth Orchestra, which toured throughout Europe, and later of the King Edward Music Society Symphony Orchestra, performing regularly as a soloist. He also performed frequently as a member of several Manchester based string quartets and was teaching within Salford Music and Performing Arts Service (MAPAS) at the time. The latter involved various music education projects with the Halle and BBC Philharmonic orchestras and a number of European concert tours.
Since moving to North Wales in 2011, he now teaches violin in schools throughout Denbighshire, conducts the Denbighshire County Strings Group and has been a tutor for the Gwynedd and Anglesey Senior Youth Orchestra for a number of years. Alfred is a director of the Denbighshire Music Cooperative.
Catrin Morris Jones
Catrin Morris Jones comes originally from Bangor and after twenty years of living and working in London she has now moved to live in Pwllheli. After completing a Performers’ Course at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, where she studied with David Watkins, she began her Postgraduate Studies at the Royal Academy of Music with Skaila Kanga, where she was awarded the Renata Scheffel-Stein Prize for Harp. In May 2014 she was elected as an Associate of the Royal Academy. This honour is given to the prominent alumni of the Academy who have contributed to their chosen field.
Teaching children and adults to play the harp has been an important part of Catrin’s career and she has taught many private students over the years in addition to teaching at the London Welsh School, St Albans High School, Watford Music Centre, the City of London School for Girls, St Pauls School for Girls, and Beechwood Park School, Hertfordshire. Catrin has performed in numerous West End shows including Oliver!, The King and I, Notré Dame de Paris, The Producers, My Fair Lady, Napoleon, The Secret Garden (The Royal Shakespeare Company) and South Pacific (Royal National Theatre).
Catrin is currently a deputy on the Phantom of the Opera. Catrin has performed with many prominent orchestras, including: The Philharmonia, Royal Philharmonic and Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestras, the Hallé Orchestra, the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Ensemble 10/10 (Royal Liverpool Philharmonic’s contemporary ensemble), Trondheim Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Opera House Orchestra, Glyndebourne Touring Orchestra, English Touring Opera, Garsington Opera Orchestra, the Opera São Carlos in Lisbon, Portugal, London City Ballet, Moscow City Ballet and the Northern Ballet Company.
Recital performances have included Mozart’s Concerto for Flute and Harp in the Barbican Hall, Debussy’s Dance Sacrée et Dance Profane at the Minehead Festival and a world Premiere performance of Adam Gorb’s Harps of Gold, for harp quintet, at the Wigmore Hall. During her last Postgraduate year at the Royal Academy of Music Catrin was the only British musician to successfully audition for a place in the Schleswig-Holstein Festival Orchestra, with whom she toured Germany, Spain, Austria, Italy and Denmark, working with conductors such as Valery Gergiev, Marin Alsop and the late Sir George Solti.
Catrin has performed at many prestigious venues including Banqueting House, Westminster Parliament, the Victoria & Albert Museum, Kensington Palace, the National Portrait Gallery, The Royal Society in Pall Mall, the Tower of London and Tower Bridge as well as some of London’s top hotels and many Livery Halls in the City of London. She has also dressed up at as witch and performed on platform 9¾ at Kings Cross Station for the launch of the first Harry Potter DVD! Catrin is the harpist of the Arabesque flute and harp duo, has a private teaching practice at home and started teaching the harp at Canolfan Gerdd William Mathias in 2015.
Einir Wyn Hughes
Einir hails from Pen Llŷn and received lessons when she was 9 years old from Alwena Roberts. After a year of study with Meinir Heulyn at the Royal College of Music and Drama, Cardiff, she studied at the School of Music at Bangor University, where she gained her BMus degree in 2005.
She recently completed a Masters in Performance and the Music of Wales at Bangor, where she was a pupil of Elinor Bennett. She also won the ABRSM diploma in performing on the harp.
She has performed recently with the Bangor Chamber Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra of Wales, Ensemble Cymru and to the Prince of Wales. She is a harpist at William Mathias Music Center and William Mathias Schools Service as well.
Elinor Bennett is one of Wales’ most distinguished musicians, and has been at the forefront of music performance and education for many years. She has travelled extensively giving concerts, recitals and masterclasses, and she is regarded as one of Britain’s most infuential harp teachers.
Although Elinor is recognised mainly as a leading professional harpist in the classical music repertoire, she has always sang and played the national music of Wales – from the early and traditional songs and harp repertoire, to new music of living composers – in her concerts, recordings and music festivals.
Steeped in the musical traditions of Wales, Elinor’s first degree was in Law at the University College of Wales, Aberystwyth, but her career changed course on winning a scholarship from the Countess of Munster Musical Trust, to study at the Royal Academy of Music, London under Dr. Osian Ellis.
Elinor played with all the major British orchestras, and worked with some of the world’s finest conductors and composers, including Sir John Barbirolli, Sir Adrian Boult, Sir Malcolm Sargeant, Sir Colin Davies, Erich Leinsdorf, Andre Previn and Benjamin Britten. Elinor has made many recordings, ranging from an acclaimed and definitive selection of 20th Century harp classics to collections of traditional music and Welsh folk songs on the Triple Harp.
In 1985 Elinor was awarded a Churchill Scholarship to travel to Australia to study Music Therapy and on her return, was instrumental in promoting its use for people and children with learning disabilities.
Many leading composers have written works for Elinor, including John Metcalf, Alun Hoddinott, Malcolm Williamson, Hilary Tann, Gareth Glyn, Hilary Tann, Rhian Samuel, Karl Jenkins. Her ex-pupils include Catrin Finch, Sioned Wiliams, (Principal Harpist of the BBC Symphony Orchestra) and many other distinguished harpists. In 1988, Elinor established Coleg Telyn Cymru (The Harp College of Wales) and currently organises many acclaimed residential courses for harpists of all ages.
In recent years, Elinor has been Visiting Professor of Harp at the Royal Academy of Music, and the Guildhall School of Music, London. Elinor was awarded the Royal Academy of Music’s Honorary Fellowship (FRAM) in 2006. Other Honorary Fellowships came from the Universities of Bangor, Cardiff and Aberystwyth, as well as the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, Cardiff, and an Honorary Doctorate in Music from the University of Wales.
She has been the driving force behind establishing Canolfan Gerdd William Mathias (Music Centre) in Caernarfon and was the Artistic Director from 2002 -2008. Elinor organised and directed the Wales International Harp Festival in 2006, 2010 and the next Festival in April 2014, when she will welcomne artists from many countries to play in Caernarfon.
She has been Special Guest and member of the Jury in Harp Festivals and competitions in Venice, Moscow, Szeged, (Hungary), Soka (Japan) Wellington (New Zealand) and Nantes (France), Schlitz (Germany), and Bangkok, and has played at the World Harp Congress and European and American
Gwenan is one of Welsh music’s most exciting new talents. Having graduated in music from the University of Wales Bangor, she went on to further her studies at the Royal Academy of Music, London.
She’s performed at several festivals, including The Lorient Interceltic Festival, The World Harp Congress, Dublin, Celtic Connections, Glasgow and The North American Festival of Wales, Cinncinati.
Gwenan has released two CD albums, 'Y Gwenith Gwynnaf' (The Whitest Wheat) a ‘Sidan Glas’ (Blue Silk) featuring her own arrangements of Welsh traditional folk songs and traditional music played on the Celtic harp.
A graduate of Bangor University, Mared completed a doctorate in performance on the harp and composition in 2014 with a scholarship funded by the European Union. She studied composition with Dr Pwyll ap Siôn and harp with Elinor Bennett, with additional lessons in Switzerland and Canada. In 2011, she won the Urdd National Eisteddfod’s Chief Composition medal for her work Perlau yn y Glaw for solo harp, which is now performed regularly at different harp competitions and festivals. Mared has received a number of composition commissions, including works for Wales International Piano Festival, Colwyn Male Voice Choir, a work for the Bangor Music Festival premiered by the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, and a harp concerto for the Beaumaris Festival, performed by the Welsh Chamber Orchestra, with Mared herself as the soloist. In 2018, she collaborated with musician Gwenan Gibbard and poet Mererid Hopwood on a commission by the Wales International Harp Festival to celebrate the world renowned harpist Osian Ellis’ 90th birthday. Mared performs in concerts as a soloist, as part of ensembles and as a member of orchestras.
Morwen began studying the harp aged 9 and following success at the Gwyl Gerdd Dant and the National Eisteddfod continued her studies at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, graduating in 1988. She then worked as a freelance harpist, performing at many functions for members of the Royal family including the late HRH Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother: Diana, Princess of Wales; Prince Philip; the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester and the Duke and Duchess of Kent.
She also performed at functions within the city of London attended by five different Lord Mayors, Baroness Thatcher, John Major and other dignitaries. Morwen toured the UK and performed in the West End with a number of musicals including The Sound of Music, Phantom of the Opera, Some Like it Hot, Sunday in the Park with George and Valentine’s Day and played with various orchestras, opera companies and ballet companies.
As a soloist, she has performed the Mozart Flute and Harp concerto and the Handel Harp concerto and has given recitals and concert appearances in England and Wales. Morwen returned to study at the University of Wales, Cardiff and gained a First Class Honours degree in 1996 after which she began her teaching career, firstly in Wrexham and then joined Howell’s School in 1998 where she held the post of Head of Music and Senior Mistress until the schools closure in August 2013.
Currently Morwen is teaching harp for Canolfan Gerdd William Matthias in Denbigh and for a number of schools in Wrexham. She has a growing number of private harp and piano pupils and has recently begun as accompanist to Cor Cytgan led by Ann Davies. She also accompanies Cerdd Dant for the local and regional Urdd Eisteddfod and performs at functions, weddings and concerts.
Neil Browning’s musical interests and teaching activities are extremely varied. As CGWM’s main guitar tutor for over ten years, he teaches all styles from classical to rock, as well as electric guitar groups for Galeri’s Sbarc! project.
He is also in demand in the traditional music scene as a course tutor and workshop leader. Neil has written music for television and played in all kinds of live shows, including touring theatre productions and gigs in Europe and the U.S..
He taught on a variety of music and performing arts courses at Yale F.E. College in Wrexham, where he also gained his P.G.C.E. Most recently, Neil has played and recorded with Cajuns Denbo (accordion), Cardiff-based Rock-roots band Bluehorses (guitar) and Billy Thompson Gypsy Style (guitar), as well as his genre-defying band Never Mind the Bocs, who released their second album in 2014.
Nia Davies Williams
Originally from the Llŷn Peninsula, Nia Davies Williams graduated in Music at Bangor University, which she followed with a Masters degree that focused on the relationship between music and dementia. For three years, she coordinated the ‘Singing for the Brain’ groups by the Alzheimer’s Society in north Wales. Nia was appointed the Resident Musician at the new Dementia Care Centre Bryn Seiont in Caernarfon, which is part of the Pendine Parc organisation in Wrexham. The harp and piano are her main instruments. She completed her teaching diploma through the Royal College of Music and she has been teaching the piano for over fifteen years.
Nicki studied with David Smith at The Royal Academy of Music, London and completed her studies with Naomi Butterworth at Trinity College of Music, London gaining a first class honours performance degree. During this time she played with the Britten Pears Orchestra and was principal cellist during 1996-1998.
Nicki has played in master classes with musicians such as William Pleeth, Karina Georgian, Eduado Vassallo (Manchester cello festival 1998), Maud Tortelier, The Alberni String Quartet, the Brodsky Quartet and the Endellion Quartet. Nicki was awarded prizes including the John Barbirolli Memorial Prize for Cello, Guivier Prize for a String Player and the Vivian Joseph Award for Cello. She also won a scholarship to attend the Musical Academia Chigiana in Siena, Italy and to represent the Academy giving concerts around Tuscany.
Nicki has performed in major venues such as The Royal Albert Hall, The Festival Hall, The Queen Elizabeth Hall, Snape Maltings and St John Smith’s Square. She has performed Elgar’s Cello Concerto, Saint Saens’ Cello Concerto and Faure Elegie with the Exeter Symphony Orchestra. From 1999-2003 she worked at Westminster School, London teaching the cello, conducting and coaching chamber music, as well as spending time freelancing as a performer.
Since moving to North Wales in 2003 Nicki teaches all ages and abilities and finds this very rewarding. Nicki freelances as a performer and is a cellist in the Welsh Chamber Orchestra and Ensemble Cymru. In January 2014 she was invited by Anup Kumar Biswas to give tuition, masterclasses and concerts at the Mathiason Music School, Kolkata, India. She lives with her husband and two sons and enjoys visiting castles, mountaineering, climbing and cycling.
Dylan started to play the cornet at ten years old at his primary school. Throughout his time as a school pupil he played first cornet for a number of local brass bands. In 1995 he was awarded best soloist in North Wales before leaving the area to study at Salford University, Manchester specialising in brass bands. Throughout his time at Salford, he was a member of the A University Brass Band; a university band that was considered as one of the best in Europe at the time. Dylan was extremely lucky to gain tuition by musicians such as David King, Roy Newsome and Peter Graham. Following a first honours degree, he returned to North Wales and started working as a brass tutor for Gwasanaeth Ysgolion William Mathias.
He teaches at schools in the Caernarfon region, and conducts the Regional Youth Band which has 125 members! He also conducts the Gwynedd and Anglesey Concert Band, and is a tutor of the junior and senior brass bands of Gwynedd and Anglesey. He has gained great success leading the Bontnewydd School Band to 1st place at Eisteddfod yr Urdd in 2013 and 2014, as well as to win the British Championship in 2013 and 2014; the only band in history to win both of these competitions within the same year. Dylan has also gained success in leading the Brynrefail School Wind Band to 1st place at the 2014 Eisteddfod yr Urdd. He believes strongly in providing the opportunity of instrumental tuition to all children, and emphasises that music should be fun for all!
Diana grew up on a very nice farm in the Ogwen valley and studied both piano and singing at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in Cardiff gaining the GWCMD qualification. She also gained the Licentiate qualification from the Trinity College of Music in London (LTCL).
Having extensive experience in private piano, singing and theory tuition in both South and North Wales, and Essex, Diana has also been head of music at both St.John's Newton, Porthcawl and Hillgrove School, Bangor. She has prepared pupils for all ABRSM and Trinity Guildhall piano and singing exams and has coached pupils for music GCSE and A level passes.
Diana believes strongly that participation in music making develops skills that are useful throughout a person's life and that it should be a happy, enjoyable and memorable experience.
Geraint studied in the Royal College of Music in London specialising in the Piano and Harp. He was given the experience of conducting by Sir David Wilcox – a very special opportunity. He succeeded to achieve his ARCM Diploma early in the course and graduated with honours at the end of the course. He studied a year post-graduate course further studying performance on the Harp and Piano. He studied further at London University with Professor Keith Swanwick – an international expert in Music Education.
After returning to Wales he began his career in Education at Ysgol Emrys ap Iwan, Abergele as Head of Music and then Deputy Head. He conducted the Trelawnyd Male Voice Choir from 1981 – 2015 and won the Ivor Simmis Memorial Prize six times on the occasion of winning the Male Voice Choir Main Competition in the National Eisteddfod.
He has been a guest conductor throughout the world – in the UK, Europe, America and Australia. He is popular as a Cymanfa Conductor, and as a National Adjudicator. He’s conducted the National Eisteddfod Choir in Colwyn Bay and Flintshire.
He enjoys working in the Media and was successful with the Codi Canu series on S4C enjoying the success with Côr Rygbi’r Gogledd and Rhosllannerchrugog Mixed Voice Chori. After retiring from his work at the school he is delighted to be working at Canolfan Gerdd William Mathias as a Piano and Voice tutor and also as a Choral Conductor after establishing a new mixed voice choir for adults on Thursday afternoons.
Glian Llwyd graduated with B.Mus (Hons) at University of Bangor in 2005, and was awarded an M.Mus in piano performance at Trinity College of Music, London in 2008. Competing has been a major part of her life since a very young child. Amongst Glian’s achievements she had first prize in the instrumental solo at the Urdd National Festival of Wales on two occasions and subsequently became a finalist for the Bryn Terfel Scholarship (2003 and 2005).
She also won the Grace Williams Memorial Prize for Composition at the Urdd National Festival of Wales in 2006. One of Glian Llwyd’s main achievements in 2007 was being the winner of the Blue Ribbon competition with the piano at the National Eisteddfod of Wales which included a scholarship of £3000.
Whilst studying for her Masters degree Glian was a finalist both in the Harold Clarke woodwind duo competition, and the Elizabeth Schumann Duo competition for Lieder.
Since graduating, Glian Llwyd has pursued a freelance career as a pianist and accompanist which she has played regularly at the National Eisteddfod of Wales, Llangollen International Eisteddfod, and as a staff accompanist at Bangor University. In 2012 she was part of the adjudicating panel for the instrumental competitions at the National Eisteddfod.
Glian Llwyd is a piano tutor at Bangor University, and is also a piano and harp tutor at the William Mathias Music Centre, and the Denbighshire Music Co-operative.
Hawys Price started learning the piano at the age of 5 and has been taught by Mrs Val Jones GRSM ARCM ARCM (SM) from Berriew in mid Wales, Mrs Margaret Newman a 6th generation pupil of Beethoven and Iwan Llewelyn-Jones.
Hawys attended Birmingham Conservatoire for 4 years where she gained a Bachelor of Music degree with honours. She has been a finalist in the Birmingham Conservatoire lieder prize and has performed in concerts such as the complete works of Debussy and Liszt.
Her repertoire is spread across 400 years of piano music and it includes the Mendelssohn Variations sérieuses, Schumann G minor sonata and Kapustin Impromptu no 2. Hawys is currently doing a PGCE course and is also continuing her piano solo career by working towards LRSM exam.
Helen graduated from University College of Wales,
Cardiff and then followed a PGCE teaching course.
Having taught music in South, Mid and North Wales’s schools, she has now been teaching Music and Welsh in Friars school in Bangor for a number of years.
In her spare time she enjoys accompanying choirs and individuals, trains and coaches for eisteddfodau as well as being a mother to two children.
Steven has recently completed the MMus postgraduate study and awarded a Merit classification at Bangor University, specialising in Piano Accompaniment. He also received a First-Class honours degree in Music in 2017 specialising in Solo Performance, Advanced Ensemble Studies, Composition and Teaching Techniques and Practices. He is an active accompanist for the University and works closely with the Ganolfan Gerdd William Mathias as a piano tutor and accompanist. Steven regularly works as a freelance accompanist for choirs, soloists and ensembles throughout North Wales.
He is the accompanist for Côr Eifionydd, Bangor University Symphony Chorus, Hogia’r Ddwylan and one of the newly appointed accompanists for Ysgol Glanaethwy. Steven has also collaborated with the Welsh National Opera (WNO) and Opra Cymru, where he gained experience as a Repetiteur. Over the last few years, he has accompanied big names including Shân Cothi, Trystan Llyr Griffiths, Aled Wyn Davies, Sioned Terry, Athena, Ieuan Jones, Meinir Wyn Roberts and Gwen Elin.
Steven won the annual University Concerto competition in May 2017, where he performed Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 9 ‘Jeunehomme’ K. 271 with the University Symphony Orchestra. He also won the ‘School of Music Prize’ which is a prestigious and personal prize that is awarded from the school of music, for outstanding contribution to music and to the department. In 2014, he was named ‘Mature Student of the Year’ at Coleg Meirion Dwyfor, Pwllheli, for returning to further education and receiving ‘A’ grades in Music.
Teleri-Siân received her first piano lessons from her father when she was three years old and gave her first solo performance a year later.
Whilst still a pupil at Ysgol Brynhyfryd, Ruthin, she joined the Junior Department at the Royal Northern College of Music where she later continued her studies as a full time student graduating in 2000. Whilst at college she was awarded the Marjorie Clementi Memorial Prize. Her solo piano playing has taken her to various European countries, Hong Kong and America as well as many venues throughout Great Britain. She enjoys performing regularly as both recital pianist and concerto soloist and is a piano tutor at Bangor University, the Junior Department at the Royal Northern College of Music and Canolfan Gerdd William Mathias centres in both Denbigh and Caernarfon.
Teleri-Siân also has a Masters degree in Modern Languages from Manchester University.