Expanding Horizons

 (Photo: Stephen Rees)

Folk music may come from the people, but there’s room for top-class professionals too. The artist development programme Expanding Horizons is a project to help the music of Wales compete on a world stage. We’ve taken eight Wales-based acts and brought them together with visiting professionals from across the world who have experience and skills in stagecraft, production, touring, self-management, branding, business skills, marketing and more. The aim is to reinforce talent with all the other skills that a musician needs in the twenty-first century.

The eight acts taking part in the project are Ballet Nimba, Calan, Gwyneth Glyn, Jess Hall, Mark Pavey, Olion Byw, Siân James, and Tanya Walker. They have completed two residential courses and a series of mentoring sessions and we are proud to announce that five ADP participants are part of the WOMEX opening concert – Ballet Nimba, Angharad Jenkins, Patrick Rimes, Siân James and Gwyneth Glyn, with Gwyneth’s Ghazalaw project also featuring in a mainstage showcase. Three other acts, Mark Pavey, Jess Hall, and Olion Byw have also won a place in the Welsh presence at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

We’ve been hoping to use WOMEX’s visit to Wales this year as a catalyst to say yes to our aims for a folk music industry. The Welsh Music Foundation are delivering a plan to build our music business sector, Creu Cymru are developing a way of bringing our traditions into our touring circuit and trac in partnership with Bangor University School of Music are delivering this artist development programme Expanding Horizons : Ymestyn Gorwelion.

Here’s some footage of the grand finale of the end-of-course concert, as the traditional Welsh musicians join Ballet Nimba on stage.