Youth Folk Course for young people aged 11 – 18 at Gwersyll yr Urdd Glanllyn, near Bala, Gwynedd 18-21 February 2017 With tutors Gwilym Bowen Rhys, Gwenan Gibbard, Patrick Rimes, Bethan Rhiannon and Dan Lawrence.
Gwerin Gwallgo is a lively four-day residential event for young people aged 11 to 18. It happens at the beginning of the February half term at Glanllyn, the Urdd Residential Centre in Bala and we can offer places to around 40 young people. This is the third year for trac to run a course specifically designed for young people, and this year it’s from 18-21 February 2017.
The course and its structure
As usual, there will be instrumental, vocal and clog dancing lessons during the day, followed by informal sessions, concerts, get-togethers, twmpathau and more in the evenings. There will also be opportunities for young people to take part in some of the fun outdoor activities which Glan-llyn has to offer. Towards the end of the course, there will also be performance opportunities for Gwerin Gwallgo participants.
New for this year!
In previous years, we have had a lot of fun working on The Big Set and The Big Song. This year Gwerin Gwallgo participants will have the opportunity to spend a lot more time working on large ensemble pieces, under the leadership of Patrick Rimes. The aim eventually will be to take the Gwerin Gwallgo Big Band out to the community, and perform at festivals such as Tŷ Gwerin at the National Eisteddfod. We will be explaining more about the plans for the Big Band at Gwerin Gwallgo.
Players need to have their own instrument, and be able to play at least to a basic standard. Instrumentalists are asked to indicate on the enrolment form their approximate level of experience, from the following options:
Relative Beginner: has basic command of instrument; can play easy scales and a few simple tunes;
Intermediate: a player of increasing assurance with a reasonable familiarity with different tune types;
Advanced: a confident player with a significant amount of performance experience.
Ability to read music is not a requirement, nor is previous experience of folk music, but participants must be aware that most of the workshops will be taught by ear.
Song and Dance workshops
These are open to everyone from beginners to experienced participants.
On your enrolment form you will be asked to choose your first and second option classes. We will try our best to put you in your first class option, however this will depend on numbers. There will also be opportunities to take part in ‘Options’ sessions, where you can have a taste of something new that you might not have done before. If you would like to discuss which class would be best for you, please contact trac, details are at the bottom of the page.
There will also be volunteers on hand through out the course who are also musicians. They will be on hand to help throughout the week, and might be able to offer additional expertise.
Meet the tutors
clog dance class
Bethan Rhiannon first began clog dancing when she was 7 years old and has won titles at the National Eisteddfod. She has performed with the band Calan as an accordion player and singer both in the UK, Europe and the USA. Over the past 10 years Bethan has developed a style of stepping which is unique, mixing standard Welsh repertoire with syncopated beats and modern rhythms. She is also a composer of lyrics and tunes and a singer with a voice one critic described as ‘pure gold’. She has also been a finalist at the Bryn Terfel scholarship competition.
Gwilym Bowen Rhys
Folk song class, and The Big Song leader
Gwilym Bowen Rhys is a 24 year old singer and multi-instrumentalist from Bethel, Gwynedd. During the last decade he has performed in numerous successful Welsh language bands including award-winning rock band Y Bandana and phycadelic folk trio Plu. He has won many awards including ‘best musician’ at the Selar awards (the Welsh language music magazine) and has performed at events such as the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards. His music is a combination of new and old, often combining old melodies with original words, or experimenting with Welsh poetic verse whilst creating contemporary and fresh sounds. In 2016 he released his debut solo album, O Groth y Ddaear on the fflach:tradd label.
Fiddle class and Gwerin Gwallgo Big Band leader
Patrick Rimes is a fiddle player, piper and composer/arranger based in Cardiff. Born and raised in Bethesda, North West Wales, his style is firmly rooted in the distinctive fiddle tradition of that area, but he enjoys drawing on a wide variety of other influences too, from orchestral music to jazz and bebop. After studying at the University of Leeds and Janáčkovo Akademie Múzických Umění (Czech Republic) Patrick is currently a viola student at the Royal Welsh College in Cardiff. He performs regularly with Calan, and with artists such as Cerys Matthews: recent engagements have included Estampas Festival in Mexico City, Fairport’s Cropredy Convention and the BBC Proms.
Harp and cerdd dant classes
Harp class – a chance for harpists to learn all kinds of Welsh folk tunes. Gwenan will cover solo playing and also the role of the harp in a folk group and how to play together with other instruments. Cerdd Dant – folky, informal and fun!
Gwenan Gibbard has represented Wales at festivals at home and abroad, performing her unique, contemporary arrangements of Welsh traditional music and songs. She also specialises in the unique art of ‘Cerdd Dant’, the ancient form of singing Welsh poetry to the accompaniment of the harp, and is one of the few people who performs this music self-accompanied on the harp. She’s released three solo albums on the Sain label; her most recent, ‘Cerdd Dannau’, is a unique and exciting album which explores a new perspective on the tradition of cerdd dant.
Guitar and mandolin class, and beginners’ ensemble class
Dan performs regularly with his traditional Welsh folk duo Olion Byw and the Galician-Welsh band Maelog, tutors young bands and runs his own recording studio. He was raised in Aberystwyth, and studied Pop Music and Recording in Manchester, graduating in 1992. He stayed there for ten years working in various bands (mostly jazz and folk music) and as a session musician. He’s lived in Cardiff since 2003 and has worked as a composer, musical director and sound designer with many of the Welsh theatre companies including National Theatre Wales and Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru.
A place on the course costs £130.
All accommodation, meals, 15 hours of professional tuition, Glan-llyn activities and a packed programme of evening activities are included in the price.
trac is fortunate to secure funding from the Arts Council of Wales and the National Lottery to support our events. The real cost of a place is nearer £230.
In cases of financial hardship, there are a limited number of bursary places available. Please email us for details of this.
You can either pay online by following this link to the BookItBee online booking page or you can pay by cheque, made payable to trac. Please put your name and address on the back of the cheque and return it to us at our new PO Box address (PO Box 205, Barry CF63 9FF) by Friday 20th January 2017. We will email you an enrolment form where you can give us more information about yourself and your choices.
Accommodation is included in the cost of the residential course at the Glanllyn Urdd Residential Centre. http://www.urdd.cymru/cy/ein-gwersylloedd/glan-llyn/ Rooms sleep two, four or six people in bunk beds. Let us know if you would like to share a room with friends, and we will try our best to make this possible.
Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are included in the cost of the residential course. The first meal will be lunch time on Saturday 18th February, and the last meal will be lunch time on Tuesday 21st February. Please let us know of any special dietary requirements on the enrolment form.
There will be a coach from Cardiff to Glanllyn for £10 return, pick-up points to be confirmed.