Gwerin Gwallgo 2020: 17/02/20-20/02/20
Gwerin Gwallgo is a high-energy four-day residential event for young people between 11 and 18 years of age usually held during February half term. It takes place at Glanllyn, the Urdd Residential Centre in Bala. We offer places to approximately 40 young people.
Structure of the course
There are instrumental, vocal and clog dancing lessons during the day, followed by informal sessions, concerts, get-togethers, twmpathau and more in the evenings, with opportunities for the young people to take part in some of the fun outdoor activities which Glan-llyn has to offer, too. Towards the end of the course, there is also a chance to perform.
Players need to have their own instrument, and be able to play at least to a basic standard. Instrumentalists are asked to tell us 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, though participants must be aware that most of the workshops will be taught by ear.
These are open to everyone from beginners to experienced participants. No previous experience of folk singing is needed.
Last year there were two clog dance classes; an intermediate and an advanced class.
Branwen Haf Williams
Branwen Haf Williams has been part of the folk world in various ways for a decade. She is a member of the folk Americana band Cowbois Rhos Botwnnog and her own folk band, Siddi, alongside her brother Osian. She also conducts Eryrod Meirion, a folk choir that has won for the past two years at the National Eisteddfod in the folk choir competition.
Rhys is the guitarist for Avanc: The Youth Folk Ensemble of Wales and is very active within the folk world. After being classically trained, he has developed his skills in many different genres including jazz and rock. Rhys plays as part of the band Wigwam. He is currently at the University of York studying Music and Sound Recording and is very excited to be teaching in Gwerin Gwallgo for the first time this year.
Gwenan Gibbard stands at the forefront of today’s thriving Welsh traditional music scene. She has represented Wales at several 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. .
Jordan Price Williams
Cello and whistles
Jordan is a founding member of VRï, NoGood Boyo and plays double bass with Elfen and ’cello and whistles with super group Pendevig. A graduate of the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama he is spearheading the presence of the ’cello in Welsh Traditional Music, developing a ’cello-fiddle style to fit within the tradition. Alongside his VRï band mates Jordan is helping creating the “chamber-folk” style of playing in Wales.
Oliver Wilson-Dickson plays with ALAW, The Devil’s Violin and Jamie Smith’s Mabon. Described by R2 magazine as ‘an expressive and exceptional fiddler’ he regularly collaborates with storyteller Daniel Morden, with whom he appeared for four consecutive years at the National Theatre. His touring has taken him around the globe and his recorded work has won industry awards. As a session musician, Oliver has contributed to recordings from Cartoons for the BBC and a BAFTA award winning film soundtrack to CDs for Warner International. As a composer he has written for television and radio. He plays in the house band on the Welsh TV show Noson Lawen.
Aneirin Jones is part of the new wave of young traditional musicians coming from Wales. Having already been working professionally since the age of 16 with the likes of VRï, Nogood Boyo and Pendevig, he is now studying traditional fiddle at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland – but he remains a Welshman through and through!
Advanced Clog dance
Bethan Rhiannon first began clog dancing when she was 7 years old and has won titles at the National Eisteddfod. She performs with the band Calan all over the world as accordion player, singer and dancer and is now also part of the new group NoGood Boyo. 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’.
Intermediate Clog dance
Huw Williams began dancing when he was fifteen and has been described as the ‘public face of clog-dancing in Wales’. He was the first dancer to introduce syncopated rhythms into the tradition and many of the steps he developed have become standard repertoire for Welsh clog dancers. He toured Europe and North America with the band Crasdant and in a previous incarnation was a singer song-writer working alongside Fairport Convention and Ralph Mctell. His pupils have included comedian Rory Mcgrath and hurdler Colin Jackson.