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Why Dalcroze for Wales? By Bethan Habron-James

Bethan working in Neuadd Dwyfor
Bethan working in Neuadd Dwyfor

I had the privilege of going to Geneva to study Dalcroze Eurhythmics at the end of the 90s, after some years of studying part time in Manchester. At the end of my dissertation for my final Licentiate exams I wrote that my dream one day, would be to share this pioneering education method with my Welsh compatriots. I explained that I had had an excellent music education in my childhood, full of singing and instrumental playing but there had been no connection between my music education and my physical education (apart from folk dancing, where the two crafts co-existed but the movement was not related to musical education).

Dalcroze Eurhythmics is unique in that one learns about music through music, and through the instinctive response of the body. The teacher improvises music, or plays recorded music, and draws the class to respond to the sound by using the body’s natural movement. Every element of music can be taught as a physical experience primarily in the gross muscles, before moving on to train the fine muscles for playing an instrument. This is how the body has learnt since childhood and it makes sense to prepare the whole body before learning to play a musical instrument; to prepare it to listen, to respond with agility and flexibility, to develop coordination, to be aware of others and the surrounding space, to fire the imagination, and so forth. Continue reading Why Dalcroze for Wales? By Bethan Habron-James

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Singing for their cuppa – vocalists join Ensemble Cymru for new Coffee Concerts season

Llio Evans
Llio Evans

November marks a significant milestone for the Bangor-based chamber music organisation, Ensemble Cymru. For the very first time, singers will perform as part of the ensemble for its brand new season of Coffee Concerts – the Classic Voice series.

The Anglesey-born soprano, Llio Evans, will join Ensemble Cymru for its North Wales-wide tour during the first week of November. The 27-year-old singer, and former International Eisteddfod winner, will perform as part of a trio alongside pianist Anya Fadina and the Ensemble’s principal clarinettist, Peryn Clement-Evans. Talking about the programme, Llio said: Continue reading Singing for their cuppa – vocalists join Ensemble Cymru for new Coffee Concerts season

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Ensemble Cymru’s musical lunch date at Galeri

Nicki Pearce, cello
Nicki Pearce, cello
Join Bangor-based classical music group, Ensemble Cymru, for lunch with a difference at Galeri this September. ‘A Taste of Ensemble Cymru’ will see a trio of top chamber music musicians entertain diners with an hour long programme of live music especially chosen to delight and intrigue.

Whether you’re new to classical music, a bit of an expert or somewhere in between, the friendly atmosphere and the commentary from the musicians in between the music makes this a concert everyone can enjoy! Plus there’s the added bonus of a delicious soup lunch followed by tea or coffee served by Galeri’s own Doc Café Bar. Continue reading Ensemble Cymru’s musical lunch date at Galeri

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What happened when Ensemble Cymru met Codi’r To…

Sophie Cusworth
Sophie Cusworth

Sophie’s blog

“On the 22nd of July Ensemble Cymru visited Ysgol Glancegin in Bangor where Milli and I caught the action on camera. We arrived at around 9am and set up the camera before the workshop started; I had the lovely job of sound assistant which involved holding up a boom mike behind the camera to record the sound.

We were able to capture the performances of Ensemble Cymru musicians, Cai Isfryn and Gwyn Owen on brass, Sioned Roberts on clarinet, Katka Marešová​ playing violin and Glian Llwyd on piano. It was lovely to see the interaction between the musicians and the children asking funny questions and learning about the different types of sounds each instrument makes. Continue reading What happened when Ensemble Cymru met Codi’r To…

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The ‘Introducing’ sessions: Meet Katka…

Katka Maresova Get to know the musicians behind the instruments with our ‘Introducing’ sessions. First up is a new addition to the Ensemble Cymru family, violinist Katka Marešová.

Born and raised in the Czech Republic, Katka arrived in the UK last September to spend a year studying at Bangor University. And it seems that the rugged, mountainous landscape of North Wales shares some similarities with Katka’s hometown, as she explains… Continue reading The ‘Introducing’ sessions: Meet Katka…

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Lucy’s blog about making music (and little friends) in Pwllheli

Waking up to an almighty thunder storm on Saturday morning, I was slightly concerned that the weather may put off our audience – it sounded pretty scary out there! However I needn’t have worried as just before 10am, a flurry of parents and children flooded into Pwllheli’s Neuadd Dwyfor on Saturday for a morning of musical fun.

The workshop, led by Sioned Roberts with musical assistance from Katerina Maresova, aimed to introduce young children to the wonder of music through song, listening and play. Katerina Said:

“I really enjoyed taking part in today’s workshop – it was so rewarding to see the children interacting with the music.” Continue reading Lucy’s blog about making music (and little friends) in Pwllheli

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Ensemble Cymru set to ‘sound bomb’ Galeri this summer

Forget photo bombing, Ensemble Cymru are preparing to ‘sound bomb’ Galeri in Caernarfon this summer with a series of spontaneous performances. The Bangor based chamber music group launched their first ‘attack’ on Galeri on Sunday evening when the ensemble’s principle percussionist, Dewi Ellis-Jones from Caernarfon, brought the bar to a standstill with an impromptu performance. This performance marks the first in a series of free mini-concerts by Ensemble Cymru at Galeri over the summer, culminating in a ticketed lunchtime concert on 29 September, 12:30pm. Continue reading Ensemble Cymru set to ‘sound bomb’ Galeri this summer

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The story of Peter and the Wolf

“As the plucky hero of our story, the tale begins with Peter…

The young boy lives with his grandfather in a clearing in the forest, but one day Peter decides to leave the safety of the clearing and wander into the forest. Leaving the gate open behind him, one of ducks follows Peter out.

“Peter warns the little bird and she jumps into a tree”

The duck swims out into a pond but soon gets into a quarrel with a little bird. However their bickering is ended when Peter’s cat comes along. Peter warns the little bird and she jumps into a tree before the cat has a chance to get her claws in!

“Peter’s grandfather notices that the boy has snuck out”

Soon, Peter’s grandfather notices that the boy has snuck out and dashes into the forest to get him back, scolding Peter for going out alone, “what if there’d been a wolf out there?” he asks the boy. Continue reading The story of Peter and the Wolf