I had my audition in early February in the RWCMD down in Cardiff. I got there and was welcomed by Alexandria. She directed me and brought me through to the practice room where I warmed up. I then went into the audition room and had my audition. The panel were all very welcoming and friendly which put some nerves to rest.

This year the course for the brass band was in Trinity Saint David, Carmarthen. On arrival, I was registered and dropped my bags off in my room. We stayed in student accommodation with 8 people to a 'flat'. This was great because there was only 1 other person from Ceredigion so I got to mingle and make new friends from other counties.

The rehearsals for the first few days were mainly sectionals under the instruction of our tutor Owen Gunnell. He gave fantastic insights and was a brilliant tutor for the course. He was relaxed and we enjoyed his company both in and out of rehearsals. Later on in the week we then had full rehearsals with the whole band under the baton of Philip Harper. Rehearsals were intense but enjoyable as we got through our challenging repertoire.

In the evenings we went to the students union and had a range of activities including a quiz, a performance by 3D brass and an awards evening in which the percussion won best section as voted by Philip Harper himself!

There were 3 concerts this year in Neath, Newtown and Cardiff on July the 27th, 28th and 29th respectively. We returned to Carmarthen after the first two concerts to sleep at varying hours of the night. There was a 'Sit in and play' scheme in the afternoon of each concert day in which young musicians could join the band for a workshop playing Men of Harlech and ultimately join us on stage in the concert itself. Despite only having 1 participant on the first afternoon, by the final performance, there were around 30 extra players on stage joining us. It is a fantastic opportunity for young people to experience music at such a high level.

We were also joined by the guest soloist Daniel Thomas on Euphonium for the week who also gave a short masterclass on practice technique and tips on general playing. He was fantastic to work with and is a truly gifted player.

All 3 concerts were hugely successful with each being better than the last and ultimately culminating in the RWCMD in Cardiff. It was a concert that I will probably remember for the rest of my life as I also received the award for 'Best Contribution to the Percussion Section'.

The 2018 Course in its entirety was a thoroughly enjoyable experience in which I improved as a player, made new friends and had fun whilst doing so.


Who's Who

Manager: Mr Geraint Evans

Strings: Mrs Jacky Hassan | Ms Cathryn Murray | Ms Holly Cook

Piano: Mrs Rachel Gregory

Harp: Ms Kay Davies

Woodwind:  Miss Ali Greeley | Mrs Victoria Harwood

Brass: Mr Aidan Hassan | Mr Harvey Hassan

Percussion/Rock: Mr Mark Wenden

Vocal: Ms Elinor Powell | Ms Menna Rhys (was  Griffiths )

Contact Details

Ceredigion Music Service
Canolfan Rheidol
Rhodfa Padarn
Llanbadarn Fawr
SY23 3UE

(01970) 633 614