Wales International Harp Festival

A young harpist from Borth’s musical career is going from strength to strength following her recent success at the 3rd Wales International Harp Festival held in Caernarfon from the 20th – 26th April.

MaredMared Emyr Pugh-Evans, a fifteen year old student at Ysgol Gyfun Penweddig, was one of three young harpists to win a £1,500 scholarship in the Youth Section for students 19 years and under.

In the first round, 17 contestants from 8 countries presented a programme of 15 minutes to the panel of renowned judges: Jeremy Huw Williams, the noted Welsh baritone; Imogen Barford, Head of the Harp at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London; and Helen Davies-Mikkelborg, the well-known harpist based in Denmark, but originally from Aberystwyth.

The adjudication panel selected six harpists to move forward to the second round to present a different programme of 20 minutes to include a set piece by noted Welsh composer, William Mathias. Candidates were given the opportunity to present either his highly popular 3 Improvisations or one movement of his rarely heard Sonata for Harp.

Mared said: “When my teacher suggested I play a movement of the Sonata, I was a bit concerned because I’d never heard it before – but the second movement is a lovely, lively dance-like piece and was a challenge to learn.”

Following the second round, the three judges named Mared as the winner of the £1,500 scholarship presented by the Friends of Canolfan Gerdd William Mathias, and Linda Simanauskite, Lithuania and Cassandra Tomella, Italy as winners of two £1,500 scholarships furnished by the Sickle Foundation.

All three winners entertained the visitors to the Festival in a short lunchtime concert on Thursday, and later Mared was invited by Dr Rhiannon Mathias to join her in a presentation about her composer father, who studied at Aberystwyth University, arranged especially for the students of the Pagoda Arts Centre in Liverpool. The children from the Chinese cultural centre were treated to a performance of the 2nd movement of the Mathias Sonata for Harp before hearing from Rhiannon what life was like in the composers’ household.

winnersThis is the pinnacle of an already successful 12 months for Mared, having won the Junior Blue Ribband at the Denbigh National Eisteddfod last summer and the Junior Prize of the Pencerdd Gwalia Festival in Bridgend a year ago.

Mared is taught by Caryl Thomas, Head of Harp, at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama.


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