Scholarships Awarded to Welsh Musical Talent

Posted on 4 March 2011

Scholarship winners Gwawr Ifan and Jordan Williams

Owing to their exceptional achievements and the glowing endorsements of their academic tutors, the University of Wales is delighted to announce the winners of this year’s D Afan Thomas Memorial Award for Music.

Receiving £1500 will be Jordan Price Williams, 3rd year student of the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama (RWCMD). Gwawr Ifan, PhD student of Bangor University and previous winner of the University of Wales Thomas Ellis Fund, will receive £500.

As a double bass player in several orchestras, Jordan intends to use his award towards purchasing a new double bass, which will further enable him to play at the level of music at which he is currently studying. He will also use a portion of the award to help pay for a period of tutelage with the world-renowned Chi-chi Nwanoku, Principal Bass of the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment in London.

Speaking of his award, Jordan said;

“Being a double bass player is fraught with financial obstacles due to the great expense of quality instruments. This generous grant will help me to afford an instrument worthy of achieving my dream of playing in a professional orchestra.

“Music is obviously very important to me, and I think that the D Afan Thomas Memorial Award for Music is invaluable in providing the opportunity for musicians to reach their full potential, uninhibited by financial barriers.”

Currently studying for a PhD in Music in Health at Bangor’s School of Music, Gwawr will use her award to cover expenses incurred in a trip to Australia where she attended an international conference taking its focus on Music in Health, an area in which the Antipodes is considered to be pioneering. Whilst at the conference, she delivered a paper on Music in Health in Wales, visited specialists practicing in the field and created worldwide links.

Upon receiving her award, Gwawr said;

“It is an important part of my research to network among specialists in the field of music in health and wellbeing, and to learn of international examples of good practice in the field. Attending the conference and visiting specialists working in Melbourne was an excellent opportunity to do this.

“Although a relatively new area, the field of music in health is currently gaining international recognition, with an increasing body of research proving the benefits of music in health and society. My experience at this conference will help me to further promote the field of music in health in Wales.

“I am very grateful for this award, which will contribute greatly towards the costs of this journey.”

The Award was endowed in 1981 from a Centennial Fund to perpetuate the memory of D Afan Thomas (1881 1928), Musician, Composer and Founder of the Afan Glee Society in Cwmavon, Port Talbot. Its purpose is to give financial assistance to a promising student of music to develop his/her musical education.


For more information about the University of Wales Scholarships, click on:
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