School of Music wins two Thomas Ellis Memorial Fund awards

Having reviewed scores of entries from an exceptionally talented pool of applicants, the University of Wales has announced the winners of this year’s Thomas Ellis Memorial Fund awards.

Music Lecturer at Bangor University, Dr Guto Pryderi Puw, will receive £1500, while PhD student, Gwawr Ifan, also of Bangor University, will receive £1000.

Gwawr Ifan and Guto Puw of the School of MusicGwawr Ifan and Guto Puw of the School of Music

As resident composer with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales from 2006 until 2010, Guto plans to spend the award on documenting the results of four year’s worth of compositions, of which to date there are no studio based recordings.

His work has won widespread praise from national music critics; Concerto for Oboe won the BBC Radio 3 ‘Listeners’ Award’ at the British Composer Awards in 2007, and Reservoirs was nominated for a Royal Philharmonic Society Award in 2005.

Three large scale music pieces were composed and developed during Guto’s time with the Orchestra and were performed across the country. Neuadd Brycheiniog in Brecon, Neuadd Prichard Jones in Bangor, The Royal Albert Hall in London, and concert halls in Modena, Brescia and Bergamo have all played host to his music.

Speaking of winning the award, Guto said;

“Producing a CD of my orchestral compositions would create a comprehensive collection of my recent creative output and would be an important contribution to my research profile. This wouldn’t be possible without the generosity of the University of Wales.”

Currently studying for a PhD in Music in Health at Bangor’s School of Music, Gwawr Ifan used her award to pay for a trip to Australia where she attended an international conference which took as its focus, 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, visited specialists practicing Music in Therapy and created worldwide links.

Music in Health is a comparatively new field in Wales, and as such her Ph.D research is believed to be the first of its kind in Wales in the medium of the Welsh language.

Highlighting the importance of the award to her research, Gwawr said;

“It is a great privilege to be named as the winner of the Thomas Ellis Memorial Fund. The award has been a great help to me in my doctoral research, through enabling me to travel to Australia where I have made significant connections. I am very grateful for this special opportunity and for the important contacts I have made that will benefit the School of Music at Bangor in future”

Grants from The Thomas Ellis Memorial Fund are awarded to assist research into the language, literature, history and antiquities of Wales and Monmouthshire, and the publication of the results of such research.

The fund was raised in memory of the late Thomas Edward Ellis MA, Warden of the Guild of Graduates (1896-1899), and a Member of Parliament representing Meirioneth during the years 1886-1899.

Publication date: 1 February 2011