Iwan Llewelyn Jones, Head of Music Performance at Bangor University, was one of the three adjudicators of the Young Musician of the Caribbean Award in the Dominican Republic. He also led masterclasses for promising young talent and spread the word about Bangor University’s music, drama and performance department as part of his visit
The Young Musician of the Caribbean Award is a collaborative venture bringing together expertise from The British Embassy (Dominican Republic), The British Chamber of Commerce (Dominican Republic), ABRSM - the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music, and the Music department at Bangor University to encourage and support classical music performance amongst the children and young people of the Caribbean islands and provide a platform for talented instrumentalists.
After submitting initial applications by video, young people reaching the second round of the competition are given the opportunity to attend masterclasses and an orchestral workshop and perform at a public event in the Teatro Nacional Eduardo Brito in Santo Domingo with an audience and adjudicators present. Following this performance, the winner from each age group is awarded the prize of an opportunity to attend a specialist Summer School in the UK, with fees and travel expenses covered.
Iwan said, “It was a privilege to work with these young musicians. They were so open and enthusiastic, willing to try out new ideas and develop that art of telling a story through music. Music is everywhere in Santo Domingo, with everything from classical to jazz to be heard floating on the air, and even ‘on the spot’ music lessons taking place in the main square. I hope that I succeeded in sharing some of the spirit in which we teach music at Bangor, and that we opened up even more possibilities for these young minds through the masterclasses. In turn, I bring back with me many ideas for sharing the joy of music with students and the wider community.”
Iwan will be adjudicating both piano and ensemble competitions at the Urdd Eisteddfod in Denbigh in June.