Bangor students’ success at Urdd Eisteddfod

So far this week, two Bangor University students have been awarded two of the major prizes at the Urdd Eisteddfod.

Mared Emlyn being congratulated at the Urdd Eisteddfod by Wyn Thomas, Pro Vice-Chancellor, Bangor UniversityMared Emlyn being congratulated at the Urdd Eisteddfod by Wyn Thomas, Pro Vice-Chancellor, Bangor UniversityMared Emlyn, who is studying a doctorate in the harp and composition at the University’s School of Music has been awarded the Composer’s Medal and Elin Gwyn, who is also studying a PhD, this time in Welsh Literature, has been awarded the Drama Medal.

Mared comes from Llangernyw and her family now lives in the Conwy valley. She was educated at Ysgol Bro Cernyw and Ysgol Dyffryn Conwy before studying music at Bangor University. She graduated in 2009 with First class Honours in Music. She was then awarded a KESS Scholarship in conjunction with Cwmni Cyhoeddi Gwynn , Welsh music publishers, to follow a doctorate course in harp performance and composition at Bangor University.

Elin Gwyn, who went to Ysgol Dyffryn Ogwen and Cardiff University is also following a KESS Scholarship at Bangor University’s School of Welsh. She is studying the cultural contribution of the slate industry in the post- industrial period, and as part of the course she is working in conjunction with the Welsh Slate Museum at Llanberis.

Composer’s Medal judges Einion Dafydd and Eric Jones had this to say about Mared’s composition for the harp: “ A finished composition… which displays motive, craft and a praiseworthy presentation. The entirety- a series of dances, Perlau yn y Glaw (pearls in the rain) has been carefully crafted. We believe that these pieces could be published in their current state and they would be a valuable contribution to the harp repertoire.”

 “I wanted to create short, lively pieces,” said Mared Emlyn before explaining that there were five pieces in total.

“The harp is popular in Wales, and I know that there is a need for contemporary pieces in order to build a repertoire.

“I like rhythmic pieces which are slightly ‘off-beat’. I enjoy listening to Prokofiev and most of all, I enjoy listening to film music: music by someone such as John Williams or people with fantastic melodies.”

Elin Gwyn is already winning a name for herself by competing successfully at local Eisteddfodau, she’s a former winner of the Youth Literature Prize and the prose Medal at the Dyffryn Ogwen Eisteddfod.

“I always love watching or reading plays” said Elin Gwyn, who is keen to get involved in scripting in the future.

“Winning the Drama Medal will certainly be an impetus for me to keep writing.”

 The judges were Manon Eames and Tim Baker.

Knowledge Economy Skills Scholarships (KESS) is a major European Convergence programme led by Bangor University on behalf of the HE sector in Wales. Benefiting from European Social Funds (ESF), KESS supports collaborative research projects (Research Masters and PhD) with organisations and companies based in the Convergence area of Wales (West Wales and the Valleys).  KESS provides over 400 PhD and Masters places.

Both the Research Masters and PhD elements are integrated with a high-level skills training programme, leading to an additional Postgraduate Skills Development Award.

Publication date: 1 June 2011