Young people’s incredible musical talents celebrated at festival
Trumpeter Carys Wood from Haverfordwest High VC School was the overall winner at this year’s Secondary Schools Valero Music Festival.
The annual festival, which is organised by the Pembrokeshire County Council Music Service and sponsored by Valero, took place at Ysgol Caer Elen on Saturday (November 18th).
More than 240 young musicians from each of the County’s eight county secondary schools, Pembrokeshire College and further afield took part in individual and ensemble competitions throughout the day.
Later in the afternoon, an enthusiastic audience enjoyed a ‘Spotlight’ concert showcasing the individual winners and the winners of the instrumental and vocal ensemble competitions.
During the day, every performer who placed first, second and third in their class received a badge in recognition of their achievement.
Philippa Roberts, Head of Pembrokeshire Music Service, said: “I would like to congratulate every young musician who performed and supported one another on Saturday. Also, a heartfelt thank you to Valero, the Friends of Pembrokeshire Young Musicians and the professional and encouraging adjudicating team who continue to support Pembrokeshire Music Service and our pupils.”
Sean O’Neill, ensembles adjudicator, expressed his admiration for the day. “The standard of music making from all the young musicians was outstanding with loads of evidence of talent and potential coming through for the future! It was a great pleasure to be involved.”
Trumpeter Carys Wood, was presented with the overall winners’ cup by brass adjudicator Corey Morris. Earlier in the day, Carys performed Virtuosity by Kenny Baker.
Winner of the Open Woodwind competition was James Townsend from Haverfordwest High VC School, who performed Czardas by Monti.
The Open String competition winner was cellist Isabel Raymond from Ysgol Caer Elen who performed Tarantella by WH Squire.
The Open Jazz winner was Dylan Sanders-Swales from Haverfordwest High VC School who performed his own arrangement of Whirlybird. Dylan was also the winner of the Open Percussion class. He performed a Super Mario Medley which he again arranged himself.
The Open Piano and Harp class was won by Jencyn Corp from Ysgol Bro Preseli who performed his own composition, Yr Afon.
The Open Vocal Competition was won by Rhys Williams from Ysgol Harri Tudur, who sang “It’s hard to speak my heart” from the musical Parade.
The first winner of the new Open Guitar class was Willis Riley from Greenhill, who performed The Trooper by Iron Maiden.
The Open Vocal Ensemble class winners were Haverfordwest High VC School’s upper voices ensemble. They performed an Adele mashup of Rumour has it/Someone like you.
The Open Instrumental Ensemble competition was won by Jencyn Corp and Lefi Dafydd of Ysgol Bro Preseli Deuadd piano, performing Norwegian Dance by Grieg.
The winners of the inaugural Open Rock and pop ensemble were The Messiaens from Haverfordwest High VC School. They performed Superstition by Stevie Wonder.
The hall at Ysgol Caer Elen was packed full as family, friends, and pupils who had performed earlier in the day all stayed to support the open winners.
The invited professional adjudicators - Timothy Angel, vocal; Sean O’Neill, ensemble; Christopher Vale, woodwind; Corey Morris, brass; Karin Jenkins, strings; Bethan Harkin, piano and harp; Ben Richards, instrumental; Nick Baron, percussion, guitar and Jazz – were greatly impressed with the high standard and strength of schools’ music on show from across the County.
County Music Service events coordinator Miranda Morgan thanked the adjudicators, teachers, parents and students for making the Festival such a success.
“We are overwhelmed at the amount of young people who have participated in this year’s festival – we had over double the number taking part this year compared to last year which is wonderful to see. The standard of playing has been impressive throughout and it has been fantastic to extend our classes to include guitar and rock and pop ensembles this year.”
The results of the day were as follows:
Grade 3 flute
1st – Tilly Laugharne – Ysgol Bro Gwaun
2nd – Mali Jones-Hughes – HHVC
3rd – Erin Dando – MHS
Grade 3 clarinet and saxophone
1st – Sophie Gilmartin – Greenhill
2nd – Emily Dickinson – Greenhill
3rd – Jed Cox – Greenhill
Highly commended – Katherine Jones – Harri Tudur
Grade 4 woodwind
1st – Tom Pounder – MHS
2nd – Ollie Towe – Ysgol Bro Preseli
3rd – Bethan Packard – MHS
Grade 5 woodwind
1st – Ffion Evans – Ysgol Caer Elen
2nd – Catrin Jones – Ysgol Caer Elen
3rd – Ela-Gwennon Jones – Ysgol Caer Elen
Grade 6 woodwind
1st – Noah Jenkins – HHVC
2nd – Gemma Armstrong – Ysgol Bro Preseli
3rd – Alice Hillen – HHVC and Eryn Howlett – MHS
1st – James Townsend – HHVC
2nd – Jencyn Corp – Ysgol Bro Preseli
3rd – Harry Armstrong – MHS
Grade 3 & 4 brass
1st – Elwyn Powell – Ysgol Bro Gwaun
2nd – Owain Williams – HHVC
3rd – Harry Thomas – Ysgol Penrhyn Dewi
Highly commended – Isabella Tawn – HHVC
Grade 5 brass
1st – Eliza Wood – Greenhill
2nd – Archie Noyce – Greenhill
3rd – Gwilym Jones – Ysgol Bro Preseli
Grade 6 brass
1st – Seren Barrett – Greenhill
2nd – Ioan Bromby – Greenhill and Andrew Johnson – Ysgol Bro Preseli
3rd – Jaap Harris – Ysgol Bro Preseli
Highly commended – Matthew Shaw – Greenhill, Arlo Jones – Greenhill, Kellan Rycroft – Ysgol Bro Preseli
1st – Carys Wood – HHVC (and overall 2023 winner)
2nd – Carys Rycroft – Ysgol Bro Preseli
3rd – Filip Middlemist – HHVC
1st – Brooke Patterson – Ysgol Bro Gwaun
2nd – Debora Calocane – HHVC
3rd – Emma Nicholas – Greenhill and Eira Kaill-Franks – Ysgol Penrhyn Dewi
Highly commended – Janelle Cabral - HHVC
1st – Ruby Rapi – Ysgol Bro Preseli and Elena Gould
2nd – Sara James – Ysgol Caer Elen
3rd – Kitty Kingsnorth
Highly commended – Grace Tilbury – Harri Tudur
1st – Annabel John – Ysgol Penrhyn Dewi
2nd – Cosmo Karenin – Ysgol Bro Gwaun
3rd – Anwen Sims – Ysgol Caer Elen
1st – Seren Barrett – Greenhill and Mia Burnett – HHVC
2nd – Tom Bridger – Ysgol Penrhyn Dewi
3rd – Gwenna Kennerley – HHVC
Highly commended – Esyllt Corp – Ysgol Bro Preseli
1st – Isabel Raymond – Ysgol Caer Elen
2nd – Maria Cabral – HHVC
3rd – Daisy Whitfield – Ysgol Bro Preseli
Highly commended – Freya Prout – Pembrokeshire College and Ella Bromby – Greenhill
PIANO AND HARP
Grade 3 and 4
1st – Harry Thomas – Ysgol Penrhyn Dewi
2nd – Anwen Sims – Ysgol Caer Elen
3rd - Steffan James – Ysgol Caer Elen
Highly commended – Martha Bhari – Harri Tudur
1st – Abbie Collinson – Greenhill
2nd – Sara James – Ysgol Caer Elen and Siddha Saini – Ysgol Bro Preseli
3rd – Tom Bridger – Ysgol Penrhyn Dewi and Elena Gould (homeschooled)
1st – Cosmo Karenin – Ysgol Bro Gwaun
2nd – Sebastian Semaani-Rodriguez – Ysgol Penrhyn Dewi and Megan Evans – Ysgol Caer Elen
3rd – Emily Thomas – Greenhill
Highly commended – Matthew Shaw – Greenhill and Isabel Ramond – Ysgol Caer Elen
1st – Jencyn Corp – Ysgol Bro Preseli
2nd – Lefi Dafydd – Ysgol Bro Preseli
3rd – Iestyn Barrellie – Greenhill
Highly commended – Jenifer Rees
1st – William Rowe – Penrhyn Dewi
2nd – Sam Berry – Ysgol Bro Gwaun and Jensen Luker – Ysgol Caer Elen
Open drum kit
1st – Dylan Sanders-Swales – HHVC
2nd – Libby Phillips – HHVC
1st – Lewis Murray – Ysgol Bro Gwaun
2nd – Steffan James – Ysgol Caer Elen
1st – Willis Riley – Greenhill
1st – Tom Pounder – MHS
2nd – Eryn Howlett – MHS
1st – Dylan Sanders-Swales – HHVC
2nd – Jencyn Corp – Ysgol Bro Preseli
3rd – Jed Davies – Pembrokeshire College
Popular vocals years 7-9
1st - Bella Carrol - Harri Tudur
2nd - Sophie Jones - Harri Tudur
3rd - Maisie Tennick - Caer Elen
Highly commended - Davinia Foster - Harri Tudur
Popular vocals years 10-13
1st - Millie Evans-Thomas - Greenhill
2nd - Honey Johnston – HHVC, Mia Young – Greenhill and Libby Banner - HHVC
3rd - Lacey-May Mattson – HHVC and Gwenna Kennerley - HHVC
Highly commended – Theo Butland - Harri Tudur
Musical theatre and classical vocals years 7-9
1st - Maya Welton – Ysgol Bro Preseli
2nd - Claire Hooper-Rees - HHVC
3rd - Martha Bhari - Harri Tudur and Rosabelle Chatwin – Ysgol Caer Elen
Highly commended - Caitlyn Sanders-Swales – MHS
Musical theatre and classical vocals years 10-13
1st - Ella Bromby - Greenhill
2nd - Iestyn Finch - HHVC
3rd - Mia Burnett – HHVC and Bella McCare - HHVC
Highly commended - Edie Morris – Ysgol Penrhyn Dewi
1st - Rhys Williams - Harri Tudur
2nd - Eliza Jessica Bradbury - Pembrokeshire College
3rd - Megan Lloyd - MHS
Highly commended - Bethan Raymond – HHVC
Instrumental ensemble grade 5-
1st – Ysgol Bro Preseli violin quartet
2nd – Greenhill Clarinet trio
Open instrumental ensemble
1st – Ysgol Bro Preseli deuawd piano
2nd – Ysgol Bro preseli piano a ffliwt
3rd – HHVC violin quartet
Open vocal ensemble
1st – HHVC upper voices ensemble
2nd – HHVC lower voices ensemble
3rd – Harri Tudur vocal ensemble
Rock and pop ensemble grade 5-
1st – Ysgol Caer Elen
2nd – HHVC
3rd – Harri Tudur
Highly commended – HHVC Band 2
Open Rock and pop ensemble
1st – “The Messiaens” – HHVC
2nd – HHVC KS4 band
3rd – Greenhill school band
Highly commended – HHVC Band #1
Treading the Boards to Help Make a Difference
A newly formed entertainment group Cause for Drama recently staged their own take at Letterston Memorial Hall of pantomime favourite Cinderella to help raise funds for the Cancer Day Unit at Withybush Hospital.
Special school pupils head to Europe thanks to Taith funding
On a visit to Portfield Special School in Haverfordwest, the Minister for Education and Welsh Language, Jeremy Miles, met pupils and staff who have taken part in an exchange trip to Sweden and Belgium, which has been made possible thanks to Taith funding.
Over 1,200 children learn how the ingredients for pancakes are produced locally in successful two-day Food Story event
Over 1,200 children from across Pembrokeshire, aged from five to 16, learnt how the ingredients for pancakes are produced locally during a highly successful ‘Food Story / Stori Bwyd’ event, held by the Pembrokeshire Agricultural Society.