Tafwyl organisers inspiring a new stock of Welsh language bands
Over the past two years Menter Caerdydd have held workshops at Fitzalan, Whitchurch High, Glantaf, Bro Edern and Plasmawr schools, creating brand new bands to perform at Tafwyl as part of the festival’s outreach program.
It became apparent over the years that there’s a shortage of young Welsh language bands in the area, so Tafwyl festival organisers brought together three tutors, Mei Gwynedd, Tara Bethan and Elan Issac to run workshops in schools across Cardiff to help create them. Llinos Williams, Tafwyl Organiser at Menter Caerdydd, elaborates;
“These workshops are a little different to your usual band workshops, we’re trying to reach pupils without past musical or performance background. The workshops concentrate on teaching music production and performance skills with some rap and electronic music as well as pop and rock elements.
The bands then have the opportunity to perform in the Yurt T stage during Tafwyl festival weekend, that draws around 40,000 people, which is a great experience for the young people.
Some of the bands continue to practice and perform beyond Tafwyl, including one band playing at St David’s Hall!”
One group who have continued to play together are ‘Fitz8’, a band formed up of pupils from Fitzalan School. One of the Fitz8 participants says;
“Fiztalan is a very multicultural school and singing the song in different languages helps me feel part of the multiculture.”
Rachael Morgan-Jones of Fitzalan High School said;
“The project is an ideal opportunity for pupils to improve their musicianship and incidental Welsh hand in hand! If ever there is an example of the once exclusive Welsh language traditions reaching out to our bilingual learners, this is it. We’re looking forward for the project to come back and reach more of our pupils next year as Fitzalan pupils love to embrace the ‘old language’.”
Manon Rees-O’Brian, Menter Caerdydd Chief Executive, says;
“Music is a great way to bring people together to socialise and enjoy, be it fluent Welsh speakers, the less confident, learners or non-Welsh speakers. It’s a way of joining together an audience as only the music is important. No place is more prominent than Tafwyl to show this – Menter Caerdydd’s annual festival to celebrate the language, which is a feast of Welsh music, art and culture.
Welsh Language Music Day is a special platform that promotes the Welsh music scene and a great shop window for Welsh music and the talented artists we have across Wales.”
The band seems to enjoy the experience very much:
David Hassan Dubba Richards – “I love being part of Fitzwyth, I hope we continue after leaving school. Our friends come to watch us. It’s such a fun thing to do.”
Eshaan Rajesh – “A weekly challenge to develop my guitar skills and practise my Welsh. It’s so enjoyable.”
Corey Beverstock – “Performing in the Tafwyl was such a great experience.”
Fiza Naeem – “My drumming skills have really improved, and my parents are so impressed with me singing in Welsh.”
Emily Brown – “I love the Welsh language and I love music. Writing and rehearsing as part of Fitzwyth has been such a great part of my school life.”