Talented Narberth-based composer Ellen Mason has been commissioned by major Welsh arts organisation Ty Cerdd to compose a piece of music to be performed at Narberth A Cappella Voice Festival 2014 on February 21.
“It’s with the utmost pleasure that I receive this commission to compose a piece for an ensemble so close to my heart,” said the 22-year-old, who was nominated for Young Composer of Dyfed 2008, won the Gerallt Richards prize at the National Urdd Eisteddfod two years running, and had work performed by BBC NOW players at Wales Millennium Centre while studying music at Bangor.
The piece is called ‘The First Dance’ and is inspired by Greek mythology and traditional African music. It includes narration written by poet Georgie Lorimer, and will be performed by Ellen and the other members of Tempus, who define themselves as a ‘vocal group’ rather than a traditional choir.
Ellen is a big part of the festival’s planning too, been an active volunteer for festival organisers Span Arts, Pembrokeshire’s live arts charity, for some time.
Last year she set up Aelwyd Celfyddydau Span, an affiliated youth arts group for Welsh speakers and learners, and the group won first prize in June for their performance on the BBC & Arts Council Wales stage at the National Urdd Eisteddfod, which was directed by Ellen.
“Ty Cerdd views the commissioning new music as an essential part of its annual remit,” said Gwyn L Williams, chief executive of the organisation based in the Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff. “In particular Ty Cerdd supports young Welsh composers at the beginning of their careers as well as more established musicians. It is a great pleasure to be part of the Narberth A Cappella Voice Festival in 2014 through the commission for Ellen Mason.”
Narberth A Cappella Voice Festival 2014 takes place February 21 to 23. For information and discount advance tickets visit span-arts.org.uk or call 01834 869323.