A Tribute to Gwilym Roberts

When I was told that Gwilym had passed away, it was the first time I’d felt truly lonely here in Cornwall. I was suddenly hundreds of miles away from my band family and gutted not to be able to return to North Wales for the funeral or for the band gathering in his honour.

Mum saw Gwilym at the Eisteddfod just a few weeks ago and he was asking after me, saying he looked forward to me coming back. Thinking about that and knowing I won’t see him again…it breaks my heart. As they say, in these sorts of situations: ‘Words fail’. But as a writer, I must try.

Gwilym was my right-hand man for the six years of my conducting experience. He had already been involved with the band for many years and was the loveliest and most supportive man. When I started out, he was a little on edge, ready to pick up the pieces if necessary!

Gwilym worked hard for Band Porthaethwy, as well as the wider Continue reading

A Tribute to My Conducting Experience

I wrote a Music Journal from summer 2014-2016, a detailed record of the lessons I taught and the rehearsals I conducted. I wrote about the people who were there, the funny things that happened, what we played, our progress, and even messages from parents that meant a lot to me. It’s 70,000 words long – the length of a novel! Over the six years I conducted, I could have written a trilogy.

After the first concert I organised, my grandad observed, ‘You talked to each member of your band as if they were the most important person in the world to you at that moment.’ That was wonderful to hear; it was always a big priority for me, perhaps even more than the music itself, to make sure people know that they matter and are valued. I’d be lying if I said this didn’t cost me personally at times. I’m incapable of faking an interest in people, so I became very attached to everyone and was sad if they left band. There were many tears shed.

However, my overwhelming feeling now is: Continue reading

The Psychology Thread

I have a broad range of interests. It used to bother me that I didn’t have time for them all and that I couldn’t settle on one for long. I discussed this in ‘Too Many Interests’. However, I’ve recently noticed that the ones I’ve stuck with have something in common: they have a strong psychological element.

At Crossfit, I often reflect on the thoughts behind a workout, the things we tell ourselves, the way we interact with each other, and the inextricable link between the physical and psychological parts of our being.

The musical side of band-conducting and one-to-one teaching is key (pun not intended!), and yet I’m probably more drawn-in by the Continue reading