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University asks for community’s views on its music provision

Dr Anwen Jones, Pro Vice-Chancellor: Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences

Aberystwyth University is asking the public for their views about its music provision, as it looks to spread the benefits to the local community.

The University’s musical contribution dates back to its early days in the 19th century. In 1895, Professors Anwyl and Ainsworth Davies composed the ‘College Song’ to celebrate St David’s Day.

For well over a century, the University has provided a platform for performances at the Hen Goleg (Old College) on Aberystwyth seafront, which is now undergoing redevelopment. Along with the provision at the Arts Centre on its Penglais campus, it also offers music scholarships and a full programme of opportunities to enjoy a wide range of music across a variety of Aberystwyth-focused venues.

The University will be running an online survey about its music provision until 26 November. The results of the survey will be used to draft a vision statement ahead of further discussions at a number of virtual meetings.

The consultation comes as the University plans to appoint a new leader of its music offer over the months ahead, as part of its commitment to sustain its current levels of investment. The music provision was until recently led by Dr David Russell Hulme, who retired as Director of Music earlier this year.

Launching the consultation, Dr Anwen Jones, Pro-Vice Chancellor at Aberystwyth University commented: “Whether you’re a musician or someone who loves music of any kind, we want to hear your voice. Music is central to the celebration of cultural, social and political life in contemporary and historical Wales. Situated right at the heart of the nation, Aberystwyth University has made a key contribution to Wales’s proud and long-standing tradition of music-making. The University’s commitment to this tradition is evident in its continued investment in our music provision.  Our commitment and investment is on-going, and we want to invite views as to how we shape this wonderful provision for the future.

“We are looking beyond COVID towards a new era of vibrant music-making, listening and engagement.  We want to provide a varied and stimulating musical experience which will spread the benefits music brings to as many parts of our community as possible; re-engaging with our existing audiences and participants but venturing on a new and exciting journey too.

“Central to the music provision’s mission is maintaining the exciting collaborative dynamic between University staff, students and the wider community in Aberystwyth.  We’re open to engaging with new styles, new musical modes and methodologies and opening up new vistas.  This will happen under the guidance of new leadership for music over the coming year, as we look to appoint a figurehead who will bring their own ideas and specialisms, and be able to facilitate an action plan based on feedback from our communities.”