Community Music Wales celebrates its 25th anniversary with a landmark concert at the Tramshed, Cardiff on the 9th of November, 2017.
We will mark this quarter-century with an interactive showcase of top community music performers - some of whom have developed alongside the charity. Featuring a diverse selection of performers, including the amazing Wonderbrass, Ghostbuskers and others the “25 And Live” concert will celebrate how the charity’s creative and inspiring workshops has improved more than 50,000 lives.
Director Hannah Jenkins said: “Community Music Wales is a leading force in the empowerment of disadvantaged groups and individuals across Wales and has delivered high quality arts activities which have inspired thousands of groups. “We develop participatory music workshops, mentoring schemes and community music training across Wales. “Our success is testament to all those tutors and staff who have worked tirelessly to literally change people’s lives by building their self-esteem and confidence, diminishing their sense of isolation and loneliness and offering them a voice for the first time.”
Community Music Wales was formed by a small group of Cardiff-based musicians intent on making a difference to the lives of others.
Since then the charity has grown to become a national organisation of 50 tutors which manages a huge programme of activities in many socially and economically deprived communities across the whole of Wales.
With offices in the Welsh capital and Caernarfon, we offer music activity, training, mentoring, workshops and events by working in partnership with housing associations, youth groups, asylum seekers and youth organisations including Barnados.
Founder member Rob Smith is one of those whose life has been totally changed by Community Music Wales.
Rob, who now has a PhD in Community Music and has managed his own band for 25 years, recognises the importance of the charity in inspiring young talent.
“We started by organising a Community Music Week and then had the idea of creating the charity. Since then it has made a big difference to thousands of people,” he explained
“It is one of the seedbeds for an active music scene in Wales and encourages lots of children to get involved who may not have had the opportunity before. It changes lives – it certainly has changed mine.”
Some of our landmarks of the past 25 years include hosting Wales' first Welsh Music Awards in 2001 at the Coal Exchange, Cardiff and creating Cardiff's Compass point festival which brought international musicians to Wales annually. CMW have also participated in and organised many international music projects from Columbia and New York to Latvia.
Also CMW created the Complete Control Music mentoring scheme and record label which worked with many diverse musicians and has supported the early careers of artists such as John Mouse and Robots in the Sky. The organisation formed the Welsh language label Ciwdod which supported artists such as Yr Ods, Radio Luxembourg and Stilletoes and finally delivered the New Deal for Musicians which supported bands such as Bullet for my Valentine.
Hannah, who has been director for nine years explained: “Music is a powerful tool of engagement and by using instruments or the human voice it allows people to express themselves and benefits them in so many ways.
“It brings people together who may otherwise have felt isolated, helps them tell their story through music and therefore benefits their mental health. The positive impact it has are widespread and we are proud of the charity’s many achievements during the past 25 years.”