“Music is a big part of my life and I can’t imagine a time where I’ll not be playing.”

16 year old David is quickly establishing a reputation for himself as a musician. He represents his local Welsh comprehensive school, Ysgol Gyfun Gwyr, in national competitions as both a harpist and a flutist and also plays the flute in the National Youth Orchestra of Wales. David has also won The Commonwealth International Composition Award 2021, having only taken up composition during lockdown.

Living in Swansea, the eldest of three children, David began his musical journey at primary school, where the class was introduced to the subject of orchestral instruments, and David was soon asking his parents if he could start learning to play the flute. He says “I have been learning the flute since I was 7 years old, and have had low-cost harp lessons in school since I was 10. My teacher discovered I had a natural talent and I passed my Grade 5 exam with merit only a year after I’d started to learn. “

David was fortunate that the Welsh-language primary school he attended offered students the opportunity to have harp tuition, and after gently persuading his parents to let him take it up, David began his studies with teacher Nia Jenkins. Nia continued as David’s harp teacher giving him lessons at his comprehensive school until cuts in the local authority music provision and covid-lockdowns prevented school-based lessons. However, with financial help from AYM, David was able to continue his lessons with Nia, who has acted as his mentor helping to ensure that anything is achievable – including David achieving a Distinction in his ARSM diploma last year.

David enjoys playing flute and harp in equal measure, and in the coming year will be studying both instruments as part of the Junior Conservatoire at RWCMD.

When David is not practising music, he is excelling as a linguist. He has just achieved an A* in his French A-level (taken two years early) and is going on to study English, Welsh, Latin, German and, of course, Music A-levels in his school’s sixth form.

He continues “Performing, competing, and composing are all passions of mine, and this Award will enable me to further develop these skills and grow as a musician.”

Last summer, David performed for an online AYM concert. You can see his performance, where he introduces and plays Alphonse Hasselmans – Gitana Op. 21, below

If you are, or know, a young musician like David, aged 5-17, with bags of musical potential who needs support for musical costs, AYM could help!

With your help, we’re already supporting 800 young musicians from low income families from all across the UK: but there are many more young people we’re not yet reaching. Please donate to support our work and give talent a chance!

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