James Pantefedwyn Foundation

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Carys Gittins

During my Masters degree I gained invaluable experience that has helped me to prepare for my career ahead. One of the highlights of the second year of the degree was playing alto flute in Stravinsky's Rite of Spring in Barbican Hall. We received coaching from musicians from the London Symphony Orchestra who gave us the knowledge and guidance to help us to perform to our best abilities. Another experience that I am so glad that I participated in was playing Bruckner's 4th Symphony side-by-side with the London Symphony Orchestra under Sir Simon Rattle! This experience really made me understand the feeling of playing in one of the top professional orchestras in the world and helped me to understand how high the calibre of playing.

As well as having regular lessons with Sarah Newbold, Ian Clarke, Philippa Davies and Christopher Green, I also received many coaching sessions for my trio (Flute, Viola, Harp). We were selected to perform in the Guildhall Chamber Festival and received coaching and masterclasses from members of the Endellion Quartet.

During my second year, I achieved a place in the Chipping Campden Festival Academy Orchestra. This was an amazing opportunity to perform side by side with professional players and to accompany world-class soloists such as Dame Sarah Connolly and Steven Osborne.

While at the Guildhall School, I was a member of the Symphony Orchestra, Opera Orchestra and the Ubu Ensemble. Being a member of all of these various ensembles gave me the skills that I need to play with other musicians, and to move forward in my career as a flautist. I am so grateful to the James Pantyfedwen Foundation for helping me to complete my masters training at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. This has been a stepping stone to take me from being a student into the early stages of my professional career. I now feel prepared and excited as my career begins. The next chapter in my career will involve auditions for orchestras, session work and live shows whilst pushing forward with my London-based Trio and also with my Flute and Harp duo with Royal Harpist, Alis Huws. We will be launching our website shortly where people will be able to follow our tour schedule, recordings, and outreach work in communities.

Once again, my heartfelt thanks to the James Pantyfedwen Foundation for supporting me through my musical training. The support that you give is vital for young musicians like myself to continue to pursue a career as a musician.