Our Caerffili Branch members take a trip to Worcester for a weekend of music | Adult Learning Wales

Our Caerffili Branch members take a trip to Worcester for a weekend of music


Our tutor Bob Young takes our Caerffili Branch members to Worcester for a weekend of music. . .

Our Curriculum Development Co-Ordinator Jayne Murphy shares feedback from the trip with us. Jayne says, “When Bob Young sets out to tutor his Music Appreciation classes, he is normally heading for Oakdale, Ystrad Mynach or Caerphilly. This time he was heading for Worcester, to lead a residential weekend course on Edward Elgar’s early life in that city. Twenty-seven learners were making the same journey to attend this event with him.

Worcester is a fascinating city to explore, with many buildings still bearing witness to past historical adventures. Our focus was on the first forty-two years of Elgar’s life, where he featured prominently as a leading local musician before the rest of the world recognised his talent and drew him away. A Friday afternoon walking tour of the city, for all who were fit enough to do it, explored those places which meant so much to Elgar, and opened up the city’s map for those new to its layout.

The Fownes Hotel, situated within easy walking distance of the town centre, greeted us warmly. Comfortable rooms, hearty buffet breakfasts and three-course dinners, and friendly helpful staff made our stay a happy experience. (The very reasonable costs helped too!). Our private dining room gave plenty of opportunity for those attending to get to know one another over meals, and our meeting room for the weekend allowed us after- dinner sessions together, including a Noson Lawen where all were welcome, though not constrained, to contribute to the evening’s entertainment.

The meat of the weekend’s learning was incorporated in four sessions, arranged timewise in order to allow plenty of free time for learners to explore the city. Entitled Childhood Adventures, Experiments in Music, Marriage, and The Creation of an Enigma, the sessions traced Elgar’s development, with many examples of the music he wrote at each stage.

Was it all worth it? Twenty-eight voted positively. They represented some from each of Bob’s regular classes and a few more besides. They all agreed that their experience had been enlightening and enriching. The date is set for a repeat residential course next year, and there’s room for a few more to join us too.”