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Bangor University
Dolgellau School Orchestra Papers

Reference code(s): GB 0222 BMSS DEX

Held at: Bangor University

Title: Dolgellau School Orchestra Papers

Short Title: Dolgellau School Orchestra Papers

Creation date(s): 1922-1925

Level of description: fonds

Extent: 80 items

Name of creator(s): Dolgellau County School


Administrative/Biographical history: The Dolgellau experiment was inspired by John Griffith, Headmaster of the Dolgellau County (or Grammar) School for boys in Merioneth until 1925 and Miss Griffith his daughter who taught music. Griffith was a man of wide ranging interests including classical Greek literature, botany and, in particular, music. He was one of the chief promoters of the Harlech Festival and an editor of the publication Cerddor. In his later years at Dolgellau, between 1922 and 1925, he organised a programme that became known as the Dolgellau experiment , which involved taking in gifted musicians as borders at the school, giving them expert tuition, supported by the Music Department of the University of Aberystwyth and the National Council of Music, directed by Sir Walford Davies. The project resulted in the development of the highly successful school orchestra which gave many concerts around Britain, including an appearance at the National Eisteddfod at St David's in 1925 and at Wembley.
John Griffith died at Bodfair, Bangor in 1933.


Scope and content/abstract: Musical score and vocal arrangement in sol-fa for Carmen Scholae, n.d.; programmes of concerts given by the school, 1922-1925, including one given at the St David's Day Eisteddfod, 1925; newspaper articles on the Dolgellau experiment and photograph of the school orchestra, 1920s; draft letters written by Mr Griffith to Sir Walford Davies and to the Secretary of the Board of Education of the Welsh Department explaining the project, c. 1922-1923; together with miscellaneous items relating to organisation of concerts and arrangements made, including timetables, etc., c. 1922-1924.


Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement: Material is arranged according to subject and record type and incorporated into the General Collection of Bangor Manuscripts.

Conditions governing access: Open to all users.

Conditions governing reproduction: Usual copyright conditions apply. Reprographics are made at the discretion of the Archivist.

Finding aids: Item level word-processed list is available at the Archives Department, University of Wales, Bangor. Reference number: General Collection of Bangor Manuscripts: 1545.


Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition: Presented by Mrs Griffith of Bodfair, Bangor, December 1935



Note: Description compiled by Anne Lenaghan, September 2002.

Rules or conventions: Created following ISAD(G) and Archives Hub Data Creation Guidelines

Date(s) of descriptions: Prior to 16-11-2004

Concert programs | Wales | 20th century
Concerts | Wales | 20th century
Concerts | Wales | Gwynedd
Music festivals | Wales | 20th century
School music | 20th century | Instruction and study | Activity programs

Personal names
Griffith , John , 1863-1933

Corporate names
Dolgelley County School (Dolgellau, Wales)
Dolgelley Grammar School (Dolgellau, Wales)

Dolgellau (Wales)

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