Gwenda was born of a Welsh father and English mother. Since her childhood years growing up in Sydney, Gwenda took an interest in music from the British Isles. Her training in voice, piano and harp, led to a performance career of harp and song.
Gwenda spent several years in San Francisco, completing an MA in creative arts, then pursuing harp interests alongside promoting and establishing markets for Australian Wines in the US. Gwenda later studied traditional Welsh folk music at UNW Bangor, Wales.
During the 1990’s Gwenda was employed by major hotels in the San Francisco Bay Area, playing harp during the lavish Sunday Brunch Buffets, including two years at the Top of the Mark, Mark Hopkins Hotel, and a year at the Berkeley Marriott Hotel.
Since her return to Australia, Gwenda completed an MMus(musicology) at UNSW in 2000. She joined the teaching faculty at Mitchell Conservatorium, Bathurst in 2005.
Gwenda performs under the banner of Emlyn’s Harp, (solo or ensemble) for weddings, private functions and cultural events in the Bathurst region, with a repertoire that sensitively combines light classical, traditional and popular themes to suit the occasion and atmosphere.
Performance highlights include a concert in Wellington Caves recorded by the ABC, Mitchell Conservatorium Bathurst Spring Recital Series, All Saints’ Cathedral Bathurst Lunchtime Recitals and Bathurst Autumn Colours series accompanying High Tea at Abercrombie House, Bathurst.
Bethany holds a Bachelor of Education and Bachelor of Social Science (Psychology), and is currently undergoing a Diploma of Music. She has over 10 years of teaching experience in a variety of contexts, and performs on harp (pedal and Celtic) and piano across the Blue Mountains and Central Western region as an accompanist, and in orchestral and solo settings.
Bethany has been involved in choral ensembles as a singer and conductor, and is currently a committee member for the Allegri singers whilst extending her conducting skills to concert band under the guidance of Denison College's Musical Director, Andrew Smith. Bethany is regularly involved in community theatrical productions both as an instrumentalist and cast member, and particularly enjoys committing musically to fundraisers and other community events.
Her particular expertise as a classroom educator (accredited at the level of Proficient Teacher), and capacity to adjust delivery of curriculum to suit individual learning needs, has enabled Bethany to assist other teachers with developing effective pedagogy. She has advanced her work with EAL and senior students with special emphasis on music as means for dealing with psychological trauma and everyday stressors. She has a passion for making music more accessible to students by continually developing and re-developing teaching practices that enhance both student potential and well being.