Welcome to AFYM – Abertawe Festival for Young Musicians

About AFYM

Learn more about the Abertawe Festival for Young Musicians, meet the people who perform at our festival, find out what we stand for, and how it all started.

What is AFYM?

Welcome to the AFYM – The Abertawe Festival for Young Musicians. Founded in 1993 by Penny Davies and Nicola Excell, our festival has been a vibrant celebration of young talent, bringing together musicians like you from all over Wales.

Picture this: a gathering of talented individuals, filled with energy and creativity. We want to see you shine on stage, gain confidence in front of an audience, and master the art of performance. 

It’s not just about the notes you play; it’s about connecting with the audience, feeling the applause, and staying cool under pressure. So, grab your instrument, warm up those fingers, and join us at the AFYM!

Which Instruments is AFYM For?

AFYM is an annual event comprising competitive and non-competitive classes in Piano, Strings, Woodwind & Brass, and ensemble sections. We have a range of performances, or “classes” for soloists, duets, and larger groups. 

In recent years, we have also opened up classes for Welsh music, Rock & Pop bands, and Sound & Video. 

With so much on offer for instrumentalists of all ages and abilities, you are sure to find something for you at AFYM! Click here to browse our syllabus for 2024.

Who is AFYM For?

We believe that a “Young Musician” does NOT ONLY mean a “Young Person”. That’s why AFYM is open to performers of all ages and abilities, with a broad range of classes for both young performers and adults.

Our festival has a unique atmosphere, often described as warm, friendly, and supportive. We’re not interested in fierce rivalries; we’re all about fostering musical development of each individual and encouraging camaraderie, and an ethos of sharing music together. No one ever leaves feeling like a “loser” or discouraged from performing. 

Our festival is all about personal growth, and we’re committed to ensuring that you walk away from the festival feeling inspired and motivated to continue your musical journey.

Our History

The AFYM was founded in 1993 by two local music teachers Nicky Excell and Penny Davies. They had a vision to improve and widen music education for all children, providing support and performance opportunities for these ever growing musicians. 

Featuring competitive and non-competitive classes for players of instruments both as soloists and ensembles, the first Festival took place in the Taliesin Arts Centre and involved 70 children, rising to over 500 in recent years. With adjudicators being drawn from the nation’s top performers and music educators the festival has grown in strength and numbers over the years with thousands of children participating in the AFYM. 

Performers are invited from all over South Wales.  Since the festival has grown, so has the space in which it is performed. We have made use of the Guildhall complex, using their stunning facilities for numerous years and we are ever grateful to the City and County of Swansea for the continued use of such a beautiful building.

AFYM Alumni

AFYM students have gone on to study at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, Royal Academy of Music, Royal College of Music, Guildhall School of Music and Drama, Trinity College (London), Royal Northern College of Music, Yehudi Menhuin School, Purcell School, Chethams Music School, and Wells Music School.

Some have gone on to study abroad, notably in Hungary and Finland, and some have gained professional orchestral positions. Our performers regularly gain prizes at the Eisteddfod, in the BBC Young Musician of the Year, The Texaco Young Musician of Wales, and in the Young Musician of Dyfed Competitions.

Many AFYM performers have followed careers in music; as free lance musicians, jazz musicians, in some of the major UK orchestras, as soloists, composers, lecturers and teachers, editors and arrangers.

Three AFYM alumnae have held the post of Official Harpist to HRH The Prince of Wales: Claire Jones (2007-11), Hannah Stone (2011 -15) and Anne Denholm (2015-19).

AFYM 2024 Organisational Team

Pam Wedgwood
AFYM President

Helen Turbervill

Amanda Edwards

Michael Turbervill
Sponsor & Patrons Secretary

Dave Xerri
Rota Secretary

Duncan La Barre
Marketing & Publicity

Contact AFYM

You can get in touch with members of the AFYM committee with the following email addresses:

[email protected]

[email protected]

[email protected]

[email protected]

Top Reasons To Perform At AFYM 2024

Improve your musical performance with expert feedback from world-class adjuicators

Improve your musical performance with expert feedback from world-class adjudicators.

Perform in a safe and encouraging space in front of a supportive live audience.

Perform in a safe and encouraging space in front of a supportive live audience.

Take part a wide range of exciting classes for musicians of every age and ability.

Take part in a wide range of exciting classes for musicians of every age and ability.