A New Cornish Bard for Christchurch, New Zealand
Musician Heather Gladstone QSM has been admitted as a Bard of the Gorsedh in Cornwall.
Bardship is awarded by the Gorsedh Council to people who demonstrate the Celtic spirit by giving exceptional service to Cornwall. This council exists to promote co-operation and goodwill between those who work for the honour of Cornwall and to encourage others to study Cornish history, literature, art, music and sport.
Heather has been given the bardic name of KERNOWES ILOWEK which means musical Cornish woman.
This is another accolade for Heather who was awarded The Accordion Examination Board of New Zealand Certificate of Merit for outstanding services to the accordion in 2005, a CCC Community Services Award in 2007 and the University of Canterbury Vernon Griffiths Prize for Musical Leadership as a past student of the School of Music who has demonstrated oustanding qualities of musical leadership, in 2012. Heather was also awarded a Queen’s Service Medal (QSM) for services to music in 2015.
Born in Cornwall, Heather spent her early years singing, learning piano and local music. She emigrated to Christchurch, New Zealand with her family while still at school but she has returned to Cornwall on many occasions. When overseas she has played at many functions including the Royal Cornwall Show and she has worked bringing music from New Zealand and Australia to Cornish schools.
Heather has been involved with the Christchurch branch of the NZ Cornish Association for over 40 years and in 2012 she was made a life member. The Association holds regular meetings to celebrate and keep alive Cornish customs and language.
Passionate about Cornish music, she has introduced many people to the music through programmes she has run and her work as an accordion, piano, and singing teacher. As director of the St Albans Community Choir, Heather often gives them Cornish songs and carols to learn and perform at concerts.
Heather has performed both nationally and internationally as a soloist, as well as in bands, groups and orchestras. She is always working on a variety of musical projects, volunteering, leading musical tours through Europe, playing in folk bands and currently running the choir along with her own music school.
“I am passionate about the origins of folk music in Cornwall and hope to continue to do more research into this,” says Heather.
Heather made the long trip to Cornwall to be initiated into the Gorsedh in August 2017.
This poem was dedicated to Heather by Bard Gwerin at this year’s ceremony.
Leun brest ha prenn
Kan hwar sonlinenn
A-dreus nans ha brenn
Full voice of brass and wood
Gentle song of resounding string
Over valley and hill
Heather received her QSM at a ceremony at Government House
(For more information contact Heather Gladstone on 03 357 4474 or 021 644 092 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.)