Dolgellau School Orchestra Papers

Scope and Content

  • Musical score and vocal arrangement in sol-fa for Carmen Scholae, n.d.
  • Programmes of concerts given by the school, 1922-1925, includes one given at the St David's Day Eisteddfod, 1925
  • Newspaper articles on the Dolgellau experimentand 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
  • Miscellaneous items relating to organisation of concerts and arrangements made, including timetables, etc. c. 1922-1924

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 a appearance at the National Eisteddfod at St David's in 1925 and at Wembley.

John Griffith died at Bodfair, Bangor in 1934.


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

Access Information

Open to all users

Acquisition Information

Presented by Mrs Griffith of Bodfair, Bangor, December 1935


Description compiled by Anne Lenaghan, September 2002.

Other 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

Conditions Governing Use

Usual copyright conditions apply. Reprographics are made at the discretion of the Archivist.

Personal Names