Manon graduated with a First Class Honours BMus from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, London in 2017 and gained a Distinction at MMus Performance the following year also at the Guildhall. She studied with Imogen Barford and Charlotte Seale and participated in many masterclasses with renowned harpists such as Marisa Robles, Anneleen Lenaerts, Isabelle Perrin, Sivan Magen, Sylvain Blassel, Catrin Finch, Katherine Thomas and Hugh Webb. Manon was awarded the Nansi Richards Scholarship in 2017, won second prize in the International Young Musician competition at the Llangollen International Eisteddfod in 2018 and came third at the International Harp Festival in Caernarfon that same year.
Originally from Cardiff, she began her studies with Meinir Heulyn at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama junior department. She has been a faithful supporter of the Urdd and National Eisteddfods, representing her region at the Urdd on numerous occasions, culminating in winning the Gwen Heulyn trophy at the Urdd Eisteddfod in Preseli in 2013. She won first prize at the National Eisteddfod in Cardiff Bay in 2018. Manon was also the winner of the Senior Recitalist category at the South Glamorgan Festival for Young Musicians in 2012, and a finalist at the Pencerdd Gwalia Festival in 2013.
Manon’s orchestral experience began at the age of 8 as a violinist with the Junior Schools’ Orchestra of the Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan Music Service, and she went on to represent each of the service’s age group orchestras initially as a violinist but increasingly as a harpist, becoming harpist with the Youth Symphony Orchestra at 15. She remained their principal harpist for 6 years, enjoying wonderful experiences at many locations and concert venues including two trips to Italy. In Cardiff she performed regularly with the orchestra at Hoddinott Hall and was their concerto soloist in an acclaimed performance of the Glière Harp Concerto in December 2016.
Manon was a member of the National Youth Orchestra of Wales from 2012 to 2016, and as principal harp for the last two years. She worked with conductors of international repute: Grant Llewellyn, Paul Daniel, Jac Van Steen and Carlo Rizzi, playing at notable concert venues throughout the UK and also Germany during the orchestra’s tour there in 2013. She was awarded the Taliesin prize for her contribution to the harp section in 2013. In 2016 Manon was privileged to work alongside Valerie Aldrich-Smith and the other musicians of the BBC NOW as part of the BBCNOW/NYOW collaboration in a concert at St David’s Hall, Cardiff. During Manon’s time at the Guildhall she was central in many exciting projects, performing with the Guildhall Symphony Orchestra and Opera. She had the pleasure of working with Sir Simon Rattle, Yan Pascal Tortelier and Dominic Wheeler, and going on a tour of Budapest with the Guildhall Opera in 2016.
Manon is passionate in making classical music enjoyable and accessible to people, and she provides this experience with her ‘Mad Harpist’s Tea Party’, offering homemade cakes and snacks before an informal recital with interesting and entertaining comments about the pieces and composers. These tea parties can be personalised to include practically any theme, to date these include St David’s Day, Easter, rugby matches, Welsh themes but anything is possible with a little imagination! What better way to spend an afternoon than with a cup of tea, a slice of cake whilst being serenaded by the beauty of the harp!
An accomplished pianist and accompanist, Manon is regularly seen performing and competing with Côr Llundain and Côr Aelwyd Llundain. She is also very experienced in accompanying and helping entrants with their ABRSM and Trinity graded music exams.