A TALENTED Penarth musician, composer and teacher is thrilled following her appointment as the first female Composer Affiliate of the BBC National Orchestra of Wales.

Sarah Lianne Lewis, who grew up in Aberystwyth and moved to Penarth in 2011 after spending time as a student at Cardiff University, said she was “completely stunned” by the appointment.

Ms Lewis said she would never have envisaged this when she was growing up in the seaside town in west Wales, where she would look forward to two performances a year by the national orchestra.

After working with the BBC NOW through Composition Wales in 2012, Ms Lewis has gone on to compose for the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Orchestra Symphonique Ose!, Quatuor Bozzini and more.

“I feel really lucky to have been given the opportunity," she said. "I know there are lots of amazing composers who equally deserve it.”

The role, which Ms Lewis will hold until 2023, includes writing pieces for the BBC NOW as well as taking part in community outreach projects across Wales.

The news came at a good time for the composer, who has had her regular sessions with young musicians across the Vale decimated by the pandemic.

The last time she taught was at the end of March, due to the difficulties around restrictions for private music teachers.

“It’s been a tough time for all of us in the industry, whether you’re a performer or a teacher or a composer,” she added.

“I’ve been fortunate I’ve continued with some composing, but I have so many friends who have lost almost a year’s worth of work. It’s devastating.

“I’m encouraged by the socially-distanced reopening plans revealed for the West End today, and I hope it’s the start of something for the industry.”

To learn more about Ms Lewis visit https://www.sarahliannelewis.com/.