Tributes to Talented Young Teacher

Family, friends and colleagues of a young teacher from North Wales - who died in a car crash near Dolgellau on Friday - have been paying tribute to him.

Ben Muskett's family say he "was larger than life and full of energy and enthusiasm".

Ben, 25. originally from Bethesda, had recently moved to live in Llanidloes with his partner Ambra Finotello and was on his way home when he died in a road traffic accident on Friday January 14 on the A470 at Ganllwyd, Dolgellau.

In a moving tribute to their son, the family said: "Ben was larger than life, and full of energy and enthusiasm. He will leave a huge void in so many people's lives. He excelled at whatever he put his mind to and was passionate about music and teaching. A loving son and brother he was utterly devoted to his partner Ambra."

Ben was educated at Ysgol Friars in Bangor and studied music at Manchester University where he was an excellent student and pianist, following this he trained to be a teacher at Bangor University.

He became Head of Music at Ysgol Uwchradd LLanidloes, while continuing to teach piano at the Canolfan William Mathias in Caernarfon, an association established during his undergraduate years.

The family said that Sioned Webb, Artistic Director of Canolfan Gerdd William Mathias in Caernarfon said: "He was a musical firework, a shooting star, a handsome whirlwind. I am personally devastated and it's no exaggeration to say that Wales has lost one of her finest budding musicians.

"I have followed his career with interest for years and seen him develop into a very accomplished musician, a pianist, a tutor of the highest standard and a young man of integrity and strong beliefs. Furthermore, he was almost one of the family as he and Ambra and were living in my house in Bethesda until recently. He had so many plans. We were in the process of establishing a satellite of the Caernarfon music centre down in Llanidloes - Ben's idea. He and I were also going to stage a concert in June with our piano students and work together on some piano duets.

"All his pupils adored him - one 12 year old girl is already studying for her grade 8 piano examination at the moment having won national prizes for her playing.

"He was travelling back from his commitment to the music centre in Caernarfon to his new home in Llanidloes when this tragedy happened."

Darren Davies, Headmaster of Ysgol Uwchradd Llanidloes, said, "Ben was an extremely talented, hugely respected, popular, hardworking and enthusiastic member of staff with the pupils, staff and parents. It is very difficult at the moment to imagine life in Llanidloes High School without his infectious personality and charismatic presence. He was a genuine and natural motivator of children.

"Ben was a rising star in the school and had an outstanding career ahead of him. He was promoted to Head of Music shortly after starting with us. His contribution to school and community life was phenomenal and his loss will be felt for many years to come. His untimely passing has devastated the area and will have a profound effect on the school and its community for many years to come. Our deepest sympathies are with his family."

Anyone who has any information on the collision which happened just after 10pm on Friday January 14 is asked to contact the Reporting Officer, PC 444 Richards, based at Llandegai road Policing Unit on 07769951617 or call North Wales Police on 101 (if in Wales) or 0845 6071001 (Welsh) 0845 6071002 (English) alternatively text 66767 or Crimestoppers Wales/Cymru on 0800555111.