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Winner of Aberystwyth Arts Centre’s Ian McKellen Award 2020 announced

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Canolfan y Celfyddydau Aberystwyth yn cyhoeddi Enillydd Gwobr Ian McKellen 2020

Mae enillydd Gwobr Ian McKellen 2020 Canolfan y Celfyddydau Aberystwyth wedi’i gyhoeddi, yn dilyn cyfweliadau a gynhaliwyd yn ddiweddar. Enillydd 2020 yw’r gerddores Cerys Havana Hickman, a fydd yn dechrau ei hastudiaethau ar gyfer gradd mewn Cerddoriaeth (BMus) yn Goldsmiths, Prifysgol Llundain, yn ddiweddarach eleni. Cyflwynir iddi £500 tuag at gost ei hastudiaethau fel rhan o’r wobr arbennig hon a sefydlwyd gyda’r arian a dderbyniwyd yn ystod ymweliad Syr Ian McKellen â’r Ganolfan yn 2019.

Dywedodd Cerys, “Gyda help Gwobr Ian Mckellen rwyf wedi prynu allweddell / piano llwyfan i fynd i’r brifysgol gyda fi. Bydd hyn yn gwneud hi’n bosib i mi barhau i greu a pherfformio, ac yn ehangu’r hyn dwi’n gallu gwneud yn greadigol. Ar wahân i’r cymorth ariannol, mae derbyn y wobr wedi rhoi mwy o hyder i mi ddilyn fy llwybr(au) artistig. Mae hi wastad yn dda i deimlo fel bod gen ti gefnogaeth, yn enwedig mewn maes sy’n gallu teimlo braidd yn unig, ac rwyf yn ddiolchgar iawn am gael derbyn y wobr.”

Mae Cerys yn aml-offerynwraig dalentog sy’n arbenigo ar y delyn driphlyg a’r piano, ac mae hi hefyd yn chwarae’r delyn Geltaidd, y clarinet a’r ffidil. Ar y delyn driphlyg mae wedi perfformio ledled Cymru a thu hwnt, gan gynnwys Ynysoedd Aran ac yn yr Ŵyl Ryng-geltaidd yn Lorient.

Mae’n perfformio fel artist solo (o dan yr enw Cerys Hafana), ac mae hi newydd ryddhau ei CD gyntaf, ‘Cwmwl’. Mae hi hefyd yn aelod o Avanc: Ensemble Gwerin Ieuenctid Cymru. Chwaraewyd traciau o’i halbwm yn rheolaidd ar Radio Cymru ac yn ystod y cyfnod clo fe’i comisiynwyd i greu tri ‘sesiwn cartref’ ar gyfer y BBC. Darlledwyd un ohonynt ar Gerddoriaeth Radio 6 gan Cerys Matthews ym mis Awst. Mae hi hefyd wedi recordio cyngerdd rhithiol solo ar gyfer Tŷ Gwerin yr Eisteddfod Genedlaethol (https://eisteddfod.wales/amgen), a ffilm ar gyfer Noson Lawen ar ddiwedd mis Awst.

Mae Cerys yn ymddiddori’n gryf mewn cynrychiolaeth gyfartal yn y celfyddydau, ac yn ddiweddar ysgrifennodd erthygl ar gyfer y cylchgrawn ‘O’r Pedwar Gwynt’, yn tynnu sylw at rai o broblemau’r sîn pop/roc yng Nghymru yn y cyswllt yma ac yn ystyried paham y mae lleisiau rhai bobl yn cael eu clywed yn fwy nag eraill.

Cerys oedd dewis unfrydol aelodau’r panel cyfweld ar gyfer y Wobr, a oedd unwaith eto wrth eu bodd efo safon arbennig yr ymgeiswyr. Dywedodd Dafydd Rhys, Cyfarwyddwr y Ganolfan: “’Roedd safon y ceisiadau ar gyfer Gwobr 2020 unwaith eto yn uchel iawn, ac ‘roedd y bobl ifanc y buom yn cyfarfod â nhw mor frwdfrydig ac ysbrydoledig. ‘Roedd Cerys yn sefyll allan gyda’i hymrwymiad tuag at gerddoriaeth werin Gymreig, o’r gorffennol ac yn edrych i’r dyfodol, a’i diddordeb mewn gweithio ar draws genres cerddorol i ddatblygu ei steil unigryw ei hun. Edrychwn ymlaen at weld ei gwaith yn datblygu trwy ei hastudiaethau ac ‘rydym yn siwr bod ganddi dyfodol gwych o’i blaen.”

Mae Cerys yn dilyn cyd-enillwyr y llynedd, Owain Gruffydd sydd ym Mhrifysgol Northampton yn astudio ar gyfer Gradd Anrhydedd BA mewn Actio, a Laura Baker sy’n gweithio tuag at Radd Anrhydedd BA mewn Addysg Bale yn yr Academi Ddawns Frenhinol.

Pan ddaeth Syr Ian McKellen i berfformio yn y Ganolfan ym mis Chwefror 2019, rhoddwyd yr holl arian a godwyd trwy werthu tocynnau a chyfraniadau yn ystod ei ymweliad i un ochr, i’w ddefnyddio ar gyfer cefnogi gwaith pwysig y Ganolfan gyda phobl ifanc. Sefydlwyd Gwobr Ian McKellen Canolfan y Celfyddydau Aberystwyth, sy’n agored i bobl ifanc rhwng 16 - 25 oed sy’n bwriadu parhau eu hyfforddiant galwedigaethol yn y celfyddydau creadigol - yn cynnwys, ond nid yn gyfyngedig i, theatr, dawns a’r celfyddydau gweledol. Mae’r swm o £500 ar gael yn flynyddol i ymgeisydd sy’n medru dangos addewid artistig ac angerdd tuag at ei ffurf gelf ddewisedig, ac sydd wedi ennill lle i astudio yn ystod y flwyddyn academaidd ganlynol.


The winner of the Aberystwyth Arts Centre Ian McKellen Award 2020 has been announced, following recent interviews. The 2020 winner is musician Cerys Havana Hickman, who will be starting her studies for a degree in Music (BMus) at Goldsmiths, University of London later this year. She will be awarded £500 towards the cost of her studies as part of this special award that was set up with funds donated during Sir Ian McKellen’s visit to the Arts Centre in 2019.

Cerys said, “With the Ian Mckellen award I bought a full size stage piano / keyboard to take with me to uni, which will allow me to continue to create and perform at university and will increase the things that I can do creatively. Apart from the financial help, it has given me a boost in the confidence to follow my artistic path(s). It’s always great to feel supported in what can sometimes feel a slightly lonely field, and I’m very grateful to have been given the award.”

Cerys is a talented multi-instrumentalist who specializes in the triple harp and the piano, and she also plays Celtic harp, clarinet and fiddle. On the triple harp she has performed around Wales and further afield, including on the Aran Islands and at the Interceltic Festival in Lorient.

She performs as a solo artist (under the name Cerys Hafana), and has just released her first CD, ‘Cwmwl’. She is also a member of Avanc: the Youth Folk Ensemble of Wales. Tracks from her album have been played extensively on Radio Cymru and during lockdown she was commissioned to create three ‘home sessions’ for the BBC, one of which was played on Radio 6 Music by Cerys Matthews in August. She has also recorded a solo virtual concert for the Tŷ Gwerin at the National Eisteddfod (https://eisteddfod.wales/amgen), and filmed for Noson Lawen at the end of August.

Cerys is passionate about representation in the arts, and recently wrote an article for the magazine ‘O’r Pedwar Gwynt’, highlighting some of the problems the Welsh pop/rock scene has with diversity and explored some of the reasons why some people’s voices are heard more than others.

Cerys was the unanimous choice from the Award’s interview panel, who were once again bowled over by the calibre of applicants for the award. Arts Centre Director Dafydd Rhys said: “The standard of applications for the 2020 Award was again really high, and the young people we met were so enthusiastic and inspiring. Cerys stood out with her commitment to Welsh folk music both of the past and the future and her interest in working across musical genres to develop her own unique style. We look forward to seeing her work develop through her studies and are sure she has a great future ahead of her.”

Cerys follows in the footsteps of last year’s joint winners Owain Gruffydd, who is at University of Northampton studying for a BA Hons Degree in Acting, and Laura Baker who is working towards her BA Hons Degree in Ballet Education at the Royal Academy of Dance.

When Sir Ian McKellen came to perform at the Arts Centre in February 2019, all the money raised from ticket sales and donations during his visit was kept safe to be used for supporting the Arts Centre’s important work with young people. The Aberystwyth Arts Centre’s Ian McKellen Award was established, open to a young person between the ages of 16 – 25 who intends to continue their vocational training in the creative arts – including, but not limited to, theatre, dance and the visual arts. £500 is available annually to award for candidates who can demonstrate artistic promise and the passion for their artform, and who are in receipt of a place for study during the following academic year.

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