Awards for Young Talent

We are delighted to have news from Theatr Gwaun, Fishguard, of the Abigail’s Arts Award winners 2023:

Three talented young performers in Pembrokeshire are celebrating after being announced as this year’s winners of Abigail’s Arts Award 2023.

The award set up in 2022 is run by Theatre Gwaun in Fishguard with funding from the Goswell family as a way to honour the legacy of Abigail Goswell who died from breast cancer.

Usually two young people who want to start a career in the arts are picked; but this year, judges were unable to narrow it down to two and it was decided to help three talented individuals.

Dylan Swales from Johnston, Tomos Newman from Nathbeth, and Storm Rose Knapp-Fisher from Goodwick all received a share of £1,250.

The three were given their cheques and certificates at a special ceremony at Theatr Gwaun.

Dylan showed promise with his drumming at just ten years old, becoming the youngest Welsh person to receive a Grade 8 in music with a distinction.

He went on to be listed in the UK top 40 of young drummers in 2019 and also performed in the Symphony Hall in Birmingham as part of the National Festival of Music for Youth.

Now about to start his A-levels, Dylan intends to spend the money on more lessons in order to pursue his career as a drummer.

On receiving his cheque, Dylan said: “Thank you so much, this award helps me to further my drum tuition to help me reach my goal of being a professional musician.”

Tomos is a 17-year-old folk singer and songwriter who already has one well received album under his belt. As well as playing several instruments, Tomos is also learning to fix them, working as an apprentice at Main Street Music. He’s ready to get in the studio to record the new album he’s written and says the award will help him fund vital studio sessions.

Tomos said: “A massive thank you to everyone involved in granting me the award. I can’t wait to use this grant to get into the studio and create my next album.”

Storm is a young thespian committed to pursuing a career on stage or screen. A keen Shakespeare fan, she studied performing arts at college and has joined the National Youth Theatre. She is currently preparing for drama school auditions and wants to spend her grant on the expenses she will incur in applying.

Storm was also thrilled to be a winner, saying: “This award is so wonderful and a special way to support local young artists at the beginning of their careers within the arts. It will truly go a long way and means a lot.”

Abigial’s father, Richard Goswell, met the winners and handed them certificates along with the money. He said: “All the entries this year were very strong and it was a difficult decision to pick the winners. These awards are a wonderful way to fulfil the legacy of Abigail and I hope the winners use this money to help fulfil their dreams. I’m also delighted to meet the parents of the winners and I’m sure that their continued  support was a major factor in their success.”

Abigail’s sister Emma said: “The fact that we couldn’t pick two winners this year really shows the breadth and level of talent in this part of the world. I think Abigail would be very proud of all of the young people who took time to apply for her award.”

For more information on Abigail’s Arts Award, please contact Patrick Thomas via email at Theatre Gwaun: patrick@theatrgwaun.com or visit Theatr Gwaun’s website https://theatrgwaun.com/abigails-arts-award

Kitty Parsons

Kitty has forgotten how long she has been here now but she loves Pembrokeshire for its beauty and it's people. She spends her time searching out stories for pembrokeshire.online, swimming in the sea , drawing and painting as Snorkelfish and eating cake. She says "Pembrokeshire.online has been an opportunity to celebrate this beautiful county and its people. Keep the stories coming. We love to hear from you."

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