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‘MidMad’ at Aberystwyth Arts Centre

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Screen Shot 2016-07-18 at 10.53.20

The interior of the marquee: with kind permission from Rachel Scurlock, Marketing Assistant at Aberystwyth Arts Centre.

THE ANNUAL MidMad event, for music and festival lovers, returned to the Aberstwyth Arts Centre on Saturday (Jun 25) for another funfilled day.

The event was held from 2pm, where people had the whole day to look forward to a packed schedule of activities. As well as dancing, singing and live music performances throughout the day, children were entertained by face painting, arts and crafts workshops and circus skills workshops, and families had the opportunity to enjoy the Arts Centre’s popular barbecue.

All was not lost for football fans as the Arts Centre televised the UEFA Wales game during the event.

At 2pm, the event kicked off with Manchester artist and musician Gideon Conn, a uniquely gifted songwriter who is currently based in London. Having toured extensively around the UK, he has played many UK festivals, including Glastonbury Festival, and is influenced by Soul and Jazz music from artists such as Stevie Wonder, OutKast and Nat King Cole. Conn has also had the benefit of being played on XFM Radio and on BBC Radio 1. With the likes of Ed Sheeran as self-professed fans, he supported popular American singer-songwriter Jason Mraz on his 2008 UK Tour.

An established clothing designer, painter, drawer and sculptor, he sells his artwork and accepts commissions through his official Facebook page and website.

With a list of released singles under his belt, that include first single ‘I Want You Around‘ on Mannequin Republic on 10-inch vinyl, and the release of ‘Highlights and Perceptions’ on 12-inch vinyl and digital download in November 2013.

Having already performed at the Leigh Folk Festival in Essex and the Green Note Basement in Camden, fans are able to see Conn at places such as the Glastonferret in Preston on July 10, the Cloudspotting Festival in Lancashire on July 30 and the Wilderness Festival in Oxfordshire on August 5.

Speaking to The Herald, Gideon Conn was able to tell us his thoughts on the MidMad event as a whole and on his performance: “The marquee tent was very large and almost empty as I was first on and the weather was good at that point so people preferred to stay outside.

“I did have a lovely email today though from a guy who watched the show and really enjoyed and engaged with my music. I mostly played songs from my debut album ‘New Bop Sounds’, but slipped in a couple from the following albums.”

At 3 .05pm, cabaret style singing group ‘Sgarmes’ were next to perform at ‘MidMad’.

Dynamic, bilingual and unique, Sgarmes are a close harmony singing group based in Aberystwyth, Mid Wales. Named after the welsh word for scrum, the group was set up by musical director Elinor Powell in 2006 with the specific aim of filling the gap between a formal choir and a covers band. Sgarmes sing a wide range of classic and contemporary songs in both English and Welsh.

They like to defy being categorised but are probably much more of a cabaret act than a choir that just love to sing and entertain. Sgarmes have performed at numerous events throughout Wales, the rest of the UK and even Germany and are ideal for wedding parties, charity events and functions large or small.

Speaking about MidMad, Sgarmes’ Manager , Huw Bates , told The Herald: “We’ve performed at this event a few times now and always thoroughly enjoy it. Free music, activities for kids, food and drink and Wales playing football on the big screen – what’s not to like?!” Sgarmes sung a variety of numbers showcasing their diverse repertoire from ‘Calon Lan ‘ and ‘Mambo Italiano ‘ to ‘One Day More ‘ and a couple of their newer numbers : ‘ A Little Respect ‘ by Erasure and Iko Iko, originally by the Dixie Cups.

The group have a busy summer ahead, with events ranging from a fundraising evening in Llangwyrfon to a wedding in Merthyr and will be performing on the Main Stage for the third year running at this year’s Big Tribute Festival.

‘MidMad’ was then treated to the fabulous Lady Gaga tribute and impersonator, Donna Marie. This show is the Lady Gaga tribute that raises the benchmark for all other tribute acts, and as Lady Gaga, Donna Marie is internationally acclaimed as the ‘Best Lady Gaga Tribute on the planet’! Even the real Lady Gaga agrees, when she squealed in excitement upon meeting Donna Marie, telling her: “Oh, my god ! You look just like me – you are amazing.”

Donna Marie is the only Lady Gaga Impersonator and Tribute in the world that uses an authentic working replica of the Lady Gaga Spark Bra. All the costumes are professionally tailored handmade replicas of the Haus of Gaga wardrobe, designed and created by Donna and her very own costume designer (who has worked on BBC Television and the West End as a theatre costume designer). The costumes cost thousands of pounds to make, but the attention to detail is noticeable with every single stitch, helping to re-create the experience of drama, attitude and fashion that is ‘LADY GAGA‘.

Donna Marie is constantly updating the ‘HAUS OF GAGA’, recreating the outrageous fashion trends and props in line with Lady Gaga‘s ongoing hits and ever changing wacky wardrobe.

But it’s not only the costumes that turn heads; Donna Marie, has an uncanny natural resemblance to Lady Gaga. The show has the support of a full team of professionals – choreographers, dancers, sound engineers, special effects, set and prop designer, stage manager, dresser and costume designer who together notch up over 80 years experience in the entertainment industry.

Donna Marie has won many awards for her Lady Gaga tribute show, including the prestigious GOSCAR award for the ‘Best Act of 2010’, which she then won again the following year. In 2013 and 2016, she won the Agents Association ‘National Tribute Award‘ as ‘The Official UK No. 1 Lady Gaga Tribute‘. In 2011, Donna Marie’s Lady Gaga tribute act theatre show at St David ‘s Hall in Cardiff was a sell-out.

The Lady Gaga tribute show is available worldwide and can be tailored to suit any venue, event and capacity. Clients to date range from global corporations and five star hotels (including hotels frequented by the real Lady Gaga when on tour!) to more personal private functions including birthdays and weddings.

Donna Marie was happy to speak to The Herald on how her performance went at the event: “It was great to be a part of the ‘MidMad ’ event in Aberystwyth. The crowd really enjoyed my Lady Gaga tribute performance. Dancing and singing along, they really got into the spirit of things. We had an amazing time. Thank you, Aberystwyth. “

The songs that Donna Marie performed at the event were: ‘Guy’, ‘Manicure’, ‘Do What You Want’, ‘Alejandro’, ‘Telephone’ and ‘Applause’. There was also a Gaga medley that included ‘Just Dance’, ‘Pokerface’, ‘Marry the Night’, ‘Bad Romance’, ‘Judas’ and ‘Born This Way’.

“There are a few exciting things coming up over the next few weeks. On Wednesday (Jun 29), I picked up my award at the National Tribute Music Awards. I have won the ‘UK’s Official No. 1 Lady Gaga Tribute‘. I’m then off to perform at Edinburgh Pride, a castle in Latvia for a wedding, Charlie’s Bar in Ibiza, and I’m also performing at the Royal Airforce 100 years Celebration in Kings Lynn. We are also in rehearsals for my theatre show at Blackwood Miners on October 14.”

After the televised UEFA match, international award-winning brass ensemble ‘Oompah Brass‘ performed for the MidMad crowd. The band have been described by Chris Evans from Radio Two as ‘The Legends In Lederhosen – they rock – so good‘.

Shortly after, Mid Wales band ‘Cartoon Violence‘ headed the event with songs capturing the classic British Pop scene, including music from The Kinks and Madness. Endless soaring energy, great sing-a-long choruses and wonderful piano melodies are all hallmarks of the band’s unique sound.

At 9pm, the event wrapped up with an over 18s disco with DJ Ed Underwood. As well as that, the additional entertainment at the event was Dripping Tap Theatre Company who presented ‘Webster and Jones: A pocket guide to Wales’, which was a comic interactive walkabout performance about two intrepid Victorian explorers conquering the great outdoors!

Additionally, 2009 Britain’s Got Talent competitors Jeffrey and Turbo, from ‘Flawless‘, provided a House and HipHop Dance Workshop from 2pm until 5pm.

Special thanks and credits for photos of the performers to: Dewi Alun Jones Photography and Donna Marie herself

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CERED wins Careers Wales Valued Partners Award

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CERED staff were presented with a Silver Award Certificate, based on the work the Menter is doing to help students prepare for their future careers, at a special awards ceremony in Cardiff on 14 November.

The Valued Partners Award, which is organised by Careers Wales, recognises the support CERED provides to schools and young people to help them better understand the world of work and more specifically the importance and value of Welsh in the workplace.

Non Davies, CERED Manager said, “CERED is delighted to be recognized as a Valued Partner. The work that Rhodri Francis and the rest of the staff have done delivering Welsh in the Workplace sessions is extremely important to ensure that our young people understand the value of the Welsh language. The information presented often changes young people’s attitudes towards the Welsh language and positively influences their decisions when considering their future.”

Careers Wales creates links between education and employers by bringing schools and businesses together to inform, inspire and engage young people in their future careers.

Launched in 2018, the Business Education Exchange now offers schools the opportunity to engage with over 13,500 employers across Wales through a host of different activities.

As a Valued Partner, CERED has worked with Careers Wales for a number of years now delivering a ‘Welsh in the Workplace’ session to Year 9 pupils as part of ‘Your Choice, Your Future’ days. These career days are held at every Secondary School in Ceredigion on an annual basis.

More than 50 companies from all over Wales attended the awards ceremony in Cardiff, with BBC Radio Wales presenter Jason Mohammed at the helm.

Nikki Lawrence, Chief Executive of Careers Wales, said, “The Valued Partners Award scheme is vital to the work that Careers Wales does, and we really appreciate the support we receive from all our Valued Partners. Ultimately, we would love for employers to contribute to the national curriculum to ensure that the skills students develop will be useful for evolving workplaces.”

“Without our Valuable Partners, we would not have been able to reach so many students so early in the process, for which we are very grateful.”

For more information on how to work with Careers Wales to help raise young people’s awareness and spark their interest in the world of work, email employerengagement@careerswales.co.uk

CERED yn ennill Gwobr Partneriaid Gwerthfawr Gyrfa Cymru

Cyflwynwyd Tystysgrif Gwobr Arian i staff CERED ar sail y gwaith mae’r Fenter yn ei wneud yn helpu myfyrwyr i baratoi ar gyfer eu gyrfaoedd.

Mae Gwobr Partneriaid Gwerthfawr, sy’n rhoddedig gan gwmni Gyrfa Cymru, yn cydnabod y cymorth mae CERED yn ei roi i ysgolion a phobl ifanc i’w helpu i ddeall y byd gwaith yn well ac yn fwy penodol pwysigrwydd a gwerth y Gymraeg yn y gweithle. Cyflwynwyd y wobr mewn seremoni wobrwyo arbennig yng Nghaerdydd ar 14 Tachwedd.

Dywedodd Non Davies, Rheolwr CERED, “Mae CERED yn bles iawn o gael ei gydnabod fel Partner Gwerthfawr. Mae’r gwaith mae Rhodri Francis a gweddill y staff wedi ei wneud yn cyflwyno sesiynau Cymraeg yn y Gweithle yn hynod bwysig i sicrhau bod ein pobl ifanc yn deall gwerth y Gymraeg. Yn aml mae’r wybodaeth a gyflwynir yn newid agweddau pobl ifanc at y Gymraeg ac yn dylanwadu yn bositif ar eu penderfyniadau wrth ystyried eu dyfodol.”

Mae Gyrfa Cymru yn creu cysylltiadau rhwng addysg a chyflogwyr trwy ddod ag ysgolion a busnesau ynghyd i hysbysu, ysbrydoli a thanio diddordeb pobl ifanc yn eu gyrfaoedd yn y dyfodol.

Cafodd y Gyfnewidfa Addysg Busnes ei lansio yn 2018, ac erbyn hyn mae’n cynnig cyfle i ysgolion ddod i gysylltiad â dros 13,500 o gyflogwyr ledled Cymru trwy gyfrwng llu o wahanol weithgareddau.

Fel Partner Gwerthfawr, mae CERED wedi gweithio gyda Gyrfa Cymru ers nifer o flynyddoedd bellach gan gyflwyno sesiwn ‘Cymraeg yn y Gweithle’ i ddisgyblion Blwyddyn 9 fel rhan o ddiwrnodau ‘Eich Dewis, Eich Dyfodol’. Caiff y diwrnodau gyrfa hyn eu cynnal ym mhob Ysgol Uwchradd yng Ngheredigion yn flynyddol.

Roedd dros 50 o gwmnïau o bob cwr o Gymru yn bresennol yn y seremoni wobrwyo yng Nghaerdydd, a Jason Mohammed, cyflwynydd BBC Radio Wales, oedd wrth y llyw.

Meddai Nikki Lawrence, Prif Weithredwr Gyrfa Cymru, “Mae cynllun Gwobrau Partneriaid Gwerthfawr yn hollbwysig i’r gwaith mae Gyrfa Cymru yn ei wneud, ac rydym wir yn gwerthfawrogi’r gefnogaeth a gawn gan bob un o’n Partneriaid Gwerthfawr. Yn y pen draw, byddem wrth ein bodd pe bai cyflogwyr yn cyfrannu at y cwricwlwm cenedlaethol er mwyn sicrhau y bydd y sgiliau mae myfyrwyr yn eu datblygu yn ddefnyddiol i weithleoedd sy’n esblygu.”

“Heb ein Partneriaid Gwerthfawr, ni fyddai modd i ni gyrraedd cynifer o fyfyrwyr mor gynnar yn y broses, ac rydym yn ddiolchgar iawn iddynt am hynny.”

I gael mwy o wybodaeth am sut i weithio gyda Gyrfa Cymru i helpu i godi ymwybyddiaeth pobl ifanc a thanio eu diddordeb yn y byd gwaith, e-bostiwch employerengagement@careerswales.co.uk

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Spate of overnight burglaries in Clarach, Bow Street and Ponterwyd

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POLICE are investigating a spate of burglaries overnight in Clarach, Bow Street and Ponterwyd.

A number of burglaries have been reported, with entry forced to businesses and CCTV cameras damaged or removed.

In Bow Street, entry was forced into an agricultural merchants, where items were taken; and CCTV was removed from a business.

Two vehicles – a VW Passat – registration plate CU16 OAL – and an Audi – registration YT09 TWL – were also reported stolen from a garage in the village.

A VW Crafter – registration plate GM16OTP, along with tools and equipment were stolen from a business in Ponterwyd.

Four businesses at Nantallan Business Park were targeted:

Bikes and steamers were reported stolen from one, a generator and two boxes containing LED lighting from another, a Mitsubishi L200 flatbed truck taken from the third, and tools stolen from a fourth.

Police are treating the incidents as linked, and would like to speak to anyone with information or who witnessed any suspicious behaviour in the Clarach and Bow Street areas.

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Police confirm Ellie Bryan, 18, died in collision

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DYFED-POWYS POLICE can confirm the woman who tragically died following a collision at Commins Coch was Ellie Bryan, from Aberystwyth.
The 18-year-old was a passenger in a Vauxhall Astra which was involved in a collision at around 10pm on Saturday, November 16.
Her family has released the following statement: “We are distraught by our loss of Ellie. She will be missed by us all.
“Ellie was a loving daughter, sister and granddaughter.
“We would like to thank everyone for their support at this devastating time.
“We would appreciate having time to grieve in privacy.”
Police continue to appeal for witnesses or anyone with information about the collision to contact the Serious Collision Investigation Unit.
You can report information online at: http://bit.ly/dppReportOnline, by email at: contactcentre@dyfed-powys.pnn.police.uk or by calling 101.
If you are deaf, hard of hearing or speech impaired text the non-emergency number on 07811 311 908. Quote reference: DP-20191116-353.

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