A celebration of alumni success at the National Eisteddfod

01 November 2017

Aberystwyth University will celebrate the success of its alumni at the Ynys Môn National Eisteddfod in a special event to be held at Old College on Friday 10 November.

Four of the main prizes at the 2017 Eisteddfod – the Crown, the Drama Medal, the Blue Ribbon and the Chair – were won by alumni Gwion Hallam, Heiddwen Tomos, Steffan Prys Roberts and Osian Rhys respectively.

All four will return to the town where they studied at university for an evening of song and poetry to celebrate their successes.

Joining them will be the creator of the Eisteddfod Chair, Rhodri Owen, who graduated in Fine Art from Aberystwyth University.

The evening will feature readings of work by Gwion, Heiddwen and Osian, and performances by Steffan and members of Côr Pantycelyn.

There will also be contributions from prominent poets from the area including Huw Meirion Edwards, Anwen Pierce, Gruffudd Antur, Dr Hywel Griffiths and Eurig Salisbury.

Rhodri Llwyd Morgan, Pro Vice-Chancellor for the Welsh language at Aberystwyth University said: “The success of our alumni at the National Eisteddfod this year reflects the significant contribution made by Aberystwyth University, its staff and students, to Welsh culture since the doors of Old College opened for the first time in October 1872.    

“Hearing the University’s name being called from the stage on four separate occasions was the source of great pride for everyone here at Aberystwyth University and this evening offers us an opportunity to thank them individually for their contributions and to celebrate that all-important link with the University.”

The evening will be held at the Old College on Friday 10 November, and will commence at 7.30pm.

Entry is free but tickets need to be booked in advance via the Tocyn Cymru website www.aber.ac.uk/DathluEisteddfod2017 or by contacting the University’s Communications and Public Affairs Office on 01970 622946 / communications@aber.ac.uk.

A warm welcome is extended to everyone.

Gwion Hallam graduated from Aberystwyth in 1994 with a degree in Drama. Today, he is a producer for television shows and is the director of the Cwmni’r Fran Wen Ltd. He was awarded the Tir na n-Og prize in 2006 for his novel for teenagers, Creadyn.

Heiddwen Tomos is Head of the Expressive Arts Faculty at Ysgol Bro Teifi, Llandysul. She graduated in Drama and Welsh before going on to complete her Teachers Training here at Aberystwyth University in 1999. Heiddwen won the Taliesin and BBC short story competition in 2015 and has won the Chair at the Young Farmers Eisteddfod on two occasions.

Steffan Prys Roberts works for the organising team of the Urdd National Eisteddfod and continues with his studies at the Guildhall College of Music and Drama in London. He studied a degree in Countryside Management at the Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences at Aberystwyth University and is a former UMCA (Aberystwyth Union of Welsh Students) President (2009-2010).

Osian Rhys is a member of Y Glêr, one of the teams that take part in BBC Radio Cymru’s annual poetry competition Talwrn y Beirdd. Osian graduated in Welsh and Welsh History from Aberystwyth and is a former UMCA President (2004-2005). He works as a digital editor and is now based at Cardiff University.

Rhodri Owen graduated from Aberystwyth in 2004 with a degree in Fine Art and works as a carpenter from his workshop at Ysbyty Ifan. Rhodri used wood from trees grown at Yr Ysgwrn, the home of Ellis Humphrey Evans (Hedd Wyn), winner of the Black Chair of Birkenhead 1917, to create the 2017 Chair. Evans was killed during the Battle of Passchendaele and was awarded the 1917 Birkenhead National Eisteddfod Chair posthumously.


Arthur Dafis
Communications and Public Affairs
Aberystwyth University
01970 621763 / 07841979452 / aid@aber.ac.uk