Students from the BA Set Design & Production course at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David Carmarthen (UWTSD) have been awarded the King’s Award for Voluntary Service (KAVS) in recognition of their project work and volunteering with Carmarthen and District Youth Opera (CDYO).
The award created in 2002 has celebrated the invaluable work of UK voluntary groups for several years. It’s equivalent to an MBE, and it’s the highest award given to local voluntary groups, and they are awarded for life. It’s given to groups that are seen to be making a difference within their local community.
Carmarthen and District Youth Opera, acknowledged for the musical theatre opportunities given to young people in West Wales, has opened their award to past and current volunteers that have been working with the company in order to be recognised too. UWTSD’s Set Design & Production course have been collaborating with the Youth Opera annually on their shows by designing iconic pieces of scenery such as creating the dragon, called Elizabeth, for their production of ‘Shrek’ last year, and the car for this year’s production of ‘Our House.’
Second year students were awarded for their work on CDYO’s upcoming production of ‘Our House’ and the third-year students were awarded for their work last year on the ‘Shrek‘ production. They were presented with their pin badges in acknowledgment of their award by Mike Rogers and Wyn Davies from Carmarthen and District Youth Opera at the end of January.
UWTSD Academic Director for Design & Performing Industries WISA, Dr Peter Spring said:
“I am incredibly proud of the amazing achievement of our Set Design & Production students, based on the Carmarthen campus. To gain such an award so early in their careers is admirable and I hope that it gives them even more confidence in their clear talent and dedication.
I would also like to take this opportunity to offer my congratulations and continued admiration of my academic colleagues who go above and beyond to support and nurture all our students – this is the result of their efforts too.”
The students feel honoured to receive this award. Third year Set Design & Production student Taylor Dyderski said:
“You feel really lucky and trusted when you get outside industry work opportunities because although they know you’re a student, they actually put a lot of trust and respect into you, which builds up your confidence. I was also lucky enough to be able to be a part of Shrek the Musical as their stage manager; I felt really proud, and I loved the trust that they put in me.”
Caitlin Fox, another third-year student adds:
“It was really cool being able to build for an actual production whilst still only being in the second year of our degree. We were able to use different materials that we’ve never used before, such as polystyrene carving, resin coating and the different paints to create it. It was really interesting, and it was great to get the opportunity to do it.”
Sam Measor, a second year Set Design & Production student currently working on the Our House production said:
“Having a live brief for a professional client is a lot of pressure but good pressure. It is great fun that we have a project that we get to see from concept right through to it finished product on stage”.
Second year student Abby Poyner adds:
“It has been like nothing I have done before, there has been a lot of problem-solving, but it’s been exciting to do something like this because you’re actually working towards something that is going to go on stage. You feel proud and you get like that feeling of ‘wow I’m actually making something that’s going to be shown to other people’ and it’s always something that I’ve always gone ‘I wonder who made that piece of set’ and now it’s going to us!”
Stacey-Jo Atkinson, Co Programme Manager for BA Set Design & Production
“We are incredibly proud of the work that our students produce, they all are dedicated, determined and professional in their approach to their work. Being able to give the students real industry experiences whilst still studying is a key part of the programme and an integral part in getting them to build their skillset, confidence and industry links.
“A huge thank you to Mike, Wyn and the whole CDYO company for collaborating with us and trusting our students to produce quality work for their productions. It is a valued working relationship which has allowed many students to gain knowledge in working with a variety of new materials, work with industry partitioners and gaining valuable backstage experience during the shows.”
Our House (the Madness musical) is on at The Lyric Theatre, Carmarthen from 14th – 17th February. Please go to https://www.theatrausirgar.co.uk/en/shows/our-house to find out more information.