Young talent finds a voice in the music industry

An aspiring musician from Cardiff has released her first EP on her own record label after her college course inspired her to pursue her dreams.

Ellie Parris, 19, an alumnus from Coleg y Cymoedd, has released her debut self-made EP ‘Aura’ on Soundcloud, iTunes and Spotify. A former Level 3 Extended Diploma Music Technology learner at the Coleg y Cymoedd Rhondda campus, Ellie has been writing, producing and promoting her own songs with the hope of cracking the music industry.

‘Aura’, the EP with a contemporary R’n’B sound, has been released on Ellie’s own imprint label, giving her copyright to all her songs as she continues to build a following. Determined to break through into the mainstream, Ellie plans to spend the next year gigging and writing more material. She has even filmed a music video for her song ‘Fallen Angel’, using some of St Fagans’ countryside and beaches as her backdrop.

The Cardiff based musician said she wouldn’t have been able to start self-producing music and have started her own label had it not been for her Music Technology course at Coleg y Cymoedd. Speaking about her time at Coleg y Cymoedd, Ellie said: “When I arrived at the college I knew how to sing, but I had virtually no experience in recording music. Thanks to my college tutor I am now able to record music myself from home.

“I felt the course went above and beyond its requirements, teaching me so much worthwhile information about the music industry. The course taught me all about licensing laws which is why I decided to release my EP on my own label, meaning I can keep releasing music under the same name. I wouldn’t be where I am now without the course.

“My EP was a project that I poured my deepest thoughts and feelings into. It’s a collection of songs that I created using past experiences, good and bad, and merged them into something positive.”

Ellie also credits her DIY work ethic to her tutor Rory Meredith, who spent many years in the music industry and was able to share real life experiences with the budding musician.

Music Technology tutor Rory commented on Ellie’s success: “I am always very proud to see former Coleg y Cymoedd music technology learners writing and producing their own music in the real world.”

“Throughout her time with us Ellie was always incredibly focused on creating her own unique sound, finding her own voice and her debut E.P. “Aura” is testament to her belief, dedication and musical talent. Her future is bright and we all wish her every success in the industry.”

You can listen to Ellie Parris’ new EP “Aura” on:

Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/ellieparris

Twitter: https://twitter.com/EllieParris

Watch Ellie’s music video for Fallen Angel here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=61EiPIeF-Ag

Literacy learner converts new skills into rugby hardback

A Coleg y Cymoedd learner has used his new literacy and computer skills to achieve recognition by selling over a hundred copies of a self-researched book.

Martyn Ham, who is currently attending a Coleg y Cymoedd Adult Basic Education class in the community at Cynon Infants in Mountain Ash on Wednesday mornings, is an author of a fascinating new book focussed on his local rugby team.

Martyn, who has been collecting data on the subject for a couple of years, joined the class to enhance his computer skills so that he could use technology for more in depth research and to learn to create documents using a variety of applications.

Using the skills developed in his Literacy and Computers class, run in the community in conjunction with Communities 1st, Martyn decided to collate his research to inform the Mountain Ash rugby club book ‘The Old Firm’s Proud Past’ which gives a season by season account of a great era of rugby for Mountain Ash Rugby Club from its formation in 1875 until 1940 when the Second World War intervened.

The 600 page book was first published in late 2015 and has sold over 100 copies to the local rugby club and library for £17 each.

Commenting on the project and his time studying with Coleg y Cymoedd Martyn said: “The class helped broaden my knowledge of I.T. which helped when I put the book together. If anyone has an interest in learning I.T, I’d recommend coming along and learning the basics about the Internet, E-Mail, letter writing using Microsoft Word, and making simple arithmetic much easier by using Microsoft Excel.

The class has a pleasant atmosphere with different pupils progressing at their own speed, and if you have a question, it will be answered. I am very grateful to Ruth Barclay, the course tutor, for the part she’s played, and would like to put my thanks on the record.”

Community tutor Ruth Barclay said: “Martyn has come such a long way with his computer skills, he is a very avid learner. He had mentioned previously wanting to put all of the research he had gathered into creating a book, but it is fantastic to now see a very impressive looking book that is already selling copies. He deserves a lot of recognition for all of the hard work he has put in.”

If you are interested in attending classes in the community to improve your skills please contact 01443 816888.

Coleg y Cymoedd crowned rugby Welsh Colleges Elite League champions

Coleg y Cymoedd’s learners and staff are celebrating as their college’s Rugby Team Win the Welsh Colleges Elite League.

The battle between the college under 18 rugby teams was won comfortably by the Coleg y Cymoedd team with a game still to play.

Coleg y Cymoedd now progress to the play offs after defeating Cardiff and Vale College, Gower College and Neath Port Talbot College in the initial group stage. Before progressing to the Top league along with Coleg Sir Gar, Cowbridge Comprehensive, Bridgend College and Cross Keys College.

Almost 50 learners are involved in the colleges rugby programme, combining training with academic study, with learners coming from a range of areas from sporting courses to A Levels and construction qualifications.

At the College Rugby Academy learners receive expert rugby tuition, rugby analysis and strength & conditioning to help maximise their rugby potential. However, the College Academy also ensures that rugby learners are prepared academically should a career in rugby not materialise.

Commenting on the win and the outstanding performance of the squad to date, Tutor Lee Davies said: “We as a group are over the moon, with regards to how well the early part of the season has gone.

“We worked extremely hard over pre-season to hit the ground running, as we were aware the league structure had changed and the league programme would be complete by Christmas with playoffs and finals coming later in the season.”

“The boys have shown great resolve and character to overcome the pressure of big games week in week out, and on the whole performed admirably.”

The win follows Coleg y Cymoedd’s most successful season since formation in 2015. In addition to winning the WRU Rugby Colleges championship, the team won the British Colleges Premier League Final, becoming the first Welsh side to achieve this accolade.

All games in the Welsh Colleges Elite League championship are covered by S4C and aired on the Rugby Pawb show on Wednesday evenings following each game. The league table can be found at: http://www.wru.co.uk/eng/development/leagues/league_table_wednesday_under_18_league.php

Coleg y Cymoedd alumni who won Cambridge University place bids to help other students pass their exams

Jacob Lewis, 22, from Cardiff, who recently spoke at a conference aiming to help high achievers, has made the revision videos to help A-level pupils.

The previous Coleg y Cymoedd A Level learner who achieved straight A*s has completed his landmark first term at Cambridge University.

And now Jacob Lewis, who achieved four A*s including 100% in law and history despite sleeping on friends’ sofas, is on a mission to help others.

He has made a series of revision videos to help A-level students – in a bid to help them prepare for their exams.

He said: “I saw so many students in exams last year with their heads on their desks within 10 minutes or leaving when only half the time was up. That’s what I’m trying to help avoid next summer. I’m hoping these videos might help to improve results.”

The 22-year-old from Cardiff has just completed his first term studying law at Hughes Hall – a college for mature students and postgraduates.

Jacob, who grew up on a council estate in St Mellons, admits the work is “incredibly difficult”, but said he was holding his own.

He added: “I’ve found everyone to be so nice and not nearly as posh as everybody thinks. The students and teachers are humans too.

Jacob decided to study for his A-levels at Coleg y Cymoedd after initially leaving school aged 17 to get a job.

Now he hopes to inspire more Welsh students to apply to top universities. Jacob said: “I still have a lot of knowledge from my A-levels – not just facts but also how the questions should be approached. I think it helps students to listen to someone who has actually sat the exam recently and I’m in a good position to be able to share that knowledge.”

He is currently recording and editing the videos and will share them on YouTube, so they are available for free.

The videos will focus on law and history and each will be around 10 minutes long, including key facts and exam tips.

“Plenty of students read their books again and again and it doesn’t sink in,” he said.

“You become word blind and by the end of the year your file is so thick you don’t know what to focus on.

“These videos will be no substitute for doing the reading and planning answers to past papers but it’s just about making it easier to revise.”

Jacob is planning to have the videos completed before term starts in January and to set up a fundraising page to develop the project.

Next summer he hopes to extend the range of topics and to get professional help with editing.

Jacob’s revision videos are available on YouTube by searching “the people’s lawyer does”.

Aberdare

Wellington Street
Aberdare
Rhondda Cynon Taff
CF44 8EN

Nantgarw

Heol y Coleg
Parc Nantgarw
Cardiff
CF15 7QY

Rhondda

Llwynypia
Tonypandy
Rhondda Cynon Taff
CF40 2TQ

Ystrad Mynach

Twyn Road
Ystrad Mynach
Hengoed
CF82 7XR

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