A YOUNG WOMAN from Llanefydd has wowed guests down under after winning a prestigious musical award at the Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod.

Former Ysgol Llanefydd and Ysgol Glan Clwyd pupil Mared Williams, scooped the 'Voice of Musical Theatre 2018' prize at the event in July.

The 21-year-old recently travelled to Australia to join hundreds of exceptional artists taking part in the Gold Coast Eisteddfod's Musicale.

The show is a rousing celebration of musical theatre and one of the highlights of the seven-week long Australian festival of dance and music.

Since winning the International Voice of Musical Theatre, Mared has been singing in venues all around the world and has also started a Masters degree in Musical Theatre at the Royal Academy of Music in London.

Reflecting on her once in a lifetime performance in Australia, Mared said: "Going to Australia and being made to feel so welcome by Eisteddfod organisers is a connection I will value forever,"

"Representing Wales and getting the chance to perform on the other side of the world, somewhere as beautiful as the Gold Coast was surreal and something I will never forget.

"I’ve always been a huge supporter of the Llangollen Eisteddfod and winning International Voice of Musical Theatre and performing on that amazing stage has always been a goal of mine.

"I am truly grateful to the Llangollen Eisteddfod for opening doors for me as a performer and providing an incredible platform for young performers across the world.

The Gold Coast Eisteddfod features over 70,000 singers and dancers, 330 bands and orchestras, 175 choirs, almost 1,500 dance groups and over 3,000 solo dancers.

The cost of Mared’s visit to the prestigious Australian festival has been covered completely by the Gold Coast Eisteddfod, a prize that will be up for grabs once again at next year's Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod.

Judith Ferber, the Gold Coast Eisteddfod’s general manager, said: “We were delighted to welcome Mared to the Gold Coast this year and were blown away by her incredible performance and heavenly voice at the Musicale.

"Our partnership with the Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod allows us to celebrate musical talent from across the globe, in the shared spirit of friendship, passion for music and performance."