A 16-YEAR-OLD pianist from Ruthin has hit the right key after ten years of hard work at music lessons has earned her a scholarship.

Cerys Edwards, year 11 pupil at Ysgol Brynhyfryd, started piano lessons when she was six years old and they appear to have paid off after she was awarded the Ben Muskett Scholarship, a £100 prize from the Canolfan Gerdd William Mathias (CGWM) music centre in Denbigh aimed at supporting promising young musicians.

The scholarship is dedicated to Ben Muskett, former piano tutor at CGWM, who died when his car hit a tree on the A470 near Dolgellau in January 2011.

During her fledgling musical journey, Cerys has been accompanied by a number of tutors including Ysgol Brynhyfryd music teacher Llinos Williams and professional solo pianist and CGWM tutor Teleri Siân.

The scholarship was presented to the Ruthin pupil during a recent annual CGWM student concert at Pwllglas Village Hall, which included performances by students of all ages who receive lessons at the music centre.

Following the award, Cerys said: “It was a surprise to hear that I had won the Ben Muskett Scholarship. I had just performed in a concert by some of CGWM’s students and was called back to the stage to be presented with the trophy and the scholarship money.

“Being awarded the scholarship means a great deal to me. The money will help me to buy new piano pieces that I wish to learn – including Chopin Waltzes, and Debussy Preludes as well as some jazz pieces too.

“I really enjoy coming for lessons with Teleri-Siân at Canolfan Gerdd William Mathias and with her help, I succeeded in passing my Grade 8 piano with merit during the Summer.”

Cerys has enjoyed previous success in year 9 when she won the third prize in the years seven to nine piano solo competition at the Urdd National Eisteddfod in Bridgend.

Long-time supporter Llinos Edwards, Cerys’s mum, said: “We have been very fortunate to receive piano tutors of the highest standard over the years – my son Sion, as well as Cerys’ sister, Cathrin, have enjoyed coming for piano lessons with Teleri-Siân.”

Meinir Llwyd, director of CGWM said: “Ben Muskett was an inspiring piano tutor at CGWM when he tragically died in a car accident in 2011 aged only 25. This scholarship is awarded annually to pianists under 18 years old who receive lessons at CGWM. This is our way of honouring Ben’s passion for music and teaching children and young people.

Cerys’ piano tutor, Ms Siân, graduate of the Royal Northern College of Music, was delighted to hear the news. She said: “It’s always a pleasure to teach Cerys the piano at CGWM. She’s a special student who’s well on her way to being a confident, and mature musician.”