Jun 20, 2011

80th Welsh Gymanfa Ganu - Cleveland 2011

nafow logo
September 1 - 4, 2011
Cleveland, Ohio
June 2011                                                                   
Join us Labor Day Weekend to celebrate
The 80th Welsh National Gymanfa Ganu
Raising Hwyl for 80 years!

wngga full logo
Yma o Hyd,* Indeed!

In less than three months, we will gather in Cleveland at the annual North American Festival of Wales. This is our yearly opportunity to celebrate our Welsh heritage and  meet friends from all over the world. As one attendee said last year, "It's our chance to recharge our 'Welsh batteries'!"

The officers and trustees of the Welsh National Gymanfa Ganu Association look forward to welcoming you to the 2011 NAFOW and the 80th Anniversary of the Welsh National Gymanfa Ganu.

This special edition of our e-letter is devoted to the Gymanfa Ganu. It was not possible to include all 80 years of history in a single issue, so watch your in-boxes for Part Two later this summer. 

"Yma o Hyd" means "Still here" and is also the title of a popular folk song by Dafydd Iwan.

Did You Receive Your Registration Packet?
If not, have you changed your address? All membersMailbox should have received their registration materials  in May. Non-members* desiring registration materials should email their requests to exec_dir@wngga.org. Registration forms are also now available on our website HERE. To ensure that you don't miss any communications from WNGGA, we encourage you to keep your contact information updated via phone (740-587-3936) or email.  
*You do not need to be a member of WNGGA to attend the NAFOW, but members do receive a discount. 

The Origin Of The Species "Gymanfa Ganu" and Its Variants
gan/by Alun Hughes reprinted with permission
Alun Hughes
Alun Hughes takes a grammatical  look at the Gymanfa Ganu.
 Many people with Welsh roots have attended a Gymanfa Ganu. In this article, Alun Hughes, one of Cymdeithas Madog's* longest serving teachers and a frequent contributor on grammatical matters, has a look at gymanfas, cymanfaoedd and all sorts of other strange animals.

"You say tomayto, and I say tomahto, you say potayto and I say potahto." You know the 

We Welsh have our own version, which goes, "You say gymanfa and I say cymanfa, 
you say gymanfas and I say cymanfaoedd." It doesn't scan too well, and it's more than just a 
matter of pronunciation, but it's the same sort of thing.

So which is it, gymanfa or cymanfa? READ ON.

*Cymdeithas Madog sponsors a yearly week-long Welsh language course (Cwrs Cymraeg) and has generously provided the Welsh lessons teacher for many years at the NAFOW. Visit their website at www.madog.org for more information. 

Alan Thomas, Long-Time Accompanist, to Retire
reprinted (with edits) from HWYL

Alan Thomas
AlanThomas,  keyboardist extraordinare , will retire as Festival Accompanist after the 2011 NAFOW.  Alan first accompanied the 69th Welsh National Gymanfa Ganu in Ottawa in 2000 and then returned to accompany the North American Festival of Wales at Buffalo in 2004 and  has returned every year since. 

Alan's genial personality, his good humor and his enormous talent have endeared him to festival goers over the last decade. During that time he has accompanied competitors, soloists, the Worship Service and the Gymanfa Ganu, applying his skill to both the piano and the organ. We shall miss him, and we wish him happiness for years to come.

The Search Begins

With the retirement of Alan Thomas, WNGGA begins the search for a replacement. Potential applicants are encouraged to read through the job description HERE and contact International Headquarters HERE  with questions on any additional requirements and compensation. Applicants will be expected to furnish a performance CD. 

WNGGA Members' Corner

The WNGGA welcomes comments, letters, articles, and photos from our members. Especially this year, as we prepare to celebrate our 80th Gymanfa Ganu, we'd love to hear what the Welsh National Gymanfa Ganu has meant to you and your family. What are your favorite memories? How many have you attended? Did you come with your parents or your grandchildren? Please send any material to publicity@wngga.org, along with a note granting us permission to use it for any of our publicity purposes. You will retain copyright, if requested.
This issue, we are pleased to present a member article about the gymanfa ganu tradition. Michael Hieber prefaced his article by saying,
" I would enjoy writing an article about the Gymanfa experience, as it is oneMusic of our most sought-after activities of the year.  Welsh congregational singing is in our blood now and we wish we could go to even more.  We started regularly attending local Gymanfa Ganu in 2001 at Venedocia, Gomer, and Columbus, Ohio.  We have also attended a local in Cambria, Wisconsin, and last fall attended one near Rio Grande in Southwestern Ohio. We are heading for the Ontario National in Niagara Falls this coming April. Our first NAFOW was the most recent one in Cincinnati, and we followed this by going to WashingtonChicago, and Pittsburgh.  We did not make it to this past National as we were in Ebbw Vale, Wales, for the National Eisteddfod of Wales.  That Gymanfa was grand with over 3,000 singers in the tent, a large standing choir, and a brass band on stage."
 (edited for publication)
"Singing Through the Day and Night"

These are the last words in the chorus of a popular Welsh hymn, 'Calon Lan'. If you come to a gymanfa ganu, you will not literally sing all day and night, but for a few hours you will experience some of the most heartfelt and moving music you can encounter. Gymanfa ganu, a Welsh cultural tradition, is characterized by choral hymn singing in four-part harmony which dates back more than 150 years. It literally means an assembly or meeting for singing and it originated in Wales, where singing in four-part harmony still thrives. READ ON.
Be Prepared! Order Your Hymnals now!
(and remember to pack them!)
The Welsh National Gymanfa Ganu Association publishes the Official Hymnals used at the annual Welsh National Gymanfa Ganu. These hymnals are also very often used by local Welsh societies across the continent at their gatherings. Consider purchasing one or more now for your use, as gifts
, or for your local Welsh society or church. Hymnals will also be sold during the NAFOW, 
but will not be available for loan. 

Visit our website 
to order Hymnals and other WNGGA publications. 
Official WNGGA Hymnal (6" x 9")

Pronunciation Guide, and 118 Hymns in Welsh and English
Price: $12.00 (US)
or $10.80 each for 10 or more copies

Lg. Format Hymnal
Large Print Hymnal
Official WNGGA Hymnal
Enlarged Edition (8 1/2" x 11")

Price: $17.00 (US)
or $15.30 each for 10 or more copies


Phonetic Hymnal
Phonetic Hymnal

Official WNGGA Hymnal (5.5x 8.5") Phonetic Version

A wonderful aid for non-Welsh singers.
Price: $11.00 (US)
or $9.90 each for 10 or more copies

Time is Running Out!  

Take advantage of our special room rates* and make your hotel reservations at the Crowne Plaza Cleveland City Centre by one of these methods 

1. Visit  our website for hotel and travel information and a direct link to our roomHotel lobby block to reserve on-line; or

2.Click HERE to reserve now; or

3. Call toll-free 1-877-208-2519 and mention "Festival of Wales" or use the code "WNQ"; 

Remember, when you choose to stay at the festival hotel, you will be in the middle of the action! Also you are helping the Welsh National Gymanfa Ganu Association meet its contractual obligation to fill the room block specially reserved for festival attendees.

If you experience any difficulties making a hotel room reservation, please email president@wngga.org for assistance.

*Special Rates available only un

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