Jul 8, 2011

The Welsh National Gymanfa Ganu is 80! Come Celebrate!

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September 1 - 4, 2011
Cleveland, Ohio

Welsh National Gymanfa Ganu AssociationJuly 4, 2011

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1934 Program
Take a moment to reflect on the folks who organized the first Welsh National Gymanfa Ganu. Take a look at this photo from the 1934 Cleveland Gymanfa.  Who will be here in 80 more years? What can each of us do to insure this wonderful tradition continues for future generations? 
80th Welsh National Gymanfa Ganu
Looking Forward, Giving Back

As we prepare to gather in Cleveland for the North American Festival of Wales, we cannot help but think back to 1929--the year of the very first "National," as the event was sometimes called. Since then, the Festival has expanded to a long weekend of varied experiences, but the Welsh National Gymanfa Ganu still remains as the heart and soul of the NAFOW.

This year, we are very pleased to have Ilid Anne Jones, the director of the featured choir, Hogia'r Ddwylan, also conducting both gymanfa ganu sessions on Sunday afternoon and evening.

The gymanfa ganu schedule will be:
2:30 p.m.-4:30 p.m. Afternoon Session
4:30 p.m.-6:00 p.m. Intersession Dinner
7:00 p.m.-9:30 p.m. Evening Session

Groups of hymns, with verses sung in both Welsh and English, will be interspersed with solo and ensemble performances. Both sessions will be accompanied by Alan Thomas, Organist and Choir Director at Westminster Presbyterian Church, Ottawa. Alan first accompanied the Gymanfa in 2000, then returned for each Gymanfa since 2004. This will be your final chance to hear Alan accompany the Welsh National Gymanfa Ganu, as he is retiring as a Festival accompanist at the close of the NAFOW. 

This is not a spectator sport! Grab your
 WNGGA Hymnal (or purchase one at the festival) and join the hwyl! 

Note: Entrance to the gymanfa sessions is included in the  3-Day Pass or Sunday Day Pass. One-day Passes are $20 for WNGGA members and $25 for non-members, and may be purchased on-line at www.nafow.org, or at the Festival. Youth under 18 are admitted free. Intersession Dinners must be purchased in advance at www.nafow.org.

 YSGOL GÂN (Singing School)

Ilid Anne Jones
Don't sing in Welsh, yet?
Dim problem!
Ilid Anne Jones, who will be conducting the 80th Welsh National Gymanfa Ganu on Sunday, will lead our Ysgol Gân on Friday. In this fun, relaxed and no-fear practice session you will learn some of the hymns we'll be singing during Sunday's Gymanfa Ganu sessions. This is your opportunity to hear Welsh verses beautifully pronounced by Ilid Anne and become familiar with four-part singing (five-part, if you count the 'joyful noise' section, which we do)!

Come, find out why Wales is 'The Land of Song'! 


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Wonderful Opportunities to Help Your  WNGGA!!

Remember, the entire NAFOW is only possible because of a handful of dedicated volunteers working very hard all year long!

Thank you!


History of the Welsh National Gymanfa Ganu
It all started back in 1929 when, in its September 5, 1929 issue, Y Drych, The North American Welsh Newspaper, headlined: 

"Yn Cael Gymanfa Ganu Gymraeg yn Swn y Niagara Falls
(Having a Welsh Gymanfa Ganu Within the Sound of Niagara Falls)
Thousands There
The Occasion is a Great Success and All Praise It"

Excerpted from "The History of the WNGGA" by Col. Alf Reese.
Read more HERE.


Inner Workings of the WNGGA and the NAFOW
The North American Festival of Wales (NAFOW) is the main event held by the Welsh National Gymanfa Ganu Association (WNGGA) each year. Welsh fairy folk aside, the NAFOW does not just magically come together each Labor Day Weekend. We rely on a small band of volunteers who serve as the Board of Trustees and committee members. These people, through the years, have been dedicated members of the organization--just like you, perhaps?

Do you know someone who would make a good Board member for the WNGGA? Or, would you be an excellent member of the Board?

We will be electing new Board members at the NAFOW this September and have several positions to fill--from Canada and the Eastern and Western US.

It isn't too late to suggest names for consideration to the nominating
committee, and we are relying on the local Welsh societies and WNGGA members to suggest quality people--you are the ones who have seen people in action locally and know who can get the job done. Who has great ideas? Who plays well with others? Let us know who these wonderful 
folks are and we'll take it from there! Send suggestions (include names and email addresses, please) to publicity@wngga.org.

Nominees must have been members of WNGGA for at least one year before they can 
be elected to the Board.
We need only the best people to serve on the Board, if we are to continue to have the great organization you've come to know.
Suggest someone today!


Who Will Represent Your Society at the NAFOW?
All Affiliated Welsh Organizations (AWOs) are encouraged to send representatives to the Meeting of Affiliated Welsh Organizations at the NAFOW on Friday, Sept. 2.  This special meeting is your chance to meet face-to-face with other local Welsh leaders to share ideas and discuss common issues.  
Each  AWO is also entitled to one vote at the Annual General Meeting (AGM), on Saturday, Sept. 3. The AGM is where we elect new Trustees for the WNGGA Board and conduct other official business.
Be sure YOUR voice is heard at these two important meetings in Cleveland.

AWOs are reminded to update their contact information each year and to include an email address for WNGGA mailings.  This can be done via an email to publicity@wngga.org; at either if the above meetings; or at the Festival's registration table.  

Where we've been: 
of North American Welsh National Gymanfa Ganu Venues

The North American Welsh National Gymanfa Ganu has traditionally been held in cities where many Welsh immigrants lived and worked. Local Welsh organizations continue to work with the Welsh National Gymanfa Ganu Association to  organize these events. Perhaps your ancestors settled in one of these North American regions, too.

1929 Niagara Falls, New York
1930 Niagara Falls, New York
1931 Niagara Falls, New York
1932 Niagara Falls, New York
1933 Chicago, Illinois
1934 Cleveland, Ohio
1935 Youngstown, Ohio
1936 Atlantic City, New Jersey
1937 Johnstown, Pennsylvania
1938 Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
1939 Buffalo, New York
1940 Detroit, Michigan
1941 New Castle, Delaware
1942 Utica, New York
1943 Suspended during war years
1944 Suspended during war years
1945 Suspended during war years
1946 Akron, Ohio
1947 Akron, Ohio
1948 Detroit, Michigan
1949 Salt Lake City, Utah
1950 Canton, Ohio
1951 Milwaukee, Wisconsin
1952 Columbus, Ohio
1953 Rochester, New York
1954 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
1955 Salt Lake City, Utah
1956 Cleveland, Ohio
1957 Washington, DC
1958 Milwaukee, Wisconsin
1959 Toronto, Ontario, Canada
1960 San Francisco, California
1961 Chicago, Illinois
1962 Utica, New York
1963 Detroit, Michigan
1964 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
1965 Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
1966 Los Angeles, California
1967 Toronto, Ontario, Canada
1968 Buffalo, New York
1969 Cardiff, South Wales & 2nd event, Cleveland, Ohio
1970 Milwaukee, Wisconsin
1971 Salt Lake City, Utah
1972 Chicago, Illinois
1973 Toronto, Ontario, Canada
1974 Swansea, South Wales & 2nd event, Cleveland, Ohio
1975 New York, New York
1976 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
1977 Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
1978 Minneapolis, Minnesota
1979 Niagara Falls, New York
1980 Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
1981 Utica, New York
1982 Toronto, Ontario, Canada
1983 Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania
1984 Portland, Oregon
1985 Montreal, Quebec, Canada
1986 Columbus, Ohio
1987 St. Paul, Minnesota
1988 Baltimore, Maryland
1989 Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
1990 Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
1991 Cincinnati, Ohio
1992 Kansas City, Missouri
1993 Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania
1994 Bellevue, Washington
1995 Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
1996 Utica, New York
1997 Milwaukee, Wisconsin
1998 Columbus, Ohio
1999 Minneapolis, Minnesota
2000 Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
2001 San Joe, California
2002 Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
2003 Richmond, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
2004 Buffalo, New York
2005 Orlando, Florida
2006 Cincinnati, Ohio
2007 Alexandria, Virginia
2008 Chicago, Illinois
2009 Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
2010 Portland, Oregon
2011 Cleveland, Ohio - - will you meet us in Cleveland?

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 lobbyblock 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 until all our Festival rooms are booked.   

Festival Snapshot*

*Opening Ceremony
*Eisteddfod Competitions and     Winners' Concert
*Opening Concert ~ with Moch Pryderi
*Folk Dancing
*Welsh Language Classes
*Children's Activities
*Cinema Wales
*Ysgol Gân (hymn singing class)
*Youth Showcase
*Open Mic Night
*Grand Concert ~Welsh Male Voice Choir, Hogia'r Ddwylan

*Worship Service
*80th Welsh National Gymanfa Ganu  Afternoon and Evening Sessions
*Closing Ceremony

Meals and Drinks: 
Cash Bars (benefit the WNGGA)
Pre-Concert Dinner--Thursday
Pre-Banquet Social Hour--Friday
Gala Awards Banquet & Entertainment --Friday
Pre-Concert Buffet--Saturday
Intersession Dinner--Sunday

Tea Room
Informal Singing
Pub Nights

WNGGA Annual General Meeting  
WNGGA Board of Trustees meeting
NWAF Meeting
Affiliated Welsh Organizations Meeting

Ninnau and Y Drych Breakfast   Invitation  Only

*Note: Full schedule will be in the Program Booklet and is also available online at www.nafow.org, subject to last-minute changes.

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