North American Festival of Wales 2011 - Cleveland, Ohio
The 2011 North American Festival of Wales annual convention was held in Cleveland, Ohio.
Once a year, a four day North American Festival of Wales (a Gymanfa Ganu, commonly just referred to as a National) is held in North America over the Labor Day weekend. The four day festival opens on Thursday night with a Noson Lawen, which some call a Welsh Amateur Night. The weekend continues with an evening banquet on Friday and a Saturday concert, generally featuring a Welsh male voice choir and soloists, both from Wales.
Welsh National Gymanfa Ganu Association President-Elect Hywel M. Davies welcomes the crowd to the Gymanfa Ganu evening session in Cleveland and introduces Rev. Robert D. Hughes who gives the Invocation.
Sunday is the defining day of the four day festival which begins with a bilingual church and memorial service. After a brief intermission, this service is followed by afternoon and evening sessions of the Gymanfa Ganu itself.
A unique feature of the gymanfa ganu is the seating separation of alto, soprano, tenor, and bass singers into sections for the four part harmony singing. And while the Gymanfa Ganu is conducted with the dignity of a church service, it is not unknown for the musical conductor to stop the singing when one or more of the voice sections wanders from the desired harmony and needs special attention.
The Hymn Aberystwyth by Dr Joseph Parry at Gymanfa Ganu
Interspersed between the formal proceedings are frequent sessions of spontaneous singing of favorite hymns. A Welsh Marketplace, offering Welsh products, artifacts, souvenirs, recordings, and books, is also available during the days of the festival.
The Welsh National Gymanfa Ganu Association is the main organizational body responsible for putting on the event.
Enjoy these photos and videos from the Sunday evening events.
The choir, with Musical Director Ilid Anne Jones, sings Alleluia by Leonard Cohen
Local Venue Chairs Sue Stealey and Barbara Jones
The Reverend Robert D. Hughes
Organist Alan C. Thomas
Musical Director Ilid Anne Jones
Cheryl T. Mitchell
Singing with sign language
Iwan Wyn Williams with Catrin Mair Robert
Ann E Lemmenes
Ierid Anne Jones and Joel Ware IV
Margaret Jones, Garrett Jones, Tindor Williams and Ceri Jones