Festival of Welsh Hymn Singing
The Gymanfa Ganu (pronounced guh-mahn-vah GAH-nee) is one of two or three traditional Welsh get togethers WASNC plans in most years.
To understand “The Gymanfa” it is useful to know that one of the nicknames of Wales is “The Land of Song”. From the mines and workplaces of North and South Wales came a tradition of (usually) Male Voice Choirs. These continue today even as the industries that supported them have declined. Due to the Revival of Christianity in the 19th Century among the Welsh-speaking population, hymn singing in Welsh and English was, and continues to be, a much-beloved tradition.
The Gymanfa Ganu is a traditional sing-along concert of Welsh hymns and English versions of Welsh hymns. It is held close to St. David’s Day each year (1st March). St David is the patron saint of Wales. Following the singing, WASNC hosts a “Te Bach” – a Little Tea – which features typically Welsh food.
Everyone who comes to the Gymanfa, regardless of their connection, or lack thereof, to Wales is very welcome. The Gymanfa offers non-Welsh speakers a chance to try some singing in what the Welsh call “The Language of Heaven”. Welsh hymnals can be borrowed or purchased, and the conductor will help with Welsh pronunciation.
“The Gymanfa Ganu is a traditional sing-along concert of Welsh hymns and English versions of Welsh hymns held around St David’s Day (March 1st). It is followed by a “Te Bach” (Little Tea)”
Gathering for Stories, FOOD, and SONG
The Noson Lawen (pronounced noshes-ohn LAH-wen) is typically held in autumn. It is a gathering of friends and neighbors who each bring a dish, or a story, or a song to share.
The party is very informal and open to all who would like to come and make new friends and enjoy a festive evening.
“The Noson Lawen is an informal party of Welsh People to share stories and food and song.”