A tradition in Wales is festivals of singing hymns in chapels. These are, in Welsh, ‘Cymanfa Ganu’.
In Wales, more than a thousand Cymanfa Ganu are held each year. These take place in virtually every village and town in Wales.
Cymanfa Ganus are held across the world – wherever people of Welsh heritage live.
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.
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. Interspersed between the formal proceedings are frequent sessions of spontaneous singing of favorite hymns.
Our Church will be hosting a Gymanfa Ganu here in Beaver Dam On November 12th at 2:30 PM it is open to the community and it is an event you will not want to miss!!! It will be followed by “Te Bach,” a Welsh tea time with cookies and sandwiches.
It is sponsored by the Welsh Gymanfa Ganu Association of Wisconsin