Ceri Shaw


 

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Once in a lifetime opportunity to join Welsh youth choir heading stateside - Cyfle unwaith mewn oes i ymuno â chôr ieuenctid ar daith i Alabama

user image 2021-09-16
By: Ceri Shaw
Posted in: Music

Wales’ largest youth movement, Urdd Gobaith Cymru is pleased to announce that applications are now open for its brand-new choir – Côr yr Urdd – which will travel to Alabama in 2022. 

The choir will be formed to mark the Urdd’s centenary in 2022 and offer a once in a lifetime opportunity for young people across Wales to come together and perform in Alabama. 

Any individuals between the ages of 18 and 25 can apply to be part of the choir and grab a seat on the exclusive trip. There is no need to be a member of a choir already or have previous experience of singing in a choir. Applicants are required to  complete an online form  and submit a short recording by the 14th of October 2021.  

16 winners of this year’s Eisteddfod T digital festival have already been offered the opportunity to join the choir. 

The opportunity comes following the transatlantic partnership between the Urdd and UAB, the University of Alabama at Birmingham. As well as organising for the Urdd Choir members to perform at concerts in Alabama, to learn more about the gospel singing tradition and the Civil Rights Movement and history in Alabama, the aim is to invite UAB Gospel Choir to perform at the Urdd Eisteddfod in Denbighshire in 2022. 

The relationship between the Welsh and the Afro-American community in Birmingham, Alabama was formed over fifty years ago following a terrorist attack by the Klu Klux Klan on the 16th Street Baptist Church. As a sign of support and solidarity, the people of Wales donated a stained-glass window, and to this day, it is known as the Wales Window. 

Siân Lewis, the Urdd’s Chief Executive, and the then Welsh Education Minister Kirsty Williams’s official visit to the church and the young people of Birmingham, Alabama in 2019 strengthened that relationship. As a result, final arrangements for the UAB Gospel Choir’s visit to Wales and the Urdd Eisteddfod in Denbighshire were halted by the global spread of Covid-19. 

In light of the pandemic’s challenges, a virtual gospel choir was formed between some Urdd members and UAB students, and to celebrate Thanksgiving in November 2020, they joined forces to sing in Welsh for the first time, to release a cover of  Every Praise  by Hezekiah Walker, called ‘ Canwn Glod .’ 

As the Urdd approaches its centenary in 2022 it has ambitious plans to ensure Wales makes a positive impact, to ensure that more people know about Wales, offer international experiences for young people, and celebrate the cultural richness of Wales as well as share good practice with international contacts in the success of increasing confidence, use and enjoyment of a minority language. 


Mae Urdd Gobaith Cymru bellach yn gwahodd ymgeiswyr i ymuno â chôr ieuenctid newydd sbon – Côr yr Urdd – fydd yn teithio i Alabama yn 2022. 

I nodi canmlwyddiant y mudiad yn 2022 mi fydd Côr yr Urdd yn cael ei ffurfio er mwyn cynnig cyfle unwaith mewn oes i griw o bobl ifanc ddod at ei gilydd a pherfformio yn Alabama. 

Mae Côr yr Urdd yn agored i bob unigolyn rhwng 18 a 25 oed. Nid oes angen bod yn aelod o gôr ar hyn o bryd, nac ychwaith i fod â phrofiad blaenorol o ganu mewn côr. Yr oll sydd angen i ymgeiswyr wneud ydi llenwi  ffurflen gais ar-lein  a chyflwyno recordiad byr erbyn y 14eg o Hydref 2021. 

Cyhoeddwyd eisoes bod 16 o fuddugwyr gŵyl ddigidol Eisteddfod T eleni yn cael y cyfle i ymuno â’r côr. 

Daw’r cyfle yn sgil partneriaeth drawsatlantig yr Urdd gyda Phrifysgol Alabama ym Mirmingham (University of Alabama at Birmingham). Yn ogystal â threfnu fod Côr yr Urdd yn cael perfformio mewn cyngherddau yn Alabama ac yn dysgu mwy am y traddodiad canu gospel a hanes hawliau sifil yn Alabama, y bwriad yw i Côr Gospel UAB i berfformio yn ystod Eisteddfod yr Urdd Sir Ddinbych 2022. 

Ffurfiwyd perthynas rhwng Cymru a’r gymuned Affro Americanaidd ym Mirmingham, Alabama dros hanner canrif yn ôl yn dilyn ymosodiad terfysgol gan y Klu Klux Klan ar Eglwys y Bedyddwyr, 16th Street. Fel arwydd o gefnogaeth ac undod rhoddwyd ffenestr lliw i’r eglwys gan bobl Cymru, a hyd heddiw caiff ei hadnabod fel y ‘Wales Window’. 

Bu i ymweliad swyddogol Siân Lewis, Prif Weithredwr yr Urdd, a Gweinidog Addysg Cymru ar y pryd Kirsty Williams â’r eglwys a phobl ifanc Birmingham, Alabama yn 2019 gryfhau’r berthynas hon. O ganlyniad, roedd trefniadau taith Côr Gospel Prifysgol Alabama i ymweld â Chymru ac Eisteddfod yr Urdd Sir Ddinbych 2020 yn cael eu cwblhau pan fu’n rhaid gohirio’r cyfan wrth i Covid-19 ledaenu ar draws y byd. 

Ond yn wyneb heriau’r pandemig, ffurfiwyd côr gospel rhithiol ar y cyd rhwng rai o aelodau’r Urdd a myfyrwyr UAB, ac i ddathlu Diolchgarwch ym mis Tachwedd 2020 daethant at ei gilydd i ganu yn y Gymraeg am y tro cyntaf, er mwyn rhyddhau addasiad o ‘Every Praise’ gan Hezekiah Walker, sef ‘ Canwn Glod .’ 

Wrth i'r Urdd nesáu at ei chanmlwyddiant yn 2022 mae gan y mudiad gynlluniau uchelgeisiol i sicrhau bod Cymru’n cael effaith gadarnhaol a chodi ymwybyddiaeth mwy o bobl am Gymru, i gynnig profiadau rhyngwladol i bobl ifanc, i ddathlu cyfoeth diwylliannol Cymru yn ogystal â rhannu arfer da gyda chysylltiadau rhyngwladol yn sgil llwyddiant cynyddu’r defnydd, hyder a mwynhad o iaith leiafrifol. 

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