By David Thomas Jones, 2011-08-21
The Fron Male Voice Choir will be in New York from August 22nd until August 29th. They will be giving two free concerts in the city. The first at 12:30pm Tuesday 23rd August at St. Bart's Church, located at the corner of Park Avenue and 51st Street. The second concert is on Wednesday 24th August at 1:30pm at St Patrick's Cathedral, 460 Madison Avenue.
The choir is being followed by two film crews one from ITV Wales who are producing a 30min documentary for UK National TV and one from S4C who are producing a 60 min documentary for the Welsh language TV station back in Wales.
Any member of AmeriCymru who is planning on going to either of the concerts or even meeting the choir (We are staying at the Wolcott Hotel) can you make yourself known to David Thomas Jones, and you could end up on TV back in Wales. S4C are interesting in interviewing anyone in America who is using social media to keep in contact with Wales.
The Fron Male Voice Choir (Wales) hails from the beautiful village of Froncysyllte home of Thomas Telford's famous Pontcysyllte Aqueduct. The area has recently been awarded World Heritage status.
The choir was formed in 1946 to compete in the local Llangollen International Eisteddfod but have achieved International success on the competition stage by winning 1st prizes at a numerous choral competitions in the UK and the National and International Eisteddfod in Wales. In Europe they have been awarded 1st prizes in choral competitions in Greece, Malta and Germany.
In 2006 they were signed by the Universal/Decca label and have released 4 albums under the theme of Voices of the Valley. They have sold over one million albums and their CDs are sold in over 30 countries. They can be heard to sing Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau on Universal's recently released official Rugby World Cup album.
The choir will be joined by the Irish soprano Margaret Keys who is also signed to Universal and has appeared in concert halls as far a field as Australia, the UK Ireland and the USA. The choir will be conducted by Leigh Mason. Both concerts are free and open to the public. A free-will offering will be taken.
Their 5th album will be released in the UK on the Decca label on October 3rd 2011, it will be available for download from Amazon and iTunes.
By David Thomas Jones, 2010-08-06
A university lecturer has become the first American to win a major literature prize at the National Eisteddfod of Wales.
Mr Hunter now lives in Penygroes, Gwynedd, with his wife, the actress Judith Humphreys, and their two daughters but is originally from Cincinnati, Ohio, USA.
This year's Prose Medal was presented for a volume of creative writing of no more than 40,000 words on the subject 'Adfywiad' (Regeneration) and Mr Hunter, writing under the pseudonym M.W., wrote about the age old relevance of what is today called Post Traumatic Stress.
Nine volumes of work were sent to the competition and 'M.W'.'s work was deemed by adjudicators, Elfyn Pritchard, John Gruffydd Jones and Caryl Lewis, to be the winning entry.
Speaking on behalf of his fellow judges on the Pavilion stage, Elfyn Pritchard said: "The excellence of this volume fully outweighs any weaknesses in it, and when the three of us discussed the works in the competition, we agreed that Gwenddydd by M.W. was not only the best work in the competition but it was also worthy of winning the Blaenau Gwent and Heads of the Valleys National Eisteddfod prose medal."
Jerry Hunter studied English at Cincinnati University, and was introduced to Welsh literature as part of his degree course.
Inspired by the richness of the language and its literature, he decided to come to Wales and learnt the language in an eight-week course in Lampeter. He has an MPhil degree in Welsh from Aberystwyth University and a doctorate in Celtic Languages and Literature from Harvard University.
During his time at Aberswyth University he was a member of Welsh funk band Arfer Anfad.
He now works as reader in the Welsh Department at Bangor University.
He has published four academic books, and one of them - Llwch Cenhedloedd - won the Welsh Book of the Year Award in 2004. He has also published a short novel for children, Ceffylau'r Cymylau and has presented history programmes on S4C.
Jerry Hunter receives the Prose Medal and a financial prize of 750. Both prizes were provided by Ysgol Gyfun Gwynllyw. He also received the first printed copy of the winning work, which is now available to buy from shops on the Maes and across Wales.
Speaking about the winning work, the author said: "With war still affecting our world, someone often hears about the way Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder affects the lives of soldiers and former soldiers.
"Of course, this is not a new thing; the poets and storytellers of Walesin the Middle Ages had ways of discussing the same thing. There is a story about Myrddin Wyllt becoming mad during the Battle of Arfderydd (Arthuret). He went to live in the woods - a mad man of the woods - where he wrote prophetic poetry. He avoided other people and his sister, Gwenddydd, was the only person who was allowed to speak to him.
"My aim was to reveal the age-long aspect of the story by placing it in recent times."
By David Thomas Jones, 2009-08-08
By David Thomas Jones, 2009-08-06
American learner wins Welsh title A teacher from Ohio in the USA has been named as the Welsh Learner of the Year for 2009.Meggan Lloyd Prys was awarded the prestigious title on Wednesday by judges at the National Eisteddfod in Bala, Gwynedd.The 29-year-old says she started learning the language the day she arrived in Wales, three years ago.She now works as a classroom assistant on Anglesey, putting her language skills to the test everyday.Mrs Lloyd Prys was the only overseas competitor in the event this year, along with three others, all from England.She came to Wales after meeting her husband-to-be Cynog while studying in America.But after setting up home at Rhiwlas, near Bangor, she set herself the challenge of taking her wedding vows in Welsh - less than a month later.'High standards'Speaking as she waited for the judges final decision, she explained: "It started after I met my husband while both of us were studying in Ohio and he had been awarded a scholarship to promote Welsh culture."We only spent a month together in the States, then after a year I moved here and started learning the language the day I arrived."It's a really special competition because it shows people are able to learn to a high standard and live and work through the medium of Welsh."As well as being named the learner of the year, she also won 300 and a trophy in memory of author Marged Jones, from Bala, who died at the beginning of the year.The others on the shortlist were John Burton, originally from Crewe, but now living in Penmachno, Zoe Morag Pettinger from Fareham, but now living in Trisant, Aberystwyth and Dominic Gilbert, originally from Manchester but living in Beaumaris.The three received the Finalists Prize, presented by the Learners of Bala, and 100 in prize money.
By David Thomas Jones, 2009-01-01
By David Thomas Jones, 2008-12-31