Eisteddfod Competitions Announced for 2013 North American Festival of Wales (NAFOW) in Toronto
By mona everett, 2013-01-29
From Ninnau & Y Drych ( www.ninnau.com )
The Welsh North American Association is holding the 2013 NAFOW in Toronto from Thursday, August 29, through Sunday, September 1, 2013, and will present the 2013 Eisteddfod Competition at the headquarters hotel, the Fairmont Royal York. The Eisteddfod itself will be held on Friday, August 30, and Saturday, August 31. It is expected that a large number of people will be interested in joining the competition, especially entrants from Canada. All competitions involve cash prizes.
Recitation competitions include: Solo Recitation, Solo Youth Recitation, and Welsh Learners Recitation. The Youth competition involves reciting a poem in English from memory, while the others similarly involve poems written in Welsh. The Learners' competition is a recent addition, and is designed for those persons who are active in learning the Welsh language but not yet at a significant level of conversational ability. Singing Competitions include: Hymn Singing, Solo Voice, and Solo Voice/Semi-Professional. The winner of the Solo Voice/Semi-Professional Competition will be awarded the David G. Morris Memorial Award, which offers the David G. Morris trophy and US$3,500 specifically for travel to compete in the 2013 National Eisteddfod of Wales.
All the competitions will be adjudicated, and a professional piano accompanist will be available if required. The adjudicators and accompanist will be announced as soon as possible. There will be rehearsals on Thursday, August 29, and Friday, August 30 (times to be set with the accompanist in Toronto). The capstone event of the Eisteddfod, the Winners Concert, will be held at 4 p.m. on Saturday, August 31. This involves performances from winners from all of the Eisteddfod competitions. The winner of the Solo Voice/Semi-Professional competition may also be required to perform at other events during the weekend, and other winners may be offered the possibility of singing during the morning service and/or the Gymanfa Ganu on Sunday.
There is again expected to be a dedicated singing competition solely for members of the visiting performance choir from Wales, on Saturday afternoon. This event, first introduced in Portland in 2010, has become a way to get to know the members and enjoy their specialities in vocal erudition. It has proven to be a huge entertainment and a nice diversion of sorts for choristers and spectators alike.
The Eisteddfod Information package will be available early in 2013, and the entry form can be downloaded from the WNAA website for the North American Festival of Wales at http://www.nafow.org/ . Entries must be received by July 30, 2013. An entry form can also be ordered by mail; write to WNAA, P.O. Box 1054, Trumansburg, New York 14886.
Applications are encouraged from everyone who wishes to put their singing or linguistic talents to the test. Simply competing has proven to be a highly rewarding experience for those who have participated, as every single competitor benefits from a very personally-oriented, professional, constructive critique from adjudicators who present an overwhelming depth of experience in the singing and recitative arts.
For additional information and general queries regarding the competition, contact: Alan Upshall, Chairman of the Eisteddfod Committee (425) 488-7288; e-mail, email@example.com. Alan and the other committee members, Myfanwy Bajaj, Janet Figini, Ian Samways, and Lezlie Wood, look forward to your participation and wish you great success !
Important Tax Change for 2013 for Anyone Over Age 70 ½ with an IRA
By mona everett, 2013-01-16
Buried in the tax law changes just recently passed by Congress is the reinstatement for 2013 only of a provision that benefits taxpayers age 70 and older who have IRA money. Normally, all withdrawals from an IRA are taxed as ordinary income. This not only increases your tax bill but also increases your AGI (Adjusted Gross Income) which sometimes causes other tax increases.
Charitable contributions can be deducted on Schedule A if the total of itemized deductions exceeds the standard deduction. Many older persons find they save money with the standard deduction as they don't have state income taxes, mortgage interest, etc.
This means charitable contributions don't reduce tax bills. Every person's individual situation is different. This article is NOT intended to provide tax advice which you should obtain from your tax advisor. It is intended to get you to focus on this special break for 2013 and discuss it with your tax advisor.
To take advantage of this, you must notify your IRA custodian that you want to make a withdrawal and have it payable to a charity, such as the Meriwether Lewis Memorial Eisteddfod Foundation (MLMEF http://www.mlmef.org/ ) or the Welsh North American Association (WNAA www.nafow.org ). That withdrawal does count toward your RMD (Required Minimum Distribution) but will NOT be included in your AGI. Thus, you get the benefit of a tax deduction without having to itemize. Your AGI is also lower than it would otherwise be which may benefit you.
To make a contribution to the MLMEF, contact Ceri Shaw via Americymru or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Contributions to the WNAA should be made payable to the WNAA and sent to PO Box 1054 Trumansburg, NY 14886. Please send a separate letter to the WNAA telling us what you are doing. You should indicate whether you want your contribution used for expenses related to this year's Festival to be held in Toronto or as an addition to our Endowment Fund. If you would like your contribution to be used for a specific sponsorship (Eisteddfod prize, seminar, etc.) please call our Executive Secretary, Dr. Megan Williams, at 607-279-7402 to discuss sponsorship opportunities.
Thank you for your continued support of your Welsh organizations!
Rugby does not compute
By mona everett, 2012-12-29
Actual conversation at in-laws this Christmas:
Me: I like rugby better than football.
Brother-in-law: I saw New Zealand play--those guys are good.
Me: The All Blacks?
BIL: No, there were some white guys, too.
Me: (dead silence)
Lucky Lovespoon Winner
By mona everett, 2012-12-23
By Mona Everett
(Reprinted from Ninnau & Y Drych )
It was not quite the multi-million dollar Powerball, but Jane Buch, of Florida, was nearly as surprised to learn she held the winning ticket for the 2012 West Coast Eisteddfod Lovespoon. Jane bought her winning ticket, one of about 1400 sold, at the North American Festival of Wales, which was held Labor Day Weekend in Scranton, Pennsylvania. Sales of raffle tickets, along with donations, fund the annual Eisteddfod.
This year's lovespoon was the result of an artistic collaboration that stretched across state and national boundaries. Although never having met in person, carvers David Western, of Canada, and Laura Gorun, of Ohio, teamed up with artist Jen Delyth to create the one-of-a-kind spoon.
Jane said, When I received the call, I was thrilled to hear of my amazingly good fortune in winning this most beautifully and intricately carved Welsh lovespoon! Jane took up lovespoon carving as a challenge four years ago after collecting over 70 of them through the years, so she appreciates the mastery that went into this spoon.
Jen Delyth contributed the beautiful tree of life design which forms the focal point for this year's spoon. The tree, with its interlocking branches and leaves is the perfect symbol for this Eisteddfod lovespoon, with artists coming together in a spirit of cooperation to create an artwork of exceptional beauty.
Even before making the trip from Portland to Florida, this was a well-traveled spoon. In fact, a glitch at the US-Canadian border as it was mailed back and forth between Laura and David nearly delayed the finished product.
The detailing on this year's spoon is exquisite. Many painstaking hours were spent refining the knotwork and perfected the sinuous vine details. A Welsh dragon guards the spoon, his tongue and tail weaving through the four Canadian maple leaves and four American stars which symbolize the international nature of the Eisteddfod. The grain sweeps through the cherry bowl and the four balls in the organic cage represent the four years of the West Coast Eisteddfod. Everything is carved on both sides, so the spoon looks great both from the front and back.
As an additional bonus, Jane also received an exclusive copy of Chris Chandler's poem on celebrating your roots, printed on a background designed by Jen Delyth. The poem was the inspiration for this year's spoon.
The 'Celebrate Your Roots' theme is especially meaningful for Jane whose maternal grandparents were of Welsh descent and from Plymouth, PA. Her grandfather, John R. Powell was born in Aberdare in 1875 and had a coal mining background. Her grandmother's family, the Joneses, were from a farm called 'Abercaseg' in Bethesda, Caernarvon, and were Penrhyn quarry workers. Jane adds, Interestingly in the search for my roots, I found it matters not whether it be in North Wales or South Wales; all the death certificates list either mining accidents or lung disease as the cause of death. So typical.
Help Build A Welsh-American Archive!
By mona everett, 2012-12-22
An Archive TO HOUSE THE RECORDS OF WELSH AMERICA
will be built at the Great Plains Welsh Heritage and Culture Centre n Wymore.
A 25 ft. square building, made of steel-reinforced poured concrete, with tornado-proof doors, super-insulation, temperature and humidity control and fire protection, will be added to the Welsh Heritage Centre.
This will become a major research facility for Welsh America n immigrant research, housing the archival records and artifacts of Welsh newspapers, Welsh Societies, Welsh Churches, and Welsh immigrants and their descendants. Many of the artifacts will be rotated through the museum exhibits for visitors to enjoy.
The Board of Directors and friends of the Welsh Heritage Centre have already contributed more than $70,000. We need $33,000 more to complete the project.
Help us preserve our Welsh American history by sending a donation to :
Great Plains Welsh Heritage Project
PO Box 253
Wymore, NE 68466
We are a 501 (c)3 non-profit, so a donation made in 2012 may be a tax deduction for you. Check with your accountant!
Thank you for your support of our Centre!
Celtic Christmas on the Radio or Web! Dec. 23!
By mona everett, 2012-12-22
From our good Friend, Jenny Hubbard Young. Jenny is from Wales, but now lives in Atlanta. She is very active in Welsh activities, including Cwrs Cymraeg and the NAFOW. This is always a great show and you will hear some favorite Welsh tunes!
Greetings! Cyfarchion! Please join me to listen to The Celtic Show tomorrow 23 December 2012, on WRFG 89.3 FM, Atlanta. The programme airs from 5 7 PM EST and can be heard worldwide via live streaming at www.wrfg.org . Take a little break and enjoy seasonal and Christmas music celebrating the cultural heritage of Wales and the other Celtic lands. Every good wish for Christmas and a bright and bountiful New Year! Pob dymuniad da am Nadolig llawen a Blwyddyn Newydd gwych!
Niinau arrived! Read about the 2012 NAFOW!
By mona everett, 2012-10-31
My paper copy of Ninnau arrived today--complete with the NAFOW Supplement. If you missed the NAFOW, you can read about the great time we all had in Scranton--and make plans to join us in Toronto next Labor Day Weekend. (Get your passport ready!) If you do not already subscribe to Ninnau, please consider doing so. This is the last Welsh-American newspaper in North America and has descended from Y Drych, which has been around since the mid-1800s! It had world-wide circulation and keeps us in touch with our Welsh friends all over. Ninnau also makes a thoughtful holiday gift, for friends and family here and abroad. Visit www.ninnau.com to subscribe and see a sample copy.
Please vote for my friend's cousin--a disabled Welsh veteran!
By mona everett, 2012-10-25