North American Festival of Wales
NAFOW in Milwaukee
The 2019 NAFOW, sponsored by the Welsh North American Association (WNAA) begins Thursday, Aug. 29. The opening concert, the evening of August 29, will be Calennig. They formed as a duo in 1978, and have been at the forefront of new Welsh music, drawing material from elements of jazz, swing and tastes of other Celtic and European cultures.
Friday evening, the North America Wales Foundation (NAWF), will award its highest honor, the Heritage Medallion, during a banquet co-sponsored with WNAA, to this year’s winner, The Welsh Gymanfa Ganu Association of Wisconsin. The WGGAW is a major promoter and conservator of the rich Welsh traditions in the state of Wisconsin, established by the migrations from Wales in the nineteenth century. They sponsor 6 gymfanfas throughout Wisconsin each year at the old Welsh chapels.
Entertainment after the banquet will be Welsh tenor, Ryan Vaughan Davies, who won the coveted Blue Riband prize along with the William Park-Jones
Scholarship and The London Male Voice Choir scholarship at the 2018 National Eisteddfod in Wales. He is looking forward to singing at this year's NAFOW as part of the prize.
The North American Welsh Choir, Côr Cymry Gogledd America, is the creation of its Artistic Director and Conductor, Mari Morgan, and will be the grand concert Saturday evening. Mari Morgan is one of the most experienced and favored gymanfa ganu conductors in North America. Originally from Llanelli, Wales, she has conducted gymanfas worldwide.
Also featured in the Grand Concert will be the Three Welsh Tenors (Tri Tenor Cymru), who first came together in 2009. The trio now comprises Aled Hall, Aled Wyn Davies and Rhys Meirion. All three are professional tenors, with solo careers in their own rights. They have contrasting voices and unique personalities that complement each other as they perform classics from opera, musicals, Welsh songs and hymns, contemporary compositions and medleys.
The National Gymanfa Ganu will be held in two sessions Sunday afternoon and again Sunday evening. Sunday morning, there will be a bi-lingual church service.
During Friday and Saturday, there will be a number of seminars on many topics.
Thursday and Monday, Labor Day, there will be tours in the area of interest to Welsh Americans. You can sign up for them on the website.
To find out more information about the program, to register to attend and to reserve a hotel room, please go to http://thewnaa.org/index.html.
There will be greater detail in articles in future issues of Ninnau, the Welsh American newspaper. Ninnau is published 6 times annually. To subscribe to Ninnau, go to http://www.ninnau.com/subscribe.html
AdaMae attends the NAFOW regularly so if you have some general questions, you can email her at
(This information was summarized from the Winter 2018-2019 issue of Hywl, the newsletter by the WNAA (Welsh North American Association).
For additional assistance contact Welsh North American Association International Headquarters,
at 1-607-279-7402 or firstname.lastname@example.org,
Extend your stay: Plan your vacation around the 2019 NAFOW!
Plan Your Vacation Around Milwaukee, WI and Extend your Stay: Start your week at Peniel Welsh Chapel 86 miles north of Milwaukee with a musical program on Saturday followed by a Sunday afternoon Gymanfa Ganu.
On Saturday at 6:00 PM, the Peniel Quartet presents a musical evening including classical, gospel, hymns and contemporary music. Quartet members are Devin Scherck, Joshua Giese, Christopher Guy and Tom White. Other possible events for this day include a cemetery walk and bagpipe concert.
On Sunday, August 25 at 2:30 PM, Peniel Welsh Chapel holds its 96th Annual Gymanfa Ganu. The director is Christopher Guy, Sarah Conrad will accompany on the piano and Tom White will play the reed organ. Special music is also planned for the gymanfa. Te bach will follow. Another possible event on Sunday morning is worship and lunch at nearby Bethesda Presbyterian Church.
Check the Welsh Gymanfa Ganu Association of Wisconsin website for any updates to these events.