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St. David's Society of Minnesota

United to Celebrate and Explore Welsh Culture

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Our Annual Events
St. David's Day Banquet

Every spring the Society celebrates St. David's Day on the Saturday closest to March 1. In 2017, we celebrated the work of Mereddyd Evans on March 4th at the Ramada Plaza in Minneapolis.

Annual Picnic

Every summer the Society members meet to elect board members and officers and enjoy food and games -- and the outdoors.

Gymanfa Ganu

Every fall the Society carries on the Welsh tradition of singing together in four-part harmony in a "Gymanfa Ganu."  We sing tradition hymns  as well as familiar folk tunes.

Holiday Tea

Every winter in December, society members gather to sing together in four-part harmony, tell stories, listen to other members make music, and enjoy the sweet and savory treats that everyone has brought. 

Past Events

Upcoming Events

Well-Read Dragons Book Group

Saturday, 7 October, 11:30 - 1:30 at Davanni’s in Arden Hills, 3673 Lexington Ave. N., 55126

Come to discuss A Childhood in a Welsh Mining Valley by Vivian Jones

About the author: Vivian Jones was born in the small village of Garnant in the Amman Valley, the son and grandson of coalminers. He went on to Llanelli Boys Grammar School, Bangor University and Bala-Bangor Theological College, becoming a Minister in several Congregationalist churches in Wales. He later studied in the USA and served as Senior Minister in Minneapolis, Minnesota for 15 years, being awarded an honorary Doctorate of Divinity before retiring and moving back to Wales.

About the book: Vivian Jones recounts with great warmth his childhood in a working class family within the community of a small mining village in the Welsh Valleys in the 1930s, and considers what influence growing up in that environment has had on the man he is today. From the all-pervading influence of chapel culture to local people's delight in the cinema, the detail of this time, place and culture is brought vividly back to life through a wealth of lively anecdotes about the Amman Valley, his village (Garnant), local characters, community initiatives, school, the mining industry, growing up without much money, and much, much more. (from Amazon.co.uk)

Here's the book list for future discussions:

Dec. 2 - Choice of Short Stories by Mary-Ann Constantine.
Feb. 3 - The Long Dry by Cynan Jones
April 7 - Bred of Heaven by Jasper Rees 
June 2 - The Vegetarian Tigers of Paradise by Crystal Jeans
Aug. 4 - Choice of Poetry by a Welsh author

Gathering Place and Details

Visitors are always welcome, whether or not they've ben able to read the book. The group meets at at Davanni’s in Arden Hills, 3673 Lexington Ave. N., 55126. Davanni’s is south of 694, (check for construction beforehand) just south of Cub Foods.  We gather at 11:30 for lunch and conversation, then dig into the book talk at noon. Please plan to purchase lunch at Davanni’s. Those purchases allow us to use the party room free of charge.Book Shelf Dan Proud.png

Questions? Contact David Conradi-Jones, dae29cj@gmail.com or 612-247-1107. 
 

LINK TO List of Past BOOK CLUB Readings

Sgwrs Cymraeg, Welsh Language Discussion Group

Sunday, October 8, at 2:00 pm at 8844 Stevens Ave. S. in Bloomington

All levels are welcome. We do some conversation, some drills (suitable for beginning levels), and some reading / translation. We meet the second Sunday of every month alternating between Bloomington and St. Paul.

Recital by Jeremy Huw Williams, Welsh baritone and Paula Fan, piano

Monday, October 30 at 6 PM at the University of Minnesota School of Music, West Bank Campus. Ultan Recital Hall, located in Ferguson Hall
, 2106 Fourth Street South, Minneapolis, MN 55455

The Society is excited to welcome this Welsh opera singer of international repute to the Twin Cities. Be sure to put this on your calendar! Free admission.  Songs will include works by Welsh, French and American composers, including our own David Evan Thomas’s song cycle Heard in a Violent Ward, based on writings by John Clare.  There will also be a reception -- stay tuned for more details. Pay parking available in nearby 21st Ave Ramp. Information and map here.

Sponsored by the UM School of Music and the St. David’s Society of Minnesota.

Jeremy Huw Williams
Welsh baritone Jeremy Huw Williams has appeared in sixty operatic roles as a principal singer with Welsh National Opera. He has given performances at major venues in North and South American, Australia, Hong Kong and most European countries. He is renowned as an exponent of contemporary music, having given premieres of works by Hoddinott, Mathias, John Tavener, Michael Berkeley and Huw Watkins. Williams frequently records for BBC Radio 3 and his many commercial recordings include eight solo discs of songs. He received the inaugural Sir Geraint Evans Award from the Welsh Music Guild, given annually to a person or persons who have made a significant contribution to Welsh music. Williams studied at St. John’s College, Cambridge, at the National Opera Studio, and with April Cantelo.  In 2011, he was awarded the degree Honorary Doctor of Music from the University of Aberdeen.

Paula Fan
Pianist Paula Fan has performed as soloist and chamber musician on five continents. She joined members of Beijing’s Central Philharmonic Orchestra for the first concert of Western chamber music since the Cultural Revolution, and was the first-ever accompanist-coach invited by the Chinese Ministry of Culture. Dr. Fan has recorded seventeen albums and has broadcast for the BBC, NPR and Radio Television China. She has coached and accompanied singers from the world’s great opera houses, and is a specialist in wind chamber music. She is a committed Earthwatch volunteer and a founding member of Solar Storytellers, a solar-powered piano trio sponsored by the Arizona Research Institute for Solar Energy. Dr. Fan is pianist with the Tucson Symphony Orchestra and the first Regents’ Professor from the College of Fine Arts at the Fred Fox School of Music at the University of Arizona.   

Local event of interest: Family History Fair

Saturday, October 28, 9am - 3pm at the Minneapolis Central Library

Connect with expert genealogists and learn about state, local and library resources; learn to identify clues to your family history; find out how to use and evaluate DNA for family connections, and more. Visit resource tables, attend presentations and learn how to start your family genealogy. For more information and to register, visit http://hclib.org/about/news/2017/september/family-history.

Welsh Events in Other Places

North American Festival of Wales (NAFOW)

Aug. 30–Sept. 2, 2018 in Washington, D.C. Make your calendars for North America's largest gathering of the Welsh and friends, featuring the 87th Welsh Gymanfa Ganu and much more. Visit IHQ@thewnaa.org