Mudcat Café message #2034709 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #101024   Message #2034709
Posted By: sian, west wales
24-Apr-07 - 04:37 PM
Thread Name: Anti Henrietta o Chicago
Subject: RE: Anti Henrietta o Chicago
OK - I just wrote a really long reply to Joe - and it disappeared on 'send'! So .. as I was saying ...

Yes, Welsh aunts in Chicago. Lots of Welsh in Chicago. Used to be (possibly still is) a Welsh Church in Chicago. Seems to me that the Welsh Gorsedd Circle (the Druid Bards) held their ceremony there in the World Fair ... or something like.

Pretty much everyone in Wales has an aunty, or uncle or sister or 3rd cousin in North America somewhere. Used to drive me mad when I first moved to Wales. Everyone: "Oh! You're from Canada ! Do you know my cousin in Texas???!!" I got interviewed a lot when I first moved here because people couldn't figure out why someone would want to reverse-emigrate, and I wish I had a nickle for everytime they introduced the interview with "Anti Henrietta" - Arrghhh!

Cymanfa = gathering, convocation; canu = singing; cymanfa ganu = a singing (of hymns) gathering. Chris can advise what hymn book is used but my guess would be the North American Cymanfa Ganu hymnal. There are at least two big perapatetic cymanfaoedd canu (plural) - one travels around all of North America (annual event, Labour Day) and the other tours Ontario (spring). There are city based ones - apparently Beaver Creek, and also Toronto, Utica, and ???? I think there might be one in California somewhere.

The Toronto one is at Dewi Sant Welsh United Church every Good Friday, which is a traditional time for cymanfaoedd canu. If you do not speak Welsh, you can arrive 45 minutes early and they'll teach you the phonetics to be able to join in the hymns (usually half the verses of each hymn are in English anyway). A guy who was in school with me, with no Welsh connections, found out about these events via his Competitive Scrabble partner who is a Welsh Jew, and attends 'religiously'. He is now hooked.

It's easy-peasy to pick up the phonetics, and the singing is powerful stuff - 4 part congregational singing with Big Finishes and great tenor runs - so if you have a chance to get to one, go, Joe. Maybe Chris knows if there if there's a website listing cymanfaoedd canu in N. Am? (Ninnau, maybe, Chris?)