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Monday, March 4, 2024

St Collen's hosts successful Gamanfa Ganu for St David's Day

Myron Lloyd from the Llangollen Eisteddfod's Marketing Committee with Trystan Lewis.

The view from the historic bell tower at St Collen's Church.

It was a rip-roaring end to the St David's Day weekend in Llangollen last night.  

Close to 150 people, many wearing daffodils, attended a Gamanfa Ganu at St Collen's Church.  

Met by town crier Austin “Chem” Cheminais, the congregation was led by hugely popular conductor Trystan Lewis in a great night of Welsh hymn singing.  

Songs included Cwm Rhondda, Finlandia, Calon Lân and Rachie - I Bob Un Sydd Ffyddlon amongst the hymns. 

Rachie was chosen as it was the 89th anniversary of the death of the legendary Rhosllannerchrugog composer Dr Caradog Roberts. 

One of the highlights was Shea Ferron singing Anfonaf Angel with organist Owen Maelor-Roberts, who accompanied the congregation throughout the night.  

 Mike Gleed from Côr Meibion Rhosllannerchrugog Male Voice Choir sang with the Bases.

Derwent Harp School travelled from Aberystwyth to perform as the congregation were welcomed by Father Lee Taylor, vicar in charge at St Collen's.

St David's Day messages from around the world were played on a special video wall.  

Eisteddfod competitors from countries like India, USA, Japan and Wales and England sent messages as did Welsh Folk legends Calan and Broadway star John Owen-Jones.  

* Town crier Austin “Chem” Cheminais opens the event.

They are all heading to Llangollen this summer for the biggest core Llangollen International Musical Eisteddod for a generation. 

The event was organised by the Eisteddfod's Music and Staging Committee. It was to raise money for the festival's charity that helps bring competitors to Llangollen for its Core Eisteddfod.  

John Gambles, Vice-Chair of the festival, said: "It was a tremendous night at St Collen's and Trystan Lewis did an amazing job of conducting.  

"We were lucky to secure the services of a brilliant showman whose knowledge and humour was greatly appreciated.  

"This is the first Gamanfa Ganu we've organised since 2017 - it was well worth the wait.  

"Wales has such a rich repertoire of hymns and the people of Llangollen raised the roof of our ancient church. We are already looking to arrange another similar event next year. What a way to finish a weekend celebrating St David's Day."

This was the latest event organised by the Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod to raise money for its charity.  

The next event is a Daffodil Flower Festival from April 5-7.  This opens with a with a choral concert April 5 at St Collen's Church with Lleisiau’r Afon Ladies Choir, Clare Harrison and Shea Ferron.  

On March 15, the Original Merseybeats also take the stage at Llangollen Town Hall, as part of their fundraising. Tickets can be bought from

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