What is a Gymanfa Ganu? The words “Gymanfa Ganu” are familiar to most Welsh people as such an event was an integral part of Welsh heritage. Its literal translation is a gathering or assembly for the purpose of singing. For any Welsh person, it means hymn singing in Welsh in four part harmony, usually under the direction of a choral director.
In Wales, a Gymanfa Ganu traditionally takes place on Easter Monday or on Whit Sunday. The Welsh have retained the tradition of the Gymanfa Ganu wherever they have travelled, and here in North America it still holds firm.
Since 1961, the Ontario Welsh Festival has held its Gymanfa on the Sunday of the Festival. In 2023, we raised our voices at Christ Church Cathedral Ottawa along with our musical guests from Wales, under the excellent direction of John Ieuan Jones. Long time Festival accompanist Alan Thomas also joined us.
If you have never experienced Welsh hymn singing, then a treat awaits you. The Welsh have been blessed with a wonderful ability to sing in four part harmony, and the emotion that emits from the hymn singing will lift one’s very soul. We are further blessed by having our world class musical guests bring their voices to our Gymanfa sessions. It is, indeed, an unforgettable experience.
Do come and sing with us! Admission is included with Festival registration.