Local Welsh celebrate with traditional concert at Emporia

For 130 years a Welsh concert has been held in Emporia, Kan., honoring St. David, the patron saint of Wales. It is one of the oldest continuous celebrations in Kansas, and will be held at 2:30 p.m. March 4, 2018, at the Emporia Presbyterian Church West Campus, 1702 W. 15th Ave. The event is sponsored by the St. David’s Society of the State of Kansas.

Returning to direct her fifth concert, Eluned Jones will be a soloist for the concert also. Jones’ love for Welsh music comes naturally as she was born into a musical family. In her teens, the family formed a folk group called The Black Velvet Band. Jones puts Welsh “hwyl” (a deep feeling) into her directing of the Welsh hymn tunes. Among the Welsh activities in which she has been involved in since living in the U.S. are Welsh Heritage Week, Tan y Doraig ( a musical trio), the North American Welsh Choir, and A Welsh Festival at Sea on the Crystal Line Alaska Inside Passage cruise. Her official life work is professor and head of economics at South Dakota State University, Brookings, S.D.

Following the national anthems of the U.S. and Wales, the St. David’s Chorus will open with the traditional “We’ll Keep a Welcome. The chorus sets will include the spiritual “My Redeemer”, the triumphant “Blodwen” and the melodic “Godre’r Coed”. The memorial hymn, “Babel” will be sung in Welsh. Other special music will include Troyte’s Chant No. 1 with the words of the Rev. Eli Jenkins Prayer from “Under Milk Wood” by Dylan Thomas. Accompanists for the concert are Mary Melhorn, organist, and Travis Carmichael, pianist.

St. David’s Society president, Jennifer Baldwin, will give opening remarks and introductions. The invocation and benediction will be given by Rev. Gary Gooszon and Rev. Phyllis Stutzman, respectively. The concert will close with everyone joining together to sing “God Be With You”.

St. David’s Society officers for 2018-19 are: Brian Roes, president; Sally Conard,
vice-president; Deb Childers, secretary; and Tom Fowler, treasurer.

A reception of bara britch and tea will be served by the St. David’s Society following the concert. CDs and DVDs of the 125th concert will be available.

For more information, contact Paula Evans at 620-256-6687.

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