Eisteddfod: Welsh Singing Competition

ambience: Welsh choral singing, Welsh choral singing with drum kit, guitar and western flute trio

There is a venerable Welsh tradition that dates back to the 12th century and continues as a popular worldwide event today. I’m Jim Metzner, and this is the Pulse of the Planet. The Eisteddfod is a series of talent competitions which take place throughout Wales, and even draws performers from all over the world. Originally a meeting of poets, today it encompasses theater, music and dance as well. There’s a local version of the Eisteddfod held in southern Ohio, one of the world’s largest Welsh immigrant communities. Kids from elementary to high school age in the Jackson and Gallia counties practice throughout the year for this talent contest, which is the one area’s most important cultural events. The competition is fierce. Merrill Davis, a former music teacher who ran the Eisteddfod, reflects on preparing youngsters for the event.

ambience: high school flute ensemble

“I would start as soon as school was out, 3:30. I had the kids come into the music room. I’d have somebody at the piano when the bell rang, practically soon as they could get there. And I would work with these high school people until 5:30-6 o’clock, go home, get a bite to eat and come back. We’d do it again maybe from 7 to 8 o’clock.”

Davis feels that the students’ hard work pays off later in life.

“They practiced it, and practiced it, until they could do it in their sleep. They’d stand up and do it. They’d get a lot of applause. They’d get a ribbon when they sat down. And they’ve said to me so many times, I can stand up against the people in my corporation, or the people I work with, because I did it once. I was afraid, but I did it anyway.”

Like earlier Eisteddfods, this event gives the stage to budding performers, while also celebrating the community’s Welsh roots.

Pulse of the Planet is presented by the National Science Foundation. I’m Jim Metzner.

Eisteddfod: Welsh Singing Competition

A series of talent competitions are rooted in ancient Welsh history.
Air Date:06/18/2003
Scientist:
Transcript:


ambience: Welsh choral singing, Welsh choral singing with drum kit, guitar and western flute trio

There is a venerable Welsh tradition that dates back to the 12th century and continues as a popular worldwide event today. I'm Jim Metzner, and this is the Pulse of the Planet. The Eisteddfod is a series of talent competitions which take place throughout Wales, and even draws performers from all over the world. Originally a meeting of poets, today it encompasses theater, music and dance as well. There’s a local version of the Eisteddfod held in southern Ohio, one of the world’s largest Welsh immigrant communities. Kids from elementary to high school age in the Jackson and Gallia counties practice throughout the year for this talent contest, which is the one area’s most important cultural events. The competition is fierce. Merrill Davis, a former music teacher who ran the Eisteddfod, reflects on preparing youngsters for the event.

ambience: high school flute ensemble

"I would start as soon as school was out, 3:30. I had the kids come into the music room. I’d have somebody at the piano when the bell rang, practically soon as they could get there. And I would work with these high school people until 5:30-6 o’clock, go home, get a bite to eat and come back. We’d do it again maybe from 7 to 8 o’clock."

Davis feels that the students’ hard work pays off later in life.

"They practiced it, and practiced it, until they could do it in their sleep. They’d stand up and do it. They’d get a lot of applause. They’d get a ribbon when they sat down. And they’ve said to me so many times, I can stand up against the people in my corporation, or the people I work with, because I did it once. I was afraid, but I did it anyway."

Like earlier Eisteddfods, this event gives the stage to budding performers, while also celebrating the community’s Welsh roots.

Pulse of the Planet is presented by the National Science Foundation. I'm Jim Metzner.