On Tuesday (17 May), primary school children from across Anglesey will get together at Oriel Ynys Môn as part of an exciting project on the history of Hedd Wyn and the First World War.
Aled and Dafydd Hughes from Cowbois Rhos Botwnnog and the crowned poet, Guto Dafydd will lead a series of workshops across Gwynedd and Anglesey to gather creative contributions, forming the basis for the work which will be performed at the Anglesey National Eisteddfod’s opening concert next year. This is the first workshop to be held on Anglesey.
Mari Lloyd Pritchard is co-ordinating the project and she said, “We are currently commemorating the centenary of the First World War, and 2017 will be an important year for us here in Wales, as we remember Hedd Wyn and the Black Chair at the Eisteddfod. This project has been inspired by Hedd Wyn, but the aim is to remember the whole generation affected by the war.
“The community workshops are an important part of this work and are a chance for us to hear and share stories passed from generation to generation, and this could be the last time we’ll be able to collect memories from those who knew someone who fought in the war or affected by the war here in Wales.
“We will be running workshops with people of all ages. War is a constant theme and subject, and we want to hear the opinions of every generation. Aled, Dafydd and Guto will be an important part of these workshops, and we hope that the words and music will be inspired by the contents of these workshops, making it a real community project.
“The schools will also be encouraged to take part in our History Hunt, and we hope the children will go back to their communities and find out more about the effect of the First World War on their village or town. How many local boys were lost in the war? What was it like to live in the area a century ago? Does anyone locally have any interesting stories to tell?
“With the help of staff from Yr Ysgwrn, Snowdonia National Park Authority, Siwan Llynor, author Haf Llewelyn and Shirley Williams from the Royal Welsh Fusiliers Museum, the children will learn more about Hedd Wyn, the time of the Great War and its effect on the community. We hope the children will be inspired to create a piece of work as a response to the war, and that this work will help to inspire Aled, Dafydd and Guto with the words and music.”
As well as the concert and the community workshops, this is also the Eisteddfod choral project for 2016-17. Rehearsals start in the autumn and more information will be available then. Musician, John Quirk will work closely with everyone to bring the whole project together and to create a memorable performance at the Eisteddfod.
The project is a partnership between the National Eisteddfod of Wales, Snowdonia National Park Authority, Arts Council of Wales, Gwynedd County Council, Anglesey County Council and BBC National Orchestra of Wales.
The Anglesey National Eisteddfod is held near Bodedern from 4-12 August 2017. For more information go to www.eisteddfod.wales.