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EISTEDDFOTA: We owe it all to the Urdd.

Byline: with EMYR WILLIAMS

THE importance of Urdd Gobaith Cymru in developing the stage talents of Wales' young people is highlighted this weekend in Caernarfon's Galeri, where eight youngsters will compete for the movement's Bryn Terfel Scholarship, worth a total of pounds 4,000.

Past winners of this unique scholarship - set up by the opera star as an appreciation of his success as a young boy competing in Urdd eisteddfodau - have since made their mark in the field of entertainment.

And that is where the Urdd beats the much larger National Eisteddfod, giving young people the chance to shine by developing their talents over a period of years. The plain fact is there would not be a National Eisteddfod as we know it today every August had there not been the opportunities provided by the Urdd since it was established by Syr Ifan ab Owen Edwards in the early 1920s.

He ventured to hold the Urdd's first ever National Eisteddfod in Corwen in 1929, and the good news, of course, is that the Urdd National Eisteddfod has gone from strength to strength ever since, giving so many young people the opportunity to prove and develop their individual talents. Bryn has always recognised his debt to the Urdd and his personal involvement with this very special scholarship is to becommended. Here we have one of the world's great opera stars giving something back to Europe's largest youth movement. Over recent years he has taken part in fundraising concerts to ensure there is sufficient finance available to keep the scholarship going for many years to come. Earlier this year the Urdd released a DVD of the movement's Proclamation Concert held at St David's Hall, Cardiff in March 2004 (Bryn Terfel a'r Urdd), which was a night of celebration of Welsh young talent accompanied by Bryn himself.

The DVD includes performances from Bryn, COr Unedig Aelwydydd yr Urdd conducted by Owain Arwel Hughes and the accompanist Michael Pollock, four previous winners of the scholarship, Mirain Haf, Fflur Wyn, Rhian Mair Lewis and Aled Pedrick, and also contributions from the actor Daniel Evans and harpist Catrin Finch. This very special concert raised a substantial sum of money for the Bryn Terfel Scholarship. The DVD was released by the Urdd at pounds 17.99 in co-operation with S4C and Opus TF televison company, with the proceeds boosting the scholarship.

Bryn's comments on release of the DVD were: "The Urdd develops talent, broadens horizons and boosts confidence for performers from a very young age." During Friday night's Bryn Terfel Scholarship performances Gwenno Mair Davies, from Aelwyd Llansannan, will receive the crown of this year's Urdd National Eisteddfod. Llinos Dafydd yielded the crown following the Eisteddfod after admitting she had been careless in using quotations from the work of other authors, without acknowledging that fact


This week's winners of the National Eisteddfod's Hapnod Lottery are: pounds 200 (Criccieth); pounds 25 (Carmarthen); pounds 25 (Porthmadog); pounds 10 (Llanerfyl); pounds 10 (Cardiff); pounds 10 (Cwm Afan
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Sep 14, 2005
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