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UWTSD students visit Ohio – USA

Eight young people (all wearing red tops) standing in from on a fire mantle - there are lights on the wall and candles/ornaments on the mantle.
Eight young people (all wearing red tops) standing in from on a fire mantle - there are lights on the wall and candles/ornaments on the mantle.

Students from the University of Wales Trinity Saint David’s (UWTSD) Wales Academy of Voice and Dramatic Arts celebrated St David’s Day in Rio Grande, Ohio this year.

The University has a longstanding connection with the University of Rio Grande and its Madog Centre as well as with communities of Welsh descent in North America.

The two week journey allowed students to showcase their talents to audiences within these Welsh communities in Ohio as well as in schools in Ohio.

Whilst in Ohio, the 8 participating students took part in a St David’s Concert with Rio Grande’s choir and travelled to Cleveland to visit a Welsh home and the Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame. They visited the Gallia Academy High School with the Madrigals Choir and appeared on the local television channel and radio stations, and also performed at Oak Hill Presbyterian Church for a St David’s Day luncheon and Performance.

Senior Lecturer Eilir Owen Griffiths said: “It is great to rekindle the relationship with Rio Grande. It has been a few years since a group has visited. With the strong Welsh connections it was apt that our Welsh-Medium performing arts students visited this year. Under the direction of Angharad Lee, they presented a showcase of work featuring monologues, songs and some stunning new arrangements of some Welsh choral classics by Nathan Jones. Graduating in the Summer of 2023, this work showcased their whilst celebrating some of Wales’ best writers and hymns.”

BA Perfformio student Lowri Voyle, said: “It’s been a wonderful experience and we could see how much the community valued Welsh culture. I feel that the history of the Welsh in Rio Grande Ohio is one that cannot be forgotten, and this trip will ensure that links remain strong between us.”

Jeanne Jones Jindra, Director of the Madog Centre for Welsh Studies, University of Rio Grande said: “It has been several years since we had a group of musical theatre students from UWTSD at the University of Rio Grande and we were thrilled to host this group. They blended seamlessly into our student life on campus, meeting our Grand Chorale and singing together for some engagements in the area, most notably our celebration of Dewi Sant.”

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