OUR ANNUAL ST. DAVID'S DINNER A SMASHING SUCCESS!
It was a packed happy house with over eighty people in attendance for our annual St. David's Dinner bash, complete with a roasted lamb and leeks dinner, lots of wine, much singing and antics, a raffle - including a $100 gift certificate to a Welsh pub called Sunken Hundred, and some hearty laughter! Thank you to Susan Mitchell for playing violin so beautifully; Marc Pomije and staff for their culinary skills; Ricardo and Juan for waiting on the tables and helping in the kitchen; Rhodri, Sioned, Tom, Chris, Don for decorating the room; Chris Evans for doing check in; Tom Eley for selling raffle tickets; Rhodri for emceeing and leading the singalong; Mary Nelson for accompanying at the piano; Margaret Williamson for handling the money; Audrey Roberts for the delicious mint sauce; Caroline Von Reizenstein, Simon Owen-Williams for the raffle prizes - and especially Kathy Zuckerman at Knopf for the books! We'd also like to thank Audrey Roberts and Tegwen Epstein for the super moral support; and for Don Farrow for his tireless efforts masterfully masterminding the celebration!!! ❤️💚
REV. Dr. PHILIP R. NEWELL PUBLISHES HIS MEMOIRS
Rev. Dr. Philip R. Newell, who was our longtime pastor at the Welsh Congregation of New York City until his retirement last year, has penned a book called, What Is Your Calling?: A Memoir, published by Balboa Press. Always with much wisdom and love to share, we congratulate him on this most impressive accomplishment! Please click here to view excerpts and various purchasing options.
READING OF DYLAN THOMAS'S UNDER MILK WOOD our best yet
An annual tradition hosted by the Welsh Congregation of New York City, our latest reading Under Milk Wood took place on Sunday, February 12th, and attracted a larger audience than ever! The community read was a big hit despite foul weather that reduced the mammoth cast from 32 down to 27. Well done, everyone! And a hearty congratulations to Don Farrow for his tireless efforts with getting everyone organized.
JUNE BALLINGER DELIVERS AN AMAZING PERFORMANCE!
Hosted by the Women's Welsh Club, June Ballinger gave a wonderful one-woman show about a remarkable woman who worked at Bletchley Park to break the code, which helped to bring about the end of World War II. The event took place on February 4th, to a packed house - and many were brought to tears by this moving performance.
October's Noson LAwen a huge HIT!
Our annual noson lawen (roughly translated: happy evening) transpired on Sunday October 9th, after the service. We extend our hearty thanks to all of our participants, our emcee, Simon Owen-Wiliams, and most especifally to our fearless leader, Don Farrow, who makes these wonderful events happen seemingly on their own - diolch yn fawr!!
SEPTEMBER SERVICE FILMED!
A very special service indeed took place as the folks from Welsh channel S4C came to record for an episode of Rhys Meirion Duets (Deuawdau Rhys Meirion)! Rhys invites Welsh guest singers to sing duets with him and his guest on September 11th was the incomparable and beloved Iris Williams. They sang a lovely a rendition of Calon Lan.
There were interviews with members of the congregation during the Te Bach afterward which were also be filmed.
ANNUAL WELSH POTLUCK PICNIC IN CENTRAL PARK
We braved the weather and despite the predictions of rain it was dry for the duration of the picnic. There were Welsh cakes, sausage rolls and lots of music thanks to our three guitarists Simon, Tom and Doug...all we were missing was a charabanc. Two highlights of the event were an impromptu recital of a Dylan Thomas poem to improvised guitar. And the appearance of a couple from Anglesey who were visiting the Imagine mosaic and spotted our Welsh flag from a distance (thank you, Simon!) and came over to say hello. It was a jolly mix of old, familiar faces and some new faces too.
NANCY WILLIAMS HAS DIED
Longtime friend of the Welsh Congregation, Nancy L. Williams passed away quietly at home. No arrangements have been announced.
OUR CAROLINE VON REITZENSTEIN'S SON HAS DIED
Caroline von Reitzenstein's beloved son, Paris has died in an accident. Friends and members who attended the December 13th Advent Service may remember Paris who attended worship as well the te bach and Carol Sing after the service.
The congregation hosted a memorial for Paris at the January gathering of the Welsh Congregation of New York City.
The Rev. Dr. Philip R. Newell returned from his retirement to give the homily and offer the prayers. David Morgan provided worship leadership and worked out the order of worship and Mary Nelson directed an extraordinary music program.
OUR CYNTHIA DAVIES IN AN EXTRAORDINARY PERFORMANCE
Two term President of the Welsh Congregation Church Council, Cynthia Davies recently performed at the famous Apollo Theater in Harlem as member of Breathless Choir.
The choirmaster was none other than the internationally acclaimed Gareth Malone, and, yes, he has Welsh roots: his grandmother is from "Breathless" because all eighteen members of the choir suffer from severe breathing difficulties. The Breathless Choir includes two first responders from September 11th who suffer chronic breathing difficulties and other debilitating illness since exposure to the toxic dust of the World Trade Center disaster.
Cynthia has managed a condition called Bronchiectasis for 35 years (as well as a very full time career as an art teacher.) She now requires oxygen on exertion, which gave her the opportunity to receive instruction from the most famous choirmaster in Britain, and the chance to return to the gym and something she always loved, singing. It was an unique and gratifying opportunity.
Cynthia, a fluent Welsh speaker is from Ammanford in Carmarthenshire in Wales, and has been a member of the Welsh Congregation since 1983.
More about Breathless Choir from the British press can be found here and here. A video was launched on November 14, 2015 for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Day to create awareness of COPD, which can be seen below.
Cynthia has also been invited by BBC Radio Cymru's Shan Cothi to talk in Welsh about her experiences with the choir.