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Top prizes at National Eisteddfod mark notable anniversaries

04 Aug 2023 3 minute read
Meredydd Evans and ‘Llwyd o’r Bryn’

Two of the National Eisteddfod’s most significant prizes celebrate notable anniversaries this year.

Singers will compete for the David Ellis Memorial Award, or the Blue Ribbon on Saturday. On the same day the Llwyd o’r Bryn Memorial Prize for recitation will be decided.

The David Ellis Memorial Award was first awarded in 1943 and the Llwyd o’r Bryn Award 60 years ago.

For the first time all former winners of the Llwyd O’r Bryn Memorial Prize will be invited to be part of the medal presentation ceremony.

The same day there will be a memorial session in Y Babell Len.

Royal Academy of Music

David Ellis from Wrexham was an accomplished tenor and studied at the Royal Academy of Music. He won many prizes in local eisteddfodau and the National Eisteddfod three times.

He died in 1941 and a fund was established to raise money for the National Eisteddfod. It was first won by Megan Thomas, soprano, from Llanelli.

A panel of judges chooses four competitors from among the soprano, mezzo-soprano, tenor and baritone competitors of the Eisteddfod to sing two piece in the competition.

Previous winners include Ritchie Thomas, Penmachno, Stuart Burrows, Pontypridd, Dai Jones, Llanilar and Shan Cothi.

After winning the Blue Ribbon in 1996, Rhys Meirion pursued a career in opera.

The 2023 David Ellis Memorial Prize competition is to be held on Saturday, August 12 from 3.45pm.

Robert Lloyd, Llwyd o’r Bryn, was one of the promoters of the Urdd’s first National Eisteddfod in 1929 and between 1938 and 1950 was the leader of the Tai’r Felin Party and held concerts all over Wales.

The prize for recitation was established in his memory at the National Eisteddfod in 1963.

The first ever winner was Stewart Jones, who also won the following year, a feat that has only been achieved four times.

The other double winners are Brian Owen from Groeslon near Caernarfon; Carwyn John from Bethel, Caernarfon and Sian Teifi, Chair of this year’s Recitation Committee.

Sian has judged the competition ten times and trained winners such as Carwyn John and Carys Bowen.

The memorial session for Llwyd o’r Bryn is at Babell Len on Saturday at 11am.

Daniel Evans, the new Joint Artistic Director of the RSC Stratford and former winner of the award, will talk about his life and work.

Emyr Roberts as Llwyd o’r Bryn will lead Noson y Lofft Stabil on Wednesday night at Ty Gwerin.

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