Song for Wales
27 February 2018
A Welsh learner who successfully completed an intensive Cardiff University course will perform in this year’s Song for Wales/Cân i Gymru.
The national singing competition, broadcast by S4C, will take place on St David’s Day (1 March) in Bangor. This year’s competition consists of eight shortlisted songs, from 114 songs submitted.
One of those songs is Ti'n Frawd i Mi (You are a Brother to Me) by Owain Glenister and will be performed by former The Voice contestant, Ragsy. Welsh singer-songwriter Ragsy - real name Gary Ryland - hails from Aberdare and competed in the second series of The Voice UK, on BBC One, where he was mentored by Welsh icon, Sir Tom Jones.
During summer 2017, Ragsy spent eight weeks attending an intensive Welsh-language course at Cardiff University’s School of Welsh, delivered on behalf of the National Centre for Learning Welsh. At the time, Ragsy explained his reasons for signing up to the classes. He said: “I’m looking forward to learning this beautiful language with other like-minded people, to help achieve my personal ambition of conversing in my native tongue.”
Since completing the summer course, Ragsy has made extensive use of his new Welsh-language skills and burgeoning confidence in the language, which he has described as “beautiful, rhythmical, inquisitive and almost magical”. He has released several Welsh-language singles including Fy Nghariad (Galw dy Fyddin) and Codi i Gael Aer, released for this year’s Welsh Music Day.
During a break in rehearsals for the live Cân i Gymru broadcast, Ragsy said: “I had a great time on the intensive summer course in 2017 and can't thank everyone at the School of Welsh enough for the opportunity and support.
“I’m incredibly excited to stand on the Cân i Gymru stage on St David’s Day and will be proud to perform Owain’s brilliant song in Welsh.”
Lowri Bunford-Jones, Welsh for Adults manager at the School of Welsh, offered her congratulations to Ragsy on his success. She said: “It is always fantastic to see how our learners use their new language skills and how it enables them to participate in Welsh-language culture and life.
“I look forward to watching Ragsy perform on Cân i Gymru and have no doubt he will inspire other potential learners to fulfil their ambitions. Pob hwyl i ti Ragsy!”
To find out more about learning Welsh, go to the National Centre for Learning Welsh website.