The Van Wert County Courthouse

Saturday, Jul. 2, 2022

Welsh songfest paean to 4-part harmony

VW independent/submitted information

VENEDOCIA — The 102nd annual Gymanfa Ganu (pronounced Ga-mahn’-fa Ga’nee) Welsh Festival of Song will be held this Sunday, September 3, at Salem Presbyterian Church in Venedocia. A light supper will be held from 4-6 p.m. Sunday, with the festival to begin at 7 that evening.

It’s a sing-a-long when the Gymanfa Ganu Welsh Festival of Song gets underway this Sunday at Salem Presbyterian Church in Venedocia. (photo submitted)

Ben Williams will direct the festival this year, while Van Wert native Tom Dustman, a retired music professor who taught at Long Beach (California) State University, will be the soloist.

Williams is from Louisville, Kentucky, where he developed a love for music at a very early age. He grew up in a musical family, with both his parents and brother playing musical instruments. Williams began singing at the age of 3 and soon after learned to play the piano, handbells, saxophone, and oboe.

After attending the DuPont Manual High School’s Youth Performing Arts School, Williams earned a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Wittenberg University in Springfield and a Master of Music Education from the University of Louisville.

Williams has performed in Carnegie Hall in New York City, Severance Hall in Cleveland, as well as in New Orleans, Boston, Montreal, San Antonio, Los Angeles, Detroit, Louisville, Austin, Dayton, Nashville, and Chicago.

Williams grandparents are David and Sue (Dustman) Williams, who are both Venedocia and Van Wert area natives. In fact, they first met at a Gymanfa Ganu. Williams’ family members include Dustman, this year’s soloist, and Christopher Uhl, who has also conducted other Gymanfa Ganus.

POSTED: 08/30/17 at 7:36 am. FILED UNDER: News