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Community, competition and tradition: Trallong Eisteddfod, Powys

Community, competition and tradition: Trallong Eisteddfod, Powys
Trallong is a village in Powys, on the north bank of the River Usk. Trallong Eisteddfod, based in the namesake village, organises an annual eisteddfod to give children and adults the opportunity to sing, recite or play an instrument in front of an audience in the language of their choice. The association hold the eisteddfod annually to maintain the Welsh tradition through encouraging pupils from English and Welsh language schools from the area to practice and put into action skills or talents used during their studies. 
In November 2015, the association was awarded a grant of £1,000 from the Powys Welsh Church Act Fund, which is currently open, through the Community Foundation in Wales to promote and support the continuation of the eisteddfod. The maintenance of the event was of considerable concern, as Trallong Eisteddfod had noted the decline of many other  smaller eisteddfods in the local area due to recent financial constraints. Furthermore, the grant supported the hiring of musical accompanists to competitors, and bilingual adjudicators who helped mark the performances.
The blend of traditional and modern is a hallmark of the Eisteddfod, where both English and Welsh languages are encouraged and contemporary and classic literature, poetry and music welcomed. The day itself was a great success, with approximately ninety people competing throughout, giving them a platform to compete in a wide-range of competitions and display and hone their creative talents. Moreover, the eisteddfod gave the people of Trallong and further afield to chance to socialise, for different generations to learn from each other and enjoy the sights and sounds of the occasion. 
Additionally, the Trallong Eisteddfod was used as a way for local community groups to reach out and connect with local people. One example was the local Young Farmers Group, whose wish for new members inspired the formation of a group choir. The experiment’s success was greater than expected; the Group gained three new members for the following year, and came 2nd in the choir’s section. The choir also continues to perform at events across Powys.
Some of the winners won hand-carved wooden chairs, as seen presented by Mr. Alec Tompkinson,  the husband of the former secretary of the group. Previously, Mr. Tompkison  carved a different one every year out of old school desk lids, but,  in keeping with the tradition of the Eisteddfod,   the group now uses a returned chair as a prize annually.
The grant has added stability to the Trallong Eisteddfod, allowed for advertising and extended the competition itself, with more classes for the local community to participate in, to watch and to enjoy.
The Powys Welsh Church Act Fund is open for applications. Please click the links provided to read more about the criteria and to apply.
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