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THE NATIONAL EISTEDDFOD. The National Eisteddfod of Wales commenced at Llandudno 011 Wednesday. There was an atten- dance of about ten thousand people. Archdrnid Mwfa Mon presided at the Gorsedd. The bards were presented with an address of welcome from the Llandudno Council, and with the Gorsedd Banner by Sir Arthur Stepney. Llanelly. Lord Mostyn. who is President of the Eisteddfod Com- mittee. opened the Cymmrodorion Society's Section with an inaugural address. Mr. Josepli Bennett contributed a paper on Welsh Music and how to improve it." A disussion followed, during which it was urged that a Board of Music should be formed to select pieces for competition^ so that the same composers might not be aUvayJ selected at festivals. Professor Herkomer presi Jed at the first Eisteddfod meeting. He said he believed the day would come when ::n emotional people like the Welsh would excel in art as they did now in music. The chief event of the day was a choral competi- tion, in which Societies from Merthyr, Holyhead. Llanelly, Rhyninev, Builth, and Dowlais competed in three pieces, including Where His loud voice in thunder spoke," from Handel's Jephtha. Mr. F. H. Cowcn and other adjudicators awarded the two hundred guinea prize to the Builth choir. At the evening concert, Miss Maggie Davies, Mr. Hirwen Jones, and Mr. Ffrangeon Davies, sang. The programme of the National Eisteddfod for Wednesday was a thoroughly interesting one. After the usual assembly of the Gorsedd In the Happy Valley, the Cymmrodorion Society met at nine o'clock, under the presidency, in the absence of Principal Rhys, of Rev J. Fisher. Papers of a particularly able and suggestive character were read by Mr Edwards Tirebuck on Welsh Thought and English Thinkers," and by Professor Kuno Meyer on The collection of Welsh dialects." The morning session of the Eisteddfod was presided over by the Earl of Denbigh, who delivered a pleasant address. The principal musical items were the contests for orchestral bands and male voice choirs. The former was not really a contest, for only one party—the Pontypridd Orchestral Society—put in an appearance, and it was awarded the prize. Five male voice choirs sang, and the competition, as usual, was keen. So evenly balanced, indeed, were the merits of the Moelwyn and Porth choirs that the first prize had to be divided between them. Swansea coming in for the second. A silver cup, however, had been offered to the conductor of the first choir, and as it was impossible to divide this a second contest took place at the evening concert and ended in favour of the Moelwvn choir. Acting upon a suggestion by the adjudicators, Sir John Puleston. the president, announced his intention to give another cup of similar character to the other choir. In the adjudication on poetry the prize for the epitaph Tudno" was awarded to Mr Thomas Williams (Pontypridd). Ilie winners in the art section of prizes for needlework were Miss Heitland Browne, Llandudno, Miss B. Godby, Rhvl, Miss L. Roberts, Glanwyddyn, Miss Jones, Tanybwlch, Miss Williams, Maentwrog, Miss Edith Maclean, Portmadoc. Art prizes were carried off by Mr Carlton Grant, Oxford (oil painting), Mr Paul Knight, Llanduduo (water-colour drawing), and Mr Arthur Netherwood, Degauwy (ideal picture "Solicitude"). Miss Catherine Rowlands, Haver- fordwest, won the prize in the soprano solo com- petition. In the string quartet competition, Mozart in D minor, the prize was won by the Colwyn Bay quartet party, Miss Cheetham con- ductress. Master B. George, Tredegar, won the first prize for the violin solo; the second prize went to Miss Mary Thomas, Morriston. There were eleven competitors, a fact which the adju- dicators thought very encouraging. The piece set was Rode's air, with variations, In the tenor and bass competitions the judges said there were manv excellent qualities in all the singers, but they had not much hesitation in awarding the prize to Messrs Richard Thomas (Llanelly) and Llewelyn Bowen (Neath). The music sung was, For so hath the Lord," from Mendelssohn's St. Paul." Following the Eisteddfod came a meeting of the Association for Promoting the Education of Girls in Wales, and this was followed by the usual evening concert. The programme of the concert inclnded the performance of two new works by Welsh composers—Dr Parry's cantata Cambria," and Mr G. H. Pugh's choral ballad Ivry," both of which appear to be productions of considerable merit, and to have been well received. During the concert a presentation of money was made to Dr. Parry, in recognition of his services to music in Wales. The National Eisteddfod of Wales was continued on Thursday at Llandudno, and prospect of seeing the ceremony of chairing the bard attracted a large gatliering. At the morning meeting of the Cymmrodorion Society a paper written by Mr. Herbert Lewis, M.P., was read on the collection and preservation of Welsh historical records. Sir W. Williams-Wynn presided over the Eisteddfod. The successful bard of the year proved to be Rev. Hen. Davies, Swansea, who was chaired according to the usual rites. The principal musical contest was one for female choirs. The first prize went to a choir from Birkenhead, and the second to one from London. At a meeting of the Eisteddfod Association, it was decided to hold the National Eisteddfod of 1898 at Blaenau Festiniog, and to present the Princess Maud, upon whom a bardic degree was conferred two years ago, with a wed- ding ring n:ade of Welsh gold. A miscellaneous concert was given in the evening.