Dictionary of Welsh Biography


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ROGERS , ROLAND ( 1847 - 1927 ), musician ;

b. 14 Nov. 1847 at West Bromwich, Staffs. , the son of a father who was a good musician and could play the violin . He received a good education and when he was 11 he was appointed to play the harmonium in S. Peter's church , West Bromwich . In 1862 , when he was 15, he became organist of S. John's church , Wolverhampton , and, in 1866 , of Tattenhall parish church . He was 24 when he became organist of Bangor cathedral ( 1871 ). He graduated Mus. Bac. in 1870 and qualified as Mus. Doc. (Oxon) , five years later. By now one of the best-known organists , he was called upon to superintend the settling up of organs in numerous churches and chapels and to give recitals on them at meetings of inauguration. He did excellent work, also, as a teacher , among his pupils being D. Ffrancon Davies , William Davies , and R. S. Hughes (qq.v.). He was instructor in music at Bangor University College and at the Rydal Mount School , Colwyn Bay . A Bethesda choir won the prize at three national eisteddfodau under his conductorship — Denbigh 1882 , Cardiff 1883 , and Liverpool 1884 . He adjudicated at the Bangor national eisteddfod of 1874 . In 1891 he resigned his Bangor cathedral post because the dean objected to his playing the organ in Nonconformist chapels , and he was appointed organist of S.James's church , Bangor ; in 1902 , however, he returned to the cathedral post. He took the prize at the Llandudno national eisteddfod for a cantata (‘ The Garden ’); other cantatas by him were called ‘ Out of the deep ,’ ‘ Prayer and praise ,’ ‘ Floribel .’ He also wrote church music (including anthems) and part-songs, ‘ The river gloweth strong ’ and ‘ Y Storm ’ attained much popularity. He edited the Welsh Psalter and Emyniadur yr Eglwys . He d. 31 July 1927 , and was buried in Glanadda cemetery , Bangor .

Sources:

  • Y Cerddor , April 1899 ;
  • Musical Recollections by him in North Wales Chronicle , Nov. and Dec. 1926.

Author:

Robert David Griffith, M.A., (1877-1958), Old Colwyn

Published date: 1959