Dictionary of Welsh Biography


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WILLIAMS , JOHN ( 1856 - 1917 ), teacher of singing and choral conductor ;

b. at 20, Castle Square , Caernarvon , 26 Oct. 1856 , the son of Humphrey and Ann Williams . His father was the precentor in the local Wesleyan chapel where he also conducted the choir . When he was 8 years of age his father arranged for him to be taught the piano by Robert Roberts , the cathedral organist at Bangor , and later the organ and the principles of harmony by Dr. Roland Rogers (q.v.) . In 1880 he was appointed organist and choirmaster at Chri Church , Caernarvon . He early distinguished himself as a choirmaster . His successes in the national eisteddfod were as follows: 1876 , 1888 , 1891 , 1892 , 1898 , 1909 , 1912 . He conducted the national eisteddfod choirs at Caernarvon 1886 , 1894 , and 1906 , and at Colwyn Bay 1910 . He gave performances of the ‘ Messiah ,’ ‘ Elijah ’ and other works of the masters in their entirety; and he produced the works of Gilbert and Sullivan for the Caernarvon operatic society . The Royal Eryri male voice choir , under his conductorship , gave a concert at Windsor castle in 1899 , and he was rewarded with a handsome baton. The choir also sang in Caernarvon castle at the investiture of the prince of Wales in 1911 . His health broke down in 1914 and a public testimonial was presented to him in recognition of his services; and his wife received a pension from the Civil List . He d. 25 Nov. 1917 , and was buried in Llanbeblig churchyard.

Sources:

  • Y Cerddor , Jan. 1900 , July 1915 , Jan. 1918 .

Author:

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

Published date: 1959