Born 30 October 1878 in Rhosllanerchrugog, Denbighshire, the son of John and Margaret Roberts. He showed musical talent when he was quite young and won several prizes at eisteddfodau. After a short period as pupil-teacher in the local elementary school he spent three years learning the craft of carpenter, but relinquished that in order to devote himself to the study of music. He was given lessons on the piano and the organ by Dan C. Owen, Rhosllanerchrugog, Norton Bailey, Dr. J. C. Bridge (organist of Chester cathedral), and Herr Johannes Weingartner.
In 1894 he was appointed organist of Mynydd Seion Congregational church, Ponciau, near Wrexham, a post which he held for nine years. He became A.R.C.O. in 1899, F.R.C.O. in 1900, A.R.C.M. in 1901, L.R.A.M. in 1902, and Mus. Bac. (Oxon.) in 1905; he later (1911) took his doctorate in music at Oxford, the youngest Welshman and the first from North Wales to do so. In 1904 he became organist and choirmaster at Bethlehem Congregational church, Rhosllanerchrugog, retaining that post until he died.
He was director of music at Bangor University College from 1914 until 1920; he was also conductor of the Rhosllanerchrugog and Llandudno choral societies. He edited Y Caniedydd Cynulleidfaol, 1921, and Caniedydd Newydd yr Ysgol Sul, 1930. His services as organist, adjudicator, and conductor of hymnody-festivals were much in demand. Among his most successful compositions were ‘Bore'r Pasg’ (a song), ‘Crossing the Bar’ (test piece at the Neath national eisteddfod, 1934), ‘Cleddyf yr Ysbryd’ (Caernarfon national eisteddfod, 1935). In addition, he composed (or arranged) several hymn-tunes, most of which, e.g. ‘Rachie’ and ‘In Memoriam’ (in memory of Harry Evans), are included in Welsh hymnaries.
He died 3 March 1935, and was buried in Rhosllanerchrugog cemetery.
Published date: 1959
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