Born 12 September 1871 at Llanwrtyd, Brecknock, the son of Gruffydd Christmas and Elizabeth (Evans). By the time he was 14 he had composed several pieces of music. When he was 17 he went to Cardiff to take courses in music under Dr. Joseph Parry, to whom (in 1890) he became an assistant; he was also made organist and choirmaster at a chapel in Penarth. He soon came into prominence as a composer. A part-song, ‘O, agor fy llygaid,’ was adjudged the best entry at one eisteddfod, out of twenty-seven that had been submitted for competition; a cantata ‘Traeth Llafar,’ was awarded the prize at the Rhyl national eisteddfod, 1892; pieces composed by him were performed at the national eisteddfodau held at Newport, Monmouth, and Llandudno (1895); whilst his ‘Destruction of Pompeii,’ ‘Homeward bound,’ and ‘Charge of the Light Brigade’ were set as pieces for competition in various national eisteddfodau. He also wrote several anthems and hymn-tunes. In 1895 he settled as a music teacher at Merthyr Tydfil, where (in 1898) he became organist of Hope chapel. In 1905 he formed a north Glamorgan orchestral society which did excellent work by making orchestral works by some of the masters known. He graduated Mus.Bac. (Cantab.) in 1912; he later became Mus.Doc. (Dublin). In 1913 he became honorary conductor of the Merthyr choral society. He died 21 March 1926. and was buried in Llanwrtyd churchyard.
Published date: 1959
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