Hide Articles List

26 articles on this Page

Mr Lucas Williams.

News
Cite
Share

Mr Lucas Williams. 11-- The oldest Welsh professional singer, and one of the leading Sol-faists of that land of song is Mr Lucas Williams, says tlieillusicaz Herald for July. There are surely few musical Welshmen who have not heard him, for he has sung at every National Eisteddfod, with three exceptions, during the past 18 years. His great resonant and mellow bass voice is something to remember with delight, and his life and example are such as may fill with hope many a vocalist striving to catch the public ear. Mr Williams was born at Treforest, in Glamorganshire, and lived there until his eleventh year, when he removed to Stockton-on-Tees. He learnt Welsh in Eugland, and speaks it and English equally well. He knows every town and vilhlge in the Princi. pality. As a boy he had a good contralto voice, and was taught the old notation by Mr John ThomM I (leuan Ddu). Ho soon learnt tonic sol-fa at Stockton from Mr William Harris, the leader of a psalmody class. He took the elementary and inter- mediate certificates from the well-known leuan Gwyllt (Mr John Roberts), and learnt harmony and analysis through the postal classes of the Tonic Sol-fa College. For many years he was a roller in the ironworks of his adopted town. In that region, where man lives by the sweat of his brow, talents are not allowed to lie idle, and Mr Williams coiiv not help being the conductor of a sol-fa choir. Nor could he help working bard in the cause, and the result was that his choir repeatedly won prizes ab local eisteddfodau. There was great rivalry with Middlesbrough. One New Year's Day he was about to journey to that town with his choir, but so severe a snowstorm arose that he could not muster his siugers. He went, however, to the competition himself to watch the turn of events. His jealous rival made so savage an attack on the absent choir for not turning up that Mr Williams appealed to the chairman for permission to form a scratch choir from among the audience. This was allowed, and as Mr Williams found sufficient friends upon whom he could rely, he showed fight at once and carried off the prize. His old teacher, proud of his pupil, offered to pay expenses if Mr Williams would go to sWales and compete and win, but if he lost the expenses would not be allowed. Thus Mr Williams was led to visit Wales after 14 years' absence, and he won the prize both in the bass and the tenor solo competitions, the tenor song only touching G. He has never lost a prize for which be has competed himself. Having won the bass solo. singing prize at the Pwllheli National Eisteddfod, he came to London to study. He entered the Royal Academy of Music, and well remembers Professor Macfarren asking, in his kind interested way, What is the matter with your hands, Mr Williams?" The warfare with molten iron had made the hands so horny that the blind professor could not forgeb the man with the iron grip. I have never had a, man here with hands like that," he said, hence he was lenient with his piano-playing. From 1876 to 1380 Mr Williams passed through the hands of voice-trainers. He only remained a few months at the Academy, owing to what he considered favouritism for other pupils shown by his teacher. His next teacher was Mr Henschel, to whom he owes much. During Mr Henschel's absence from London, conducting in America, Mr Williams took lessons from Mr Randegger. How grate- fully the pupil remembers the master is 1 easy to see as Mr Williams tells stories that do Mr Randegger credit. The music thafc TSTr Wrniams prefers is Oratorio. He has sung Elijah more than any other man except Santley, having sung it 86 times. Mr Williams has sung in almost every oratorio that is performed. Mr Williams is going to sing at the next National Eistedd- fod at Pontypridd, one mile from his birthplace, and he regards this fact as a nail in the coffin of a certain old adage. Though he has not sought to be an adjudicator, he has often had to act in that capacity, as he is well qualified to do. His hobby is painting, and especially the cultivation of the friendship of artists, whom he finds the most interesting and the most constant of friends. [The above sketch is from a photograph by L. Wynne, Liverpool.]

,A DAY IN A SIGNAL-BOX.

[No title]

[No title]

Our Mercantile Marine.

[No title]

Songs for the People.

A DREAMER.

The Household.

[No title]

ECHOES FROM THE CALENDAR.

------JOHN LEECH AT HOME.

ALARMING FOR MR BRIGGS.I

Welsh Tit-Bits.

[No title]

GOSSIPS' CORNER.

A SATURDAY SERMON.'

Advertising

Advertising

WELSH GLEANINGS. -,.--

--------------Musical and,…

THE SURRENDER AT SEDAN.

[No title]

FARM AND GARDEN. - I1

---r 1 —■ *" A JEWEL

Songs for the People.