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Business Prospects, 1910.

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Mr. Theo. Thomas, Tylorstown.

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Mr. Theo. Thomas, Tylorstown. In a recent issue we supplied our readers with an account of the successful performances of Handel's Judas Macca- bseus" by Mr. Theo. Thomas' choir at Pontygwaith. Many of Mr. Thomas' friends will be pleased to have a photo- graph of him, together with the brief resume of his musical career given below. Born at Aberdare about 39 years ago, he removed when very young to Blaeny- cwm, Rhondda, and here, at this early age, he first took to music and showed a Eenchant for the art. At the age of 11 e removed to Tylorstown, where he com- menced working. Having spent two years at Tylorstown, his parents returned to Blaenycwm, where, when only a boy of 15, he conducted small choirs at numerous competitive meetings, and giving signs of a high musical ability. He soon grew into repute and acheved success locally as an able singer, •.•-jessing those qualities essential to a voice. Mr. THEO. THOMAS. Tylorstown. His parents again returned to Tylors- town when he was about 16 years of age, since which lie has made Tylorstown his home. Though obstacles were many and disadvantages numerous, he persistently pursued his musical studies, and before the age of 18 he passed successfully his A.C., and could up to this stage claim to be a self-taught man. Though still toiling by day at his work, he adhered unfail- ingly to the resolution that his life would be spent in the fine art. He took to con- ducting the children's choir at Ponty- gwaith, and performed with great success many cantatas and operettas. Many nights he burned the midnight oil," sacrificing his sleep in order to extend his knowledge of music; and before he was 22 he passed his G.T.S.C. Having given such demonstration of his ability, the friends of Pontygwaith and district supported him in many respects, and on the occasion of his passing his A.C., pre- sented him with a gilded frame, and a short time afterwards a lecture was given by the late Howel C'ynon, Aberdare, in his aid. When he passed his G-.T.S.C., he was appointed organist to the church at Hermon, and shortly afterwards took charge of the choir. About this time he succeeded in passing his first examination for the degree of Mus. Bac. He took to eisteddfodic competitions, and led the Pontygwaith Choir successfully 11 times out of 13. When competing at Ferndale on Gwilym Gwent's "Blodeuyn bach wyf fi mewn gardd," Mr. John Williams, Carnarvon the adjudicator, remarked that the rendering given by Mr. Thomas' choir was like a visitation of angels." On another occasion, at Porth, competing on John Thomas' "Bendigedig fyddo Arglwydd Dduw Israel," Mr. W. T. Samuel stated that it would be worth while walking fifteen miles in order to hear the opening part. He attended two summer terms at the London Tonic Sol-fa College, given him free by the authorities. During the second term he was awarded the prize for the best work on musical composition. Prof. George Oakey highly commended him for his work in musical composition. He has several compositions, the copy- right of one being secured by the Genedl Gymraeg," viz., Gwyn fyd y Gwr." For seven years successively he con- ducted "cymanfaoedd" in the Rhondda Fach and at different places in South Wales. He is well known as an able adjudicator. He has coached several choirs for other conductors, and on one occasion was presented with a photograph (in black and white) by Mr. John Harris' -choir as a, mark of appreciation for the services which he had rendered in coach- ing them successfully on five occasions. Each year Mr. Thomas undertakes some cantata or opera, and the performances are always brilliant successes, his most recent accomplishment being the perform- ance of Judas Maccaboeus mentioned above. At present, lie is engaged upon the task of conducting the male voice party known as the Pontygwaith Young Musicians. The party has only been formed a few months, and though not yet up to competition standard, shows con- siderable promise and bids fair to add many more to his list of successes.

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