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Rhymney Valley Echoes.

GELLYGAER.I

The Late Mr. Lewis Evans.

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-ø_ RHYMNEY'S RIVAL CHOIRS. I "MUSIC IIATH CHARMS." MANAGERS TRY TO MAKE HARMONY, "A BOOK OF MEANNESS" At the meeting of the Rhymney Valley School Managers, on Monday, a deputation; from the Rhymney United Choir and the Gwcnt Choral Society wero received respecting the claims of each choir to the use of the Middle Rhymney School for Choir practices. Mr. John Edwards, who had presided at the previous bus- iness, thought it better, as a Rhymney man, to vacate the chair in order to discuss the mat- ter, and Aid. N Phillips was elected to preside. The two deputations were taken into separate rooms adjoining the Council Chamber, whilst the Managers discussed the facts of the case a.s submitted by the Deputy Clerk, and then the Gwent Choral Society's representatives were ushered in to present their sido of the case. The discussion lasted about an hour and a half, and to give a detailed report would take up a lot of space with much unnecessary repetition of statement; vsnd.,«u*gument, So that "rotter' served- by' a descriptive summary. The deputations were received by the Managers own wish in conse- quence of letters having been written to the Managers by both choirs, in which each claimed the right or privilege of using the Middle Rhymney School, and the Managers thought if representatives of the choirs came before them (the Managers) they might be able to do some- thing impartially to lessen the friction exist- ing between them. THE CLERK'S STATEMENT. Before the deputation was received the De- puty Clek mooe a statement to the Managers concerning the use of the school by the two choirs, from which it appeared that the Rhym- ney United Choir were granted the use of the school for Wednesday practices in 1906, and had used it exclusively up to November, 1909—124 times—and had paid 2s. a night for it. That choir used it in July and in November of 1909, but in November ceased to use it because of alterations being carried on there.—Mr. Bees Harris: But the Gwent Choral Society used it every night whilst the alterations were going on.—-Deputy Clerk: The Gwent Choral Society applied for it, and you granted the use of it.— Mr. Rees Harris: The other Choir had only used it on two occasions since June, 1909.— Mr. D. W. Price said that to deal fairly with both parties it seemed to him that the use of the school should be granted to each in turn. The discussion amongst the Managers pro- ceeded at some length on these lines in the en- deavour to find a way of reconciling the inter- ests of the two choirs, and then it was decided to call in the representatives of the Gwent Choral Society. Mr. Hopkins and Mr. James Evans. Mr. W. S. Nash remarked, "Music hath charms."—Mr. Albert Thomas: Am I to ask both deputations in together?—The Chairman: No. One at a time, please (laugh- ter). GWENT'S APPLICATION. Mr. Hopkins, speaking calmly and persua- sively, said he thought the Gwent Choral So- ciety were right iij making this application to the Managers for the use of the school. They had not done so in an underhanded way. All had been perfectly straightforward. Their Choral Society had suffered great persecution over getting a place after being chucked out first from the Victoria Hall, then from the Con- gregational Tabernacle, and now the school.— The Chairman Who were the "chuckers" out in the other cases'—Mr. Hopkins: The other choir, sir. If the school had been in use on Wednesday evenings, we should not have ap- plied for it, as we have no desire to do anything unfair.—The Chairman: From 1906 to June, 1909, we are told, the other choir had the use of the school. Was that in your knowledge when you applied ?—Mr. Hopkins It has been a well-known fact that the other choir had practised there on Wednesday evenings pro- vided there were no counter attractions to draw their members from practices. The other choir also practiced on Tuesday and Fridays at the Victoria Hall and the Library, when- ever there were no other performances going on at the Victoria. Hall, but the Gwent Choral Society had always held their practices on Wednesdays',—The Chairman The Clerk tells us they have used the school 124 times between 1906 and 1309. Where did you meet during that time?—Mr. Hopkins: We met at the Hall (Victoria).—The Chairman: If they had it so long you would admit they have some small claim?—Mr. Hopkins: I don't think so, sir. We gave them every opportunity to use the school, and made application for the Taberna- cle Hall. We had it on one Wednesday even- ing, and on going the following Wednesday were told it had been booked till further or- ders—so they turned us out of that. I do not see that they have any claim. Their practices were held on Tuesday nights, and so it was that we applied for the school on Wednesdays. Our choir nas been noted for being straight and above board. Turning to Mr. J. Edwards. Mr. Hopkins said: I ask Mr. Edwards to say if I have ever asked anything unfair? THE MUSICAL LOVERS. The Chairman: Can you give me any reason why the. other choir did not. meet at the school during the six months from June, 1909?—Mr. Hopkins: They have two organised bodies, and in June last year we applied to the headmaster for the use of the school on a Wednesday, and he said, "There is nothing to prevent your having it," and so we announced our practice, but when we got there we found "The Musical Lovers" (The Music Lovers) there, which is another part of the Rhymney United, and they had sub-let the school to the "Musical Lov- ers.—The Chairman: We shall ignore that sub-letting entirely. We disagree with that, and shall rule it out of the argument altogether. —Mr. J. W. Price: The speaker is trying to show that the other choir has taken a mean ad- vantage of them.—Mr. Jos. Evans (the other representative): It will occur again. Our prac- tices have always been on Wednesdays. Tues- days is their practice night. When we got to the school in June we found the Music Lovers there. Is it fair that we should have to fight the two bodies?—The Chairman: We ignore that point; but we are told they used the school 124 times.—Mr. Jas. Evans: That is quite untrue, sir.—Mr. Hopkins: On Saturdays we had been using the school right along, but when we WQnt to renew the application to the master we found the secretary of the other choir had informed him that we did not want it as we had the hall.—The Chairman: How many members attend your practices?—Mr. Hopkins: The average number for an attend- ance is 153. The ohoir numbers to-day 187. The other choir are able to practice at the Library without any difficulty.—Mr. L. Watkins: Do you imply that they have wilfully obstructed your practices?—Mr. Hopkins: Yes: first at the HaJI on Sundays, then at the Tabernacle Hall on Wednesdays, and now at the school. Our practices are 011 Sunday afternoon: the lead- ers on Monday evenings, full practice on Wed- nesday evepings, and male voice on Fridays. THE UNITED CHOIR. The deputation of the Gwent Choral Society having retired, the representatives of the Rhym. ney United entered, Mr. Griffiths and Mr. Harry Davies. Mr. Griffiths referred to the ap- plication made to the Clerk in October, 1906, for the use of the school, and said that they received a reply asking them to see Mr. John Edwards about it, and two. or three of the Choir's officials did so. with the result that permission was granted for the use of the school on Wednesday evenings pending the con- firmation at the following meeting of managers. A letter wa.s then received from Miss Hughes, of the Gwcnt Choral Society asking for the use of the school, and the Managers decided that the two choirs were to come to terms, and he (Mr. Griffiths) and Mr. Hughes went and came to terms. The terms arranged were that the Gwellt, Choral Society were to practise on Sunday and the Rhymney United on Wed- nesday evenings. After this Mr. J. Edwards and Mr. Beddoe also visited Mr. Edwards.— Mr. Rees Harris: I don't know anything about that.—Mr. Griffiths: A letter was received on the 14th November, 1906, granting the United Choir the use of tho school for Wednesday evenings, and we .held the school until the time of the alterations last year. We went there on November 17th last year, and had to wade knee deep into the corridor and on the 24th, when we had to use candles. We could not use the school during the alterations.—Tho Chairman The alterations made no difference to the other choir. They used it.—Mr. Griffiths: We saw in the report of a meeting in January that the Gwent Choral Socitey had been granted the use of the school on Wednes- days. We wrote asking whether it was correct I and reoeived confirmation, of it. We consider it only fair that our choir should have the use of the school on Wednesdays seeing I that others use it on Sundays. It was also re- ported that the other choir were practising tor a, coaoert in February, whereas we have a vary important competition coming off at Mountain Ash a, fortnight today and have no place in which to practise. It was also men- tioned that we practise at the Library. It is quite true that we have the Library on Tuesday nights, but you cannot get all the members i in there. It is true we have had the Tabernacle, but the Gwent Choral Society also had the use of the Tabernacle. They were there from September to December ten times, and they have also had Beulah Chapel and the English Congregational for practise. You see the dilema we are in.—The Chairman: Why can't you meet some other night?—Mr. Griffiths: We c&nnot do it, sir.—The Chairman: You are all in the same town, and the same class of people, I talra it.—Mr, Griffiths: The original arrange- ments were perfectly fair.—Mr. R. Harris: Why do they want the school on Thursdays now. when their practises have always been on Tuesdays?—Mr. Griffiths: That is not so. The first practise we had was on October 2nd, 1006.—Mr. R. Harris: Tuesdays have been your nights all along for years.—Mr Davies: Mr. Rees Harris is interested in the other choir and I don't think it fair he should say anything.— The Chairman: When did you practise a.t the Hall?—Mr. Griffiths: We met on Tuesdays in 1907.—The Chairman: How many times did yfcu use the school between June and Deoeoibwr, 1909?-Mr. Griffiths: We were there in Nove81 bcr.— Mr. D. W. Price: Has it been your Cág to: to hold your full rehearsals 09 Tuesday? —Mr. GrifEths: Yes, sir, and on Wednesdays. —Mr. D. W. Price: Why want to alter that, night to Wednesdays ?—Mr, Griffiths Wo 't '108¥-J Tuesdays is because the Gwent Choir have the school OD Wednesdays.—The Chairman: Your choir broke off from the school m June did they not?—Mr. Griffiths: Wo WGC there twice between June and Dee-ember.. TOOK IT FOPv GRANTED. The Chairman: You have made no applica- tion for the school since 1905.—Mr. Griffiths: I admit that. We took it for granted we could go there.—The Chairman: Is it a fact that you ¡ left the school to the Music Lovers?—Mr. Griffiths: Yes, sir, there was a section of our choir there.—The Chairman: They had no right.—Mr. Griffiths: We always have done it.—The Chairman: I don't, blame you more than anyone else. You really have no author- ity after 1906.—Mr. Griffith?:: I admit that.— The Chairman: But is it right for any par- ticular choir to monopolise any particular night? —Mr. Griffiths: Is it right for a choir to monopolise it for two practise nights?—The monopolise it for two practise nights?—The Chairman Why don't you agree to terms?—Mr. Griffiths: We ask for fair play for the two choirs.—The Clerk: Why not go to the school on Tuesday nights?—Mr. Griffiths: We want the hall on Tuesday nights. We are sticking to our Wednesdays.—The Chairman: Both choirs want the same night. I £ id«r" whethfeKono pai'ty'^tfiJPhave it the same night always.—Mr. L. Watkins: The Gwent Choral had the school on November lOch and on the 17tb the Music Lovers were in occupa- tion, and that seems to suggest that there is some amout of spleen between the two choirs. —Mr. Griffiths: I am trying not to create greater animosity.—The Chairman: You know the other choir wants Wednesdays'?—Mr. Grif- fiths: Why do they alter their days?—Mr. J. W. Price: They are wishing to retain their practices as usual. You have got the Library. —Mr. Griffiths: We can't get all our members in.-The Chairman What is your average at- tendance?—Mr. Griffiths: One hundred and seventy. We have our part practices on Mon- days, Fridays, and Saturdays.—The Chairman" Can you compromise the matter by arranging to exchange for certain periods?—Mr, Griffiths: The have had their period; and a fortnight to- day we are in for a competition.—The Chair- man Then your trouble will bo over in two weeks?—Mr. Griffiths: Yes.—The deputation then withdrew. DEPUTATIONS MEET. The Managers then discussed at some length the evidence given, which, to give in extenso, would entail repeating much of what has been already recorded. Mr. J. W. Price asked whether if the Rhymney United Choir practices were attended by 170 they wero Likely to put only 135 on the stage at a performance?—The Chairman: I suggest that we give them (the United) two weeks to prepare for their. coming competition, and that after that the ether choir have it for three months.—This suggestion was slightly modified finally, and the two deputations Were brought in together. The Chairman then said that the Managers had decided to let the Rhymney United Choir have the school for the next threa months on Wednesday evenings, and after that the Gwent Choral Society were to have it for three months.—The Deputy Clerk (to Mr. Griffiths): Of course, you will not put any obstacle in the way of the Gwent Choral Society using the Tabernacle.—Mr. Hopkins: They don't meet themselves, but put obstacles in the way of others.—Mr. Griffiths: That is untrue, Mr. Hopkins.-The Chairman We are wishing that friction may die out.—Mr. Griffiths: We don't stand in their way. If we could go over the history of all we" could tell you something. I could write a book on it.—Mr. J. Evans: And I could write a book on their meanness.—The deputations then with- drew.

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