Skip to main content
Hide Articles List

6 articles on this Page






UMVEKISITY COLLEGE OF WALES. THE MUSICAL DEPARTMENT. SPEECH BY PRINCIPAL PRYS. On Friday evening a meeting was held in the Examination Hall of the University College of Wales to hear a programme of music given in con- nec ion with t' e cloing session of the short course in music. Tlv-re was a fair ar'enrlanoe. The MAYOR (C uncillor D. C. Roberts), in the ab- sence of the Principal, presided and he under- stood that that evening's programme ad been ar- ranged in connection with the shorn course of music giwn in that Coll g- during the past month and in connecti too, with the department of music now being re-started in the College. He was sure they all felt that a Welsh National College would not be complete without a department of music. (Cheers ) They were therefore glad that the College authorities had re started the de- partment of music. (Hear, hear.) He was pleased to understand th it Mr Jenkins had already been much encouraged by the numbers taking the short course. He trusted that a considerable number would also take advantage of the ordinary course which would begin with the commencement of the College session. (Hear, hear.) That movement was in the nature of an experiment which the Col- lege authorities had decide! upon trying for a p-riod of ifve y ars. He helieved that the success Mould be so great that at the end of the five years there would be no doubt as to the continuance of the department. (Cheers.) The following programme was then gone through to the evident pleasure of the audience :—" La Fileuse" (pianoforte solo), Mr Bryceson Treharne Berceuse Oberlass" (violin solo), Mr Bertie Oiler- head (enc.orerl); Revenge, Timotheus Cries," Mr D. Jenkins, Mus. Bac. (Cantab), encored; andante et Scherso, Mr Ollerhead; rhapsodi. Mt Tre- harne; Oliver," Miss Ethel James (encored) cavatine, Mr Ollerhead (encored). In an interval in the programme, Mr D. JENKINS, Mus. Bac., the head of the department, said he had long been convinced that there were young men and women in Wales who would benefit by a short course of music and the response to the invitation to take advantage of that movement had exceeded his expectations. He would have been satisfied with a dozen or fif- teen, but he was pleased to be able to say that no fewer than twenty-five students joined the classes. Of that number eight took instruction in organ playing, eight in pianoforte playing, nine in sing- ing, and four in composition He should like to have seen a larger number taking the instruction in playing 'the violin and other instruments. (Hear, hear.) The students came from North and from South Wales and amongst them, he could assure the audience, were very promising students. Wales, he regretted to have to say, was backward in instrumental music. Complaints to that effect were made arl nauseum at eisteddfodau. The people undoubtedly loved music and cultivated it as far as they could do so unaided, but he should hke to see people of means and culture doing more to encourage instrumental music. (Hear, hear.) He was pleased to be able to say an effort had been made in that direction at Aberystwyth where an oratorio had been produced yearly for several years past with an orchestral accompaniment. The con- cert, it was true, did not pay and was not en- couraged by people who might be expected to en. courage the musical culture of the people but fifteen oratorios had been produced and the balance sheet had been kept straight by a few friends who made up the deficit by subscription. (Hear, hear.) Perhaps one of the reasons for the back- wardness of Wales in instrumental music was the difficulty of getting good teachers in Wales, par- ticularly in the small towns and rural districts. He therefore hoped an effort would be made to induce Mr Ollerhead to pay weekly visits to Aber- ystwyth to continue his valuable instruction on the violin to all who desired to acquire proficiency in that beautiful instrument. (Applause.) At the conclusion of the pt-ogramme, Principal PRYS of Trev ecca College, proposing n vote of thanks to the Mayor for presiding, expressed satisfac- tion at the musical treat of that evening. He believed that those who could appreciate good music had been satisfied. Taste for good music, he added, wasan acquired taste like the taste for tomatoes and appetite grew upon what it fed. Let them, then, have in Wales enough of good music and gradually a taste for good music would be acquired. The taste for good music was not a natural taste, though the people of Wales prided themselves on havmg a natural taste for music to a greater extent than the people had on the ether side of Offa's Dyke. At any rate, he was pleased that the musical department had been restarted in the College. (Hear, hear.) When the department formerly existed it was the most popular depart- ment at the College and if it was as efficient as it was popular it was very efficient indeed. For some reason or other, the department ceased to exist. Now, however, they were all pleased to know that the department had been re-established and they all congratulated Mr Jenkins on his appointment at the head of the department and they also congratu- lated the College upon securing so efficient a teacher, for Mr Jenkins was a man who thoroughly understood the musical needs of Wales and the methods of thinking of her people. (Hear, hear.) He hoped that one of the results of that movement would be the improvement of congregational sing- ing in which Mr Jenkins took a deep interest. (Haar, hear.) As a minister of the Gospel, he (Principal Prys) could not help feeling that a, great deal required to be done in that direction. He hoped that many young men and women would at- tend the musical courses at the College to be trained as instrumentalists in order to be able to act as organists in the different churches with which they were at home connected. (Cheers.) Even in the Nonconformist churches there was now a fairly- large number of pipe organs and he believed there would be a much larger number if it were not for the present difficulty of obtaining efficient organists. He therefore hoped that a large number of young men and women would learn organ playing and so inaugrate better congregational singing. (Hear, hear.) He likewise hoped that an improved class of precentors would arise as another result of the re-establishment of those short courses of music at the College—that young men who aspired to be precentors in their churches and chapels would undergo the discipline and musical education such as would now be provided at the College. (Cheers.) Those who heard a great deal of congre- gational singing up and down the country, he was sure, would agree with him when he said that though Wales had very good congregational singing on the whole, there was still room for improvement and much might be done in giving a general training to precentors— musical and otherwise—in order to enable them to understand the fitness of things—(hear, hear, and laughter)—to suit the music to the words, for in- stance, and the words to the occasion. He recollected that a short time ago a precentor asked to be allowed to select the hymns for the day and as it was a special service the request was granted but about the very first hymn the precentor selected for the morning service was an evening hymn—tune and words—" The Shades of Night (Loud laughter.) In that case surely the precentor did not understand the fitness of things and possibly a short course or even a long course of musical training in some cases would not make precentors understand the fitness of things. In the great majority of cases in Wales, however, he was sure that a course of musical training at the College would be a great advantage and would lead to material improvement in congregational singing. (Applause.) Again he might say that he was pleased to find at. the head of the department Mr David Jenkins who, next to leuan Gwyllt, had done most for congregational singing in Wales. (Applause.) & & Mri WILLIAMS, B.A., having seconded the proposition, it was agreed to unani- mously. ° The MAYOR, acknowledging the vote, remarked that a certain number of the friends of the College] and of Wales had guaranteed a sufficient sum of j money to ensure the College authorities against 4 logs in carrying on that department for five years. That deep interest in the musical education of vv ales being shown by people who were not them- ( selves in a position to take personal advantage of < the instruction, it was to be hoped that those who were in a position would take advantage of the in- struction so afforded and that at the end of the five years the department would be so well founded in I the interests and usefulness of Wales that there 1 would be no doubt as to its continuance. (Ap- plause.) The meeting then separated.

[No title]