Hirwaun Owain Alaw 13th July 1861
On Thursday evening, July 4th, this celebrated musician delivered a lecture at this place. The place of meeting was Nebo Independent Chapel. The chair was occupied by Mr Rosser Beynon, (Asaph Glan Taf,) who introduced the lecturer to the meeting, and several times addressed to the audience some very sound remarks on singing.
The lecture was taken up in treating upon Oratorios, Anthems. Solos, and Hymn-tunes. For the purpose of illustrating the lecture, two choirs, viz., the Ebenezer choir, and Mr Griffith Jones’s choir, admitted to be the best choir in the Principality, were present. In illustration of the first part of the lecture were executed 136th Psalm (chanted,) and the “Glory,” and “Hallelujah Chorus.” The lecturer here remarked that when the “Hallelujah Chorus” was first sung all the people rose on their feet from the effect, and it had been the custom ever since to stand when the chorus was sung.
The meeting, after this hint was given, followed it. The second part was illustrated by the singing of “Molwch yr Arglwydd,” (John Ellis,) “Wele mor Ddaionus, Gwyn ei fyd.” Pa fodd y Glan ha,” and “Y Daeargryn.” The latter anthem, the production of Owain Alaw, was sung with wonderful effect by Mr G. Jones’s choir. The third part having been illustrated with the singing of the solo, “Yn awr y Nef” by the lecturer. The lecture and concert were terminated by 0wa’n Alaw again singing “Ymweliad y Bardd.”
A vote of thanks to the lecturer, and an invitation to visit us again, was proposed by the Rev. W. Williams, and seconded by the conductor of one of the choirs, which was carried with loud applause. The lecturer having replied, he proposed a vote of thanks to the choirs for their services, which was seconded in a neat and telling speech by Mr John Williams, complementing the choirs upon the high degree of perfection they had attained, and also thanking them warmly for the services they had so readily rendered, without charging a far- thing. Owain Alaw said he had rarely heard such good singing.
A vote of thanks to the respected chairman, proposed by Mr D. E. Williams, and seconded by Mr John Jones, brought one of the most pleasant meetings of this nature we have ever attended to a close. The remarks of the lecturer were very instructive, and the several pieces were executed by the choirs with a skill and taste seldom witnessed in Wales. We should be glad of another such opportunity of instruction and enjoyment, which we hope we may have next summer again. We do not intend to speak disparagingly of the Ebenezer choir by asking, why does not Mr Griffith Jones’s choir make a concert tour through South Wales? The undertaking would certainly be a successful one. Beside it would have, no doubt, a very beneficial effect upon the choral singing in Wales. If they were to visit Hirwaun no doubt the two objects would be secured. Come, friends, and give us another treat.
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