ISSUE 12, January 2005

Editorial
Kitchener of Khartoum: Mason extraordinary
Travel: Where east meets west
Veteran Honoured: Old soldier remembered
Royal Masonic Family: The Six Masonic Sons of George III, Part 1
Supreme Grand Chapter: Speech of the Pro First Grand Principal and, Report of the Committee of General Purposes
  Quarterly Communication: Address of the Pro Grand Master and, Report of the Board of General Purposes
Metropolitan Grand Lodge of London: London's first consecration
Soccer: Man in the Middle
Wales: Joseph Parry - flawed genius?
Library & Museum: Donations gather pace
Education: Dates for your diary and, Planning a 'white table' and, Looking to the future and, Time marches on
Grand Charity: General meeting and non-Masonic grant list
Masonic Charities: Reports from the four main charities
Letters, Book reviews, Gardening

 Previous Page 
PLEASE USE THE LINKS ABOVE - OR ON THIS LINE - TO MOVE BETWEEN PAGES
 Next Page 





Harriet Davies, Cardiff, who
took the lead soprano at the
first performance of Blodwen



    Parry held the Chair of Music at Aberystwyth from 1874-1879, set up his own School of Music there on his dismissal in 1879, and formed his own College of Music at Swansea in 1881 before being appointed university lecturer at Cardiff in 1888.
     Most of his large-scale works date from the Cardiff period, all of which were undermined of their vitality since he felt obliged to use a nondescript style thought to be proper for a Doctor of Music.
     His biographical details read like a novel. Indeed, Jack Jones based his Off to Philadelphia in the morning on Parry's life. Born in Merthyr Tydfil on 21 May 1841, he emigrated with his family to Danville, Pennsylvania in 1854 and started to work in the Rough and Ready Rolling Mills.
     He had been fascinated with music since his early days spent listening to the Cyfarthfa Brass Band. His interest was developed by two of his co-workers at the steel mill. He also played the harmonium, first at the Danville Welsh Congregational Church and then at the East Mahoning Presbyterian Church.
     Winning his first prize for composing in 1860, in 1862 he resolved to compete in every composing competition at the Swansea National Eisteddfod of 1863.
     He was awarded either first or equal first prize across the board and praised to the rafters by such influential Welsh musicians like Brinley Richards, the famous London- based pianist and John Thomas, harpist to Queen Victoria. This was during the American Civil War, when he only just succeeded from being pressed into the Grand Army of the Republic.
    He competed again and swept the board at the 1864 National Eisteddfod at Llandudno and at the Aberystwyth National Eisteddfod of 1865, deciding this time to visit in person. He set sail from New York to Liverpool in mid-August, arriving at Aberystwyth on 12 September to the shock realisation that every one of his compositions had been `lost.' A mystery that was never solved!
     However, his acceptance into the Gorsedd of Bards under the title of `Pencerdd America,' and the setting up of a fund allowing him to attend the Royal Academy in London, made up for the disappointment.
     He also swept the board at the Chester National Eisteddfod in 1886. In 1871 he was awarded the degree of Bachelor of Music from Cambridge, an incredible achievement for a man who had hardly ever seen a silver spoon, let alone being born with one in his mouth. In 1878 he further gilded his reputation by gaining his doctorate from Cambridge.


 Previous Page 
PLEASE USE THE LINKS ABOVE - OR ON THIS LINE - TO MOVE BETWEEN PAGES
 Next Page