Born: November 14, 1857, Llwynbedw (near Cwmgïedd), Wales.
Died: October 14, 1949.
Buried: Y Garn, Wales.
John was the son of Thomas Rees and Hannah Morgan.
He had little schooling as a child. He started working as a pit-boy at age nine, in Ystradgynlais and Aberdare, but still somehow acquired a musical foundation.
By age 17, he was giving music lessons, with Daniel Protheroe as one of his pupils. By age 21, he composed a cantata which he submitted in an eisteddfod in Treherbert.
He studied under Joseph Parry at Aberystwyth in 1879, with the help of David Jenkins, began to teach in Pen y Garn.
He went to Emporia, Kansas, in 1882, and in 1889 was awarded a Bachelor of Music degree in Toronto, Canada.
After returning to Wales in 1883, Thomas settled at Pen-y-garn, near Aberystwyth. He taught an adult music class, directed local choirs, and was a part-time lecturer at the University College of Wales, Aberystwyth, and taught music part time at Tregaron county school.
In 1895, his string quartet won a £20 prize at an eisteddfod in Aberdare.
Rees became well known as a composer of hymn tunes and anthems, as a conductor, and judge at eisteddfodau.
If you know where to get a good photo of Rees (head-and-shoulders, at least 200×300 pixels), would you