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.



Help Needed

If you know where to get a good pho­to of Rees (head-and-shoul­ders, at least 200×300 pix­els), would you