Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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DAVIES , MATTHEW WILLIAM ( 1882 - 1947 ), musician ;

b. at Neath, Glam. , Aug. 1882 the son of Richard and Catherine Davies , Neath Abbey . As a child he learnt the Tonic Sol-fa , securing the A.C. certificate at the age of 12, and matriculating at 15. In 1890 he attended a course in London under Dr. David Evans ( 1874 - 1948 ; see below) and when the latter was appointed to the chair of music at the university college at Cardiff , his pupil aged 20 won a scholarship of £40 a year for three years at the college. He graduated Mus. Bac. in 1905 and B.A. in 1906 . After a year of special training in London he settled as music teacher at Neath and was appointed organist and choirmaster of Bethlehem Green Calvinistic Methodist Church . He conducted the Neath Operatic Society for 36 years, and also the Neath Male Voice Choir . He was conductor of the choir when the national eisteddfod was held at Neath in 1934 . He was in constant demand as an adjudicator and conductor at singing festivals . He composed a large number of part-songs, anthems, and hymn-tunes for children, and for congregational singing . He composed the hymn-tune ‘ Bethlehem Green ’ specifically for Y Caniedydd Cynulleidfaol Newydd , 1921 . He d. 23 Nov. 1947 , and was bur. in Lantwit juxta Neath cemetery.


  • Y Cerddor , Aug. 1907 ;
  • [ Neath Guardian , 28 Nov. 1947 ;
  • H. Williams , Tonau a'u Hawduron cyfrol gydymaith i "Llyfr emynau a thonau y Methodistiaid Calfinaidd a Wesleaidd" (1929) (Caernarfon, 1967) , 1967 ].


Robert David Griffith, M.A., (1877-1958), Old Colwyn

Published date: 2001