Ystradgynlais & District

History and Heritage

Emlyn Morgan, Musician

From the Summer 1949 issue of Y Gurnosydd came an article on Emlyn Morgan, a musician whose fame was current at the time the magazine was written.

Emlyn Morgan was born in 1911 in the village of Ystradgynlais. He spent his childhood at Cynlais School which he left in 1925. From school he went to work at the Yniscedwyn Colliery and there he remained till the days of his retirement in 1948. Today Emlyn is associated with the school of this area in a very important capacity, for he drives a van which brings food to our boys.

Mr Morgan has always been interested in music and began to study pianoforte playing when he was at school. At 17 he was appointed organist at Ainon Baptist Chapel. The organ, in those days, was a small American one but in 1934 a pipe organ was installed. This meant that Mr Morgan had to turn from the study of the pianoforte to the study and practice of the technique of the organ. As usual he was very diligent and Mr Morgan devoted all his time to the mastering of this technique. After a hard day's work in the pits one does not feel like spending three hours on the stool of an organ in a quiet little church, but it was done and done successfully by Mr Morgan.

In 1942 Mr Morgan was appointed accompanist to the Ystradgynlais Mixed Choir under the conductorship of Mr John Williams. He was later appointed deputy conductor to this choir. In 1948 he was approached by the committee of the Yniscedwyn Colliery with if you were forming and training a Male Voice Party from the colliery to take part in the Miners Eisteddfod at Porthcawl. This was in accordance with the scheme of the N C B to build up and organise a Miners' Culture in the village.

Since 1948 Mr Morgan has successfully organised the singers from the colliery and has competed at many Eisteddfods and last month the choir won the first prize at the Cwmllynfell Annual Eisteddfod.

At present Mr Morgan is busy with the task of creating an active miners movement in the village and with his comparative youth and unbounded enthusiasm we can predict with confidence that the village is in for a revival of choral singing which was once so characteristic of this area. We wish him the best of luck.

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