Stewart Roberts, MA, LRSM, PGCE
Musical Director 2019 - Present
Stewart Roberts spent his childhood in Pembrokeshire, and when the family moved to Treorchy, he was educated at Treorchy Comprehensive School. Whilst at Treorchy he was taught by our late conductor emeritus of Treorchy Male Choir, John Cynan Jones M.Mus,BA,ATCL and studied piano with our former accompanist Jennifer Jones BEM,GRSM,LRAM, B.Mus.
Whilst at Cardiff University of Wales he studied piano with Richard McMahon and Caroline Rae and also the cello with Chris Hodges. In 1995, he graduated with a Bachelor of Music Degree, and was awarded the Eleanor Amy Bowen Scholarship, which enabled him to pursue his Master's Degree in 1996.
Stewart graduated from Cardiff University with a Master of Arts Degree in 1996.
He was awarded the Licentiate of the Royal Schools of Music before becoming the conductor of Dowlais Male Choir from 2000-2007.
In 2001, Stewart gained the LRSM Diploma in Piano Performance.
Stewart has had a very successful eleven years with Pendyrus Male Choir, making them one of Wales' leading male choirs.
As a solo pianist, Stewart has performed concertos by Grieg, Shostakovich, Mozart and Beethoven. As a cellist, he has also given many solo performances, most notably Karl Jenkins’ 'Benedictus' from 'The Armed Man' at a concert at Saint David's Hall, Cardiff in 2014.
Stewart's passion for male choral singing was ignited when he was appointed accompanist to Côr Meibion Morlais at the age of sixteen.
Stewart currently teaches in Ysgol Gyfun Cwm Rhondda, Y Pant Comprehensive School and Treorchy Comprehensive School giving instrumental and vocal lessons in addition to GCSE and A Level tuition.
Jeffrey Howard B.E.M., ARAM., B.Mus
Musical Director 2013- 2019
Jeffrey Howard was born in Cardiff and studied at the University of Wales College, Cardiff and the Royal Academy of Music, London specializing in organ performance and Church Music. He now pursues a free-lance career as organist, pianist, singer, coach and conductor. He has accompanied leading inte rnational singers including Bryn Terfel, Sir Willard White, Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, Dennis O'Neill, Rebecca Evans, Wynne Evans, Alfie Boe and Jason Howard.
Jeff has performed in concert halls and cathedrals throughout the United Kingdom and Europe including the Wigmore Hall, The Goethe Institute, Brussels, St. Paul's Cathedral, St Georges Chapel, Windsor and Notre Dame in Paris and has worked with orchestras including The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, the Royal Philharmonic, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic and the Budapest Symphony both as pianist and arranger.
He made his Royal Albert Hall debut in 2002 as soloist in Shostakovitch's 2nd piano concerto and returned there on several occasions as pianist and organist for the London Welsh Festival of Male Choirs. He has performed Rachmaninov's 2nd Piano Concerto and Beethoven's Emperor Concerto at St. David's Hall, Cardiff with the Cardiff Philharmonic Orchestra and appeared in recital with Bryn Terfel at Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool. He is an active organ recitalist throughout the UK with a varied repertoire from classical through to orchestral and transcriptions of movie themes.
In 1996, Jeff was Guest Artist in Residence at First United Methodist Church, Lubbock, Texas also holding the position of Visiting Professor of Organ at Texas Tech University. During his time in the US, he performed many concerts, television and radio broadcasts recorded a solo organ cd and performed at venues such as Washington National Cathedral.
For the last twenty years, Jeff has been a Vocal Coach at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama and at Welsh National Opera and Welsh National Youth Opera, recently conducting the opera Sweetness and Badness for the MAX department and having worked on productions for the last fifteen years. He worked on the opening production of La Traviata for the Wales Millennium Centre for WNO.. Jeff also coaches at the Wales International Academy of Voice with Dennis O'Neill and on the Music Theatre Course at the RWCMD..
Jeff is conductor of the 300 voice St David's Praise Choir and Orchestra who regularly perform programmes of classical, gospel and contemporary Christian music at St David's Hall, Cardiff and on recordings. He is also Musical Director of Cambrensis Choir.
Jeff's skills as an arranger and orchestrator are in great demand and he frequently provides pieces for the BBC National Orchestra and Chorus of Wales, Songs of Praise, S4C and various solo artists including Go Compare tenor, Wynne Evans. As accompanist, singer and arranger for Only Men Aloud!, winners of the BBC competition ‘Last Choir Standing' he toured the UK twice in 2009 and worked on their second album, 'Band of Brothers' on the Universal label for which Jeff did many of the arrangements. For this album they won a Classical Brit in 2010.
Outside the field of classical music, Jeff is also involved in cabaret and music theatre having worked with such names as Michael Ball, John Owen Jones, Shan Cothi, Rhydian Roberts, Connie Fisher, Peter Karrie, Ruth Madoc, and more informally, Dame Shirley Bassey!
DEPUTY CONDUCTOR 2006-2007
CONDUCTOR 2007 – 2012
Jan Ball was born in the Swansea Valley and began playing the piano and organ as a child. She later followed a Bachelor of Music degree in Musical Composition at the University of Wales, Cardiff where she studied under tutors John McGabe and Patrick Piggott. Following her graduation she taught piano and organ and gained a reputation as a professional accompanist to singers and choral organisations.
A television contract resulted in many guest appearances as an accompanist to a range of well-known singers for HTV Wales and in 1969 she was appointed accompanist and assistant conductor to the internationally renowned Ardwyn Singers of Cardiff. She was also the accompanist of the National Youth Choir of Wales for 20 years.
As an organist she has played at the Metropolitan Cathedral in Washington D.C., the Royal Albert Hall, Valetta Cathedral in Malta, the Sydney Opera House and also in the cathedrals of Russia and Germany. She was also invited to undertake a series of organ recitals in Barbados and Australia. For a decade Jan was the Head of Music at Coleg Glan Hafren in the Welsh capital and now tutors at the University of Wales College of Cardiff, Howells School in Llandaff and also works with the Welsh National Opera Education Programme.
In constant demand as a pianist and organist, Jan, who also holds a pilot’s licence, became the Choir’s accompanist in 2002. She has since undertaken a hugely successful tour of Australia with them as well as performing in some of the UK’s top concert venues. Following a period as Deputy Conductor, she was appointed the first female Conductor of the Treorchy Male Choir in the summer of 2007. Two years later she led the Choir on its fourth tour of Australia and first visit to New Zealand to critical acclaim. Jan relinquished her position in October 2012.
Meuryn Hughes graduated from the University of London with a Bachelor of Music degree with Honours in 1989 having specialised in composition and conducting. Following his graduation he studied conducting with John Forster of the Royal College of Music and completed a postgraduate course in composition for film and television at the London College of Music.
His conducting career began in 1989 when he formed and conducted the Regency Symphony Orchestra and the Regency Singers and on returning to Wales in 1992 was appointed Music Director of Cardiff Male Choir, a post that he held for three years.
His career has led him to conduct many choirs including Cor Caerdydd, Cor Tabernacl Caerdyff, Cardiff Ardwyn Singers, The Aber Valley Male Choir and the combined Cardiff Male Choirs.
Further afield, Meuryn has conducted the Pennsbury Chamber Choir (USA), Pennsbury Chorale (USA), Pennsbury Concert Choir (USA) and Leigh Summer Men’s Harmony (USA).
Meuryn formed an orchestra called Arcata Ensemble, consisting of players from the WNO Orchestra and other professional orchestras. In addition to his passion for music Meuryn runs his own printing firm and holds a Commercial Skipper’s Ticket as well as being a Royal Yachting Association Instructor.
The grandson of Welsh composer and conductor Arwel Hughes, Meuryn became the Conductor of the Treorchy Male Choir in the early part of 2006. Although his time with the Choir was brief, he led them on a series of hugely successful Diamond Jubilee concerts as well as a recording on Katherine Jenkins’s album, Serenade.
Andrew was born in Mountain Ash and was educated at the local comprehensive school. He attended the Welsh College of Music and Drama where he studied organ under Robert Joyce, the organist of Llandaff Cathedral.
He also studied choral conducting with Hungarian-born Celia Vadja, a former pupil of the famous composer Kodaly. Andrew then attended Phillipa Fawcett College, London and gained a teaching diploma.
On leaving college he entered the civil service, working in the Department of Employment in Brixton, South London. Whilst there he was, for a period of time, organist and choirmaster at the Holy Trinity Church in Upper Tooting.
In 1982 his job transferred to Cardiff and since returning to Mountain Ash he has involved himself in many musical activities. He joined the Mountain Ash and District Choral Society, where after a period of serving as Assistant Conductor and Accompanist he was appointed Conductor in 1991.
In 1993 he accepted the post of Musical Director of the Cwmbach Male Choir and led them on a successful Canadian Tour, but relinquished his position in May 1997 to take up the baton in Treorchy.
As the fourth conductor of the reformed Treorchy Male Choir, he led them on a series of celebrity concerts including on board the magnificent Enchantment of the Seas luxury cruise liner. In November 1999 he took the Choir on its month-long tour of Australia, followed in 2000 by a tour of Canada and the USA. Under his baton the Choir also made a return to Australia in 2004, taking the Sydney Opera House by storm.
Andrew was awarded Honorary Membership of the Treorchy Male Choir in 2008.
John Jenkins was born in Neath and read music at the University College of Cardiff and London University. He gained performance and teaching diplomas on the trumpet, studying at the Welsh College of Music and Drama and the Royal College of Music.
As a conductor, John has worked with the Bristol Sinfonia, the Phillip Johns Brass Ensemble, members of the BBC National Orchestra of Wales and the Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra. He founded both the Swansea Sinfonia and the Neath Symphony Orchestra and has conducted all over the country as well as Germany, Denmark, Austria, Australia and the USA. He has appeared with many famous artists including Campoli, Sir Geraint Evans, Nigel Kennedy and Julian Lloyd Webber.
John succeeded John Cynan Jones as Conductor of the Treorchy Male Choir in the autumn of 1991 and remained in post for just over five years. During this time he led the Choir on three tours of the United States of America, making visits to California, Georgia, Colorado and Washington D.C. He also continued to broaden the Choir’s extensive repertoire with such diverse music as the hits of Freddie Mercury and a symphony by Sibelius.
John Jenkins later became conductor of the Bridgend Male Voice Choir. Sadly he passed away in January 2012.
John Cynan Jones
ASSOCIATE CONDUCTOR 1965-1969
CONDUCTOR EMERITUS 1991- 2019
John Cynan Jones is very proud of his ancestry, having been born and brought up as a member of a Welsh-speaking family in Treorchy’s neighbouring village of Pentre. He attended Pentre Primary School and Porth County Grammar School for Boys, though his advanced studies in Music were carried out under the direction of Miss Margaret Harries at the Girls’ Grammar School next door! John received piano lessons from Glyn Davies (one of the Rhondda’s finest local teachers) from the age of six, gaining his piano performer’s diploma (A.T.C.L.) at the age of only 16.
John’s organ teacher was Dr Edward Rendall, the Cardiff University Organist, and John became the first student to perform an organ concerto with the Glamorgan Youth Orchestra. John’s father, Ifor Cynan Jones, was a renowned local conductor, holding the post of “Arweinydd y Gân” (Precentor) at Siloh Chapel, where John was one of the organists. John is eternally grateful for his early conducting experience with his father’s “Pentre Lydian Singers.”
In 1951, John was awarded a State Scholarship to study for an honours degree in Music at the University College of Wales, Aberystwyth. Following his graduation in 1954, this scholarship enabled him to remain there for a further two years to gain the post graduate degree of Master of Music. During this period he was active as an organist and conductor, directing the famous University Madrigal Singers during his post graduate years and winning the first prize in the Open Organ Competition at the National Eisteddfod of Wales. In 1956 John began two years of National Service duty with the Royal Corps of Signals, serving as Garrison Organist at Catterick and, later, at Hilden (B.A.O.R.), where he spent 18 months acting as a cipher operator.
Following his return to civilian life in 1958, John married Mary (his childhood sweetheart and fellow musician), whose father, “Dai Conway”, had been a soloist and long-serving member of the Bass section of Treorchy Male Choir. John was appointed Head of Music at the
Cyfarthfa Castle Grammar School in Merthyr Tydfil, where the Head of Music at neighbouring Merthyr “County School” was none other than Glynne Jones, a former famous conductor of the Pendyrus Male Choir, thereby beginning a friendship which lasted until Glynne’s untimely death. During this period John also became Organist & Choirmaster at St Martin’s Church, Roath, Cardiff, whose choir of boys and men’s voices was renowned throughout the Diocese of Llandaff, and who often deputized for the Cathedral Choir during holiday periods.
John returned to the Rhondda Valley following his appointment as Head of Music at Pentre Grammar School in 1965, also serving as Organist & Choirmaster for six years at St David’s Church, Ton Pentre. He was appointed Conductor of the newly formed Treorchy & District Choral Society, a mixed voice choir of over 180 voices, who gave regular performances of oratorios with professional soloists and orchestra in the former “Noddfa” Welsh Baptist Chapel. John was then invited to join the music staff of the Treorchy Male Choir, with the title of “Associate Conductor/Accompanist”, enjoying an immediate rapport with his two mentors, John “Haydn” Davies and Tom Jones. “John Cynan”, as he now became known, made his debut as Associate Conductor at two concerts in London in October 1965, and as Accompanist at Coventry Cathedral in April 1966. In May 1967 he led the Choir to success at the Cardigan Eisteddfod, and followed this with victory at the National Eisteddfod in Bala later that year. During the following year John Cynan was responsible for the Choir’s first recording (entitled “The Pride of Wales”) for EMI Ltd.
Following the resignation of John “Haydn” through Ill-health in January, 1969, John Cynan relinquished all his other conducting and organ-playing duties in order to fulfil his responsibilities as the new Conductor of the Treorchy Male Choir and also as Head of Music at the newly established Upper Rhondda Comprehensive School in Treorchy.
There was another impending change to the Music Staff of the Choir, for Jennifer Jones, John’s friend and colleague, was to follow Tom Jones as its new accompanist, beginning a partnership between conductor, accompanist and choristers that was acknowledged by critics as unique in Welsh music-making, and which would flourish for a staggering nineteen
years. John’s philosophy on becoming Conductor was that he was now the guardian of a cherished tradition; there would be no major changes, merely a continuation and enhancement of what had been accomplished by his illustrious predecessor.
The decade of the 1970s was to be a “golden era” in the recording industry, and the opportunities presented by the financial prosperity and expansion of the television medium brought new challenges and much success to our Choir. EMI Ltd (with their eminent producers and technicians) offered unlimited recording possibilities, and commercial television provided the opportunity of working with celebrities such as Ella Fitzgerald, Julie Andrews, Burt Bacharach and Tom Jones, together with their brilliant musical directors and arrangers. John Cynan was able to establish happy working relationships with musicians and producers alike. These “new paths” led to an extension of the Choir repertoire to include music of a “more popular” nature, but the staple repertoire of Welsh folk music, hymns and traditional “War-horses” was never neglected, whilst, at the same time, many fine choruses from the so-called “classical” field were added. Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, was astonished to be informed by our legendary Choir Librarian, Cliff Chislett, that the Choir Library “included over 1,500 items!”
The decade of the 1980s saw the first of the Choir’s major overseas tours, beginning with two visits to Ontario, Canada, and the first to Australia. John Cynan always maintained a close, but unobtrusive, working relationship with the Management Committee, never more-so than in the matter of the recruitment of new choristers, so that a constant flow of young men into the ranks was assured. Despite the thrills of overseas adventures, John insisted that local and national concerts were to be accorded equal attention, ranging from famous concert venues and cathedral churches to village halls and small chapels. Another significant change of music staff took place with the resignation of Jennifer Jones, but her replacement as accompanist was Marion Williams, the Treorchy-born former student who
had accompanied the Choir’s winning performance at Bala in 1967. John Cynan ensured that the seamless, almost telepathic communication between conductor and accompanist was retained!
In order to satisfy his yearnings for Anglican Church Music, John had become a part-time visiting member of the Choir of Brecon Cathedral, singing under the direction of that visionary musician and close friend, David Gedge. At Brecon, John was able to relax temporarily from the stress of his ever-increasing responsibilities as Academic Registrar at Treorchy Comprehensive School. He was also enticed back to the organ stool at his spiritual home - St George’s Church, Cwmparc.
A serious illness in May 1991 forced John to retire from his academic work and as Conductor of the Choir. He had served a total of 26 years, of which 22 had been as Conductor. John had conducted over 600 public performances, had supervised over 100 broadcasts and recording sessions, and had produced huge quantities of tonic solfa transcriptions and dozens of vocal arrangements for the use of the Choir. As had been the case with John “Haydn”, John “Cynan” was now the recipient of the title of Conductor Emeritus in recognition of his achievements. Now in his later “seventies”, John is in his 26th year as Organist at Cwmparc. In May 2003, in recognition of his long and devoted service to the Church in Wales, John received the “Archbishop of Wales’s Award for Church Music” during a ceremony held, most appropriately, at Brecon Cathedral.
John Haydn Davies MBE
CONDUCTOR EMERITUS 1969-1991
VICE PRESIDENT 1971-1991
John Davies was born on February 3, 1905 in the village of Blaencwm to Daniel and Lucy Davies. His father was a stonemason from Rhydlewis in Cardiganshire. John received his education at the local school in Blaencwm, Tonypandy Grammar School and Caerleon Technical College. Having completed his course at Caerleon he returned to Blaencwm as a teacher, becoming headmaster in 1955. In 1960 he was appointed headmaster of Bodringallt Primary School in Ystrad and retired in 1970.
As a young boy John Davies interested himself in tonic solfa classes, began to play the violin and joined the local amateur orchestra. His performances he described as “playing with more delight than technical skill”. This experience and knowledge of solfa proved of great value when in 1933, aged 28, he was faced by his first body of male singers – the Blaenselsig Male Voice Choir. From 1935 to 1947 he conducted with notable success the Blaencwm Choral Society in their annual performances of oratorios. The acme was the first ever performance with brass band – the Park and Dare Workmen’s Band under its director, Haydn Bebb, of Handel’s Messiah.
John was appointed Assistant Conductor under Arthur Davies to the Treorchy & District Male Voice Choir in 1938, accompanied by his friend Tom Jones as pianist. The Choir disbanded in 1943 but when it reformed three years later John was appointed its full time conductor and under his distinguished leadership the Treorchy Male Choir achieved international fame.
Pioneering the post-war renaissance in male voice choirs, it was under his baton the Choir gained a huge reputation in the choral arena, winning eight first prizes at the National Eisteddfod, and remained unbeaten with five first prizes at the Miners' Eisteddfod. In total the Choir won twenty two competitions out of twenty seven entries. Choristers and friends were delighted when in 1961 the Queen honoured him with the award of MBE. Seldom had the honour been more richly deserved or more widely acclaimed.
During his tenure as conductor he also adjudicated at local, semi national and the National Eisteddfod, and served on the Music Committee of the Eisteddfod. He took a keen interest in the history of the Rhondda Valleys, especially in its proud choral traditions. He was also a prominent and active member of the Blaen-y-Cwm Welsh Chapel, for whom he was Secretary from 1947 to 1984.
Good conductors are born, not made and rarely are all the qualities required to make a great conductor met in one man. John Haydn Davies was such a man. The ultimate choral maestro, John was loved and respected by all who knew him and his greatest legacy is that of the world-famous Treorchy Male Choir.
Arthur E. Davies
In 1938, shortly before the outbreak of the Second World War, Arthur E. Davies, a well - known Swansea musician, much revered for his work as a conductor, choirmaster, organist, adjudicator, professor of music and critic and brother in law of the brilliant pianist and composer, Claudia Lloyd, was invited to take up the baton. Due to his numerous musical commitments, he was only able to accept the invitation on an advisory basis and so had the brilliant foresight to appoint John Haydn Davis as his deputy and willing apprentice, who would conduct the choir under his watchful eyes until the difficult yet realistic decision was made to disband during the war.
Born in Wales, Arthur E. Davies was just sixteen years of age when he was appointed organist and choirmaster of St James’ Church, Walter Road, Swansea and at nineteen, was the youngest in the country to be granted the Fellowship of the Royal College of Organists (FRCO). He subsequently became an Associate of the Royal College of Music (ARCM) and studied under such notable musicians as Sir Granville Bantock and Sir Henry Walford Davies.
Invited to appear at Mount Pleasant Baptist Church at the end of the First World War on Armistice night, Arthur E. Davies served as choirmaster and organist at Mount Pleasant Baptist Church for almost half a century, appearing with the choir at venues across the country including at the Royal Albert Hall and, as a regular broadcaster at the BBC studios on Alexandra Road, through which his work gained international recognition.
As an adjudicator, Arthur E. Davies was sought throughout England and Wales. He was particularly proud to adjudicate at the Swansea National Eisteddfod in 1926 and continued to adjudicate right up until his death, adjudicating the National Eisteddfod again in 1962. As a critic, he was invited to write reports for both local and national publications, including for the Western Mail and South Wales News.
During his illustrious career, Arthur E. Davies gained numerous diplomas and honours for his teaching and taught many leading musicians, including the favourite of Ivor Novello, the celebrated contralto Olive Gilbert, with whom he remained great friends. Upon his death in 1966, Mr Ivor Owen, the Swansea municipal director of music and borough organist said “Mr Arthur E. Davies was a one man musical institution and his loss is a great one for Wales.”
William David Evans
William David Evans B.A. Mus., Bac. of Maerdy, was the former conductor of the formidable Williamstown Male Choir. “W.D.” Evans, as he was better known, studied music at Cardiff University and trained as a teacher in Goldsmiths College, London. A respected conductor of cymanfa ganu and a talented composer of Sunday School hymns, Mr Evans made a massive contribution to Treorchy’s success over the next five years. As a conductor, he led the Maerdy United mixed Choir to nine first prizes in thirteen eisteddfodau. His motto of “remember three things, punctuality, regularity and thoroughness”, rang in the ears of the Treorchy men as the long period of retraining and preparation for competition work began. As one reporter explained, “The moment he takes up the baton, his eyes aflame with real and infectious enthusiasm for his work, he grips his choristers in a manner which is peculiarly his own.”
On February 24th 1934 W.D. Evans made his debut to the Rhondda people as conductor of the Treorchy Male Voice Party. The concert, held in Bethania Chapel, Treorchy was a huge success. Although a win at the National Eisteddfod continued to elude them, the Treorchy men enjoyed an outstandingly successful string of first prizes at local and Semi National eisteddfodau. For spectators it was an exciting time as Treorchy usually came face to face with their keenest close rivals, Arthur Duggan’s Pendyrus. This “cythraul y canu” caused plenty of interest in the Welsh newspapers. Pendyrus and Treorchy came head to head again on June 10th 1935 at the Llanelli Eisteddfod with the test piece “Iesu o Nazareth” by Dr Joseph Parry. Thousands of spectators gathered for the spellbinding performance of both choirs and the adjudicator Dr Frederick Stanton awarded the first prize of £50 to Treorchy. The Conductor and accompanist, Idris Grifiths, were carried shoulder high by their victorious choir. Sadly in the spring of 1938 W.D. Evans resigned as Conductor to move to his daughter’s home in Church Village due to a heart condition. It was indeed the end of a golden era for the Choir.
John Isaac Jones
John Isaac Jones was the tenor soloist of the Royal Welsh Male Choir and succeeded Gwilym T. Jones as conductor of the Treorchy & District Male Voice Choir with Tom Knapgate as rehearsal accompanist and Idris Jones as competition and concert accompanist. The Choir’s first victory with their new conductor was in June 1927 at Penygraig Welfare Hall before they competed at the Pontypridd Semi National Eisteddfod in Taff Vale Park and came in third behind Williamstown and Pendyrus. In fourth place was Gwilym T. Jones’s Pontypridd Choir.
It was under John Isaac Jones that the Treorchy Choir appeared for the first time in the Royal National Eisteddfod arena, the first at Liverpool in August 1929 followed by Llanelli in 1930 and Port Talbot in 1932, all of which they lost. One highlight did come in 1929 when they beat the Morriston United Choir under Ivor Sims at the competition in Pontarddulais where Sir Hugh Roberton of the Glasgow Orpheus Choir was the adjudicator. Early reports indicate however that the Treorchy & District was not a happy Choir during this period, largely because of the ill-feeling between the choristers and their conductor. Suffering with a nervous disposition, John Isaac Jones would easily lose concentration on stage, changing the beat and rhythm of a piece of music much to the annoyance of his singers. He resigned as Conductor on July 22nd 1933.
Gwilym T. Jones
Gwilym T. Jones of Cwmparc was a prominent member of the Rhondda’s musical community as the Conductor of the Royal Welsh Male Choir, the same organisation that had stemmed, and eventually split from the original Treorky Male Choir. In 1920 he had also formed the 120-strong Treorchy Vocal Union at Noddfa and came to the “new” Treorchy & District Male Voice Choir with his accompanists Tom Knapgate, Fred Hughes and Jones’s own wife. The male choir grew to over 130 voices and rehearsals were moved to the Auction Hall or the Glyncoli Road School every Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday.
Under his leadership the Choir thrived and won many first prizes at local and semi-national eisteddfodau, leading them to victory against the formidable rivals, Williamstown Male Choir. In 1924 he also conducted the Choir at Ystradfechan Park for the Duke of York, later King George VI and during the same year won five eisteddfodau in a day as they travelled across West Wales in charabancs.
Such an ongoing, impressive list of victories rapidly earned Treorchy the title of the “Premier Choir In South Wales” and they went on to conquer London with a series of concerts and competition wins at Westminster's Central Hall. In 1926 Jones was appointed organist and chorusmaster at Bethlehem Chapel in Treorchy and he led them to further victory against the young Pendyrus Male Choir. Gwilym T. Jones resigned as Conductor in July 1927 to embark on a six month tour of South Africa with the Royal Welsh Male Choir. On his return he moved to Pontypridd and played a pivotal role in forming Cor Meibion Pontypridd.