Thomas, Afan, d. 1928.

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Thomas, Afan, d. 1928.

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The composer David John 'Afan' Thomas (1881-1928), was born 15th April 1881, in Cwmavon, Glamorgan. He was the son of Evan Thomas, a choir conductor, and his wife, who was a singer and the daughter of David Nicholas, an accomplished musician. He adopted the name 'Afan' around 1899. He studied for a time under Dr Joseph Parry. He studied the organ at Bournemouth and was organist at Bethesda Congregational Chapel, Briton Ferry, 1903-1927. He was a frequent winner of musical composition competitions at the National Eisteddfod, and his works were performed at National Eisteddfod concerts. His sacred vocal works include Eirin Afan 1 & 2. His most ambitious work was his composition for choir and orchestra to words by Sir Henry Newbolt, 'He fell among thieves' performed at Aberafan. Many of his manuscripts were copied by his father, Evan Thomas, and his brother, Gwilym Thomas. He died 13th May 1928 and was buried in Cwmavon. One of his personal friends was Rev. William Evans ('Wil Ifan'), who wrote his biography published in 1944.

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