Mansel's Music Lives on; Manuscripts by the Late Welsh Composer Mansel Thomas Are Being Collected and Published by His Family. Here His Son-in-Law, Terence Gilmore-James, Talks about the Legacy of the Former Head of Music for BBC Wales

Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales), July 10, 2009 | Go to article overview

Mansel's Music Lives on; Manuscripts by the Late Welsh Composer Mansel Thomas Are Being Collected and Published by His Family. Here His Son-in-Law, Terence Gilmore-James, Talks about the Legacy of the Former Head of Music for BBC Wales


MANSEL Thomas was one of the most important and influential musicians of his generation in Wales.

Famous as a composer, conductor and adjudicator, he was for many years the BBC's principal representative for Wales and was able to encourage and promote, with characteristic generosity, the early careers of many composers and performers who have since become celebrities.

He wrote a large and varied range of music - vocal, choral (mixed, female, children's and male voices), instrumental (solo and chamber), band and orchestral.

He was equally at home in sacred and secular fields, but expressed himself more naturally and spontaneously in works of short and medium duration than in extended forms, such as oratorio, opera and symphony.

Born in Pontygwaith in the Rhondda in 1909, he took up the Rhondda Scholarship to the Royal Academy of Music in London at the early age of 16 and won a number of awards and prizes. He spent five years as a freelance musician in London, notably as a conductor and composer.

In 1934 he conducted the London Symphony Orchestra in his piece, Theme and Variations at the Neath Eisteddfod, and this gift for orchestration was to become a considerable aspect of his prowess during his years at the BBC, as was his remarkable inclination for songwriting and choral composition.

Mansel joined the BBC in Cardiff in 1936 as a music assistant and deputy conductor of the newly-formed BBC Welsh Orchestra. Following war service he resumed his duties, but as Principal Conductor of the orchestra, and in 1950 was appointed Head of Music for BBC Wales.

These were formative years and broadcasts of Welsh music increased in frequency and quality under his professional scrutiny. Though he himself never ceased to find some time to compose and arrange, nevertheless the increasing scale of his BBC commitments - and the onset of television introduced yet another dimension - did not allow him the amount of time he always wanted. So, he decided to take early retirement in 1965 to devote himself to composition.

He and his wife, Megan, moved to a cottage in rural north Gwent where he produced what is probably the most important corpus of his work, especially in vocal and choral spheres, including a choral suite for the Royal Investiture of 1969.

His many accolades for services to British music include an OBE in 1970 and a Professorial Fellowship at Aberystwyth University two years later.

He suffered major illness from 1979 and wrote little else of significance thereafter. He died in January 1986, aged 76. Mansel left an enormous and invaluable legacy of compositions and almost all of those not previously published are now being brought into print by the Mansel Thomas Trust, which was established by his widow Megan in 1987, with its main aim being to collate and collect his manuscripts and publish as many as possible.

The Trust - which is now run by my wife Grace, Mansel's daughter, and I - was granted charitable status the following year. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Mansel's Music Lives on; Manuscripts by the Late Welsh Composer Mansel Thomas Are Being Collected and Published by His Family. Here His Son-in-Law, Terence Gilmore-James, Talks about the Legacy of the Former Head of Music for BBC Wales
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.