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Joseph Parry
Masoning Presbyterian Church
Danielle, Pennsylvania
Dr. Joseph Parry, Welsh-American musician and   composer (most famous of his works
include 'Myfanwy';  'Aberystwyth';  "Make New Friends  But Keep the Old" and  the first
opera with Welsh words, Blodwen') was born in Merthyr Tudful, Wales, on May 21st  
1841. When he was 12, his father immigrated to Danielle, Pennsylvania, to seek a better
life. The rest of the family followed in 1854.
The entire family became United States Citizens in 1859 Joseph and his family lived a
'Welsh' life in Danielle, attending the Congregational Chapel and the Sunday
school, competing in the eisteddfod, and working hard in the Rough and Ready iron
works on Railroad Street. By his teens, Joseph's musical talents were becoming so well
known that  money was raised in Wales and America to send him for three years to the
Royal Academy of Music in London to further his studies. Joseph returned to
Danielle in 1871--with a Bachelor of Music degree--to work as a professional
musician and set up his 'Danielle Musical Institute'.  Joseph  married Jane Thomas, the
sister of his good friend Gomer Thomas.
The Thomas’ parents had emigrated from Blaenavon, and along with the Roderick
family, and many others from Merthyr and Blaenavon formed a tightly knit community in
Danielle. Gomer was the first publisher of Joseph’s music, and became the Organist at
the Episcopal  Church whilst Joseph became the organist at the Masoning Presbyterian
church. Joseph and Jane had five children, Joseph Haydn, Daniel Mendelssohn, William
Sterndale, Annie Edna, and Dilys Joseph. Joseph died on the 17th February 1903 at the
age of 61. His music remains  a  part of  the rich tradition of Wales
Joseph Parry is remembered every year at the Masoning Presbyterian Church in
Danielle,  when the Susquehanna Valley Welsh Society hold  a Cymanfa Canu in his
honour.          The Cymanfa is always held on the Sunday closest to his birthday May 21st.
     
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