Daniel Protheroe

1866-1934

Yn ei ddydd, Daniel Protheroe oedd un o gerddorion pwysicaf a mwyaf poblogaidd Cymru a weithiai yn America yn ogystal â Chymru.

Wedi’i eni a’i fagu yn Ystradgynlais yng Nghwm Tawe, daeth yn arweinydd cydnabyddedig ym maes cerddoriaeth Gymreig yn yr Unol Daleithiau yn ogystal â chyfrannwr mawr i gerddora yng Nghymru. Yn gyfansoddwr toreithiog, cofnodwyd dros fil o hawlfreiniau gweithiau o genres cymysg iddo yn Llyfrgell y Gyngres heb sôn am y gweithiau a gyhoeddwyd yng Nghymru, megis y rhai ar gyfer corau meibion, emynau a chaneuon plant. Mae’r rhan fwyaf o’i weithiau cyhoeddedig yn archifau Llyfrgell y Gyngres yn Washington DC gyda rhai o’i bapurau personol a llawysgrifau yng nghasgliad Llyfrgell Genedlaethol Cymru yn Aberystwyth.

Yn 19 oed, ymfudodd Daniel Protheroe o’r Ystrad gan ymgartrefu yn Scranton, Pensylfania, canolbwynt yr America Gymreig yr adeg honno. Yn wahanol i lawer o’r rheini a aeth i Scranton, nid mynd yn löwr, gweithiwr haearn na labrwr ddaru Protheroe, ond aeth ati’n syth i gychwyn gyrfa lwyddiannus fel cerddor rhyngwladol – fel arweinydd, addysgwr, beirniad, canwr, awdur ac yn bwysicaf oll, fel cyfansoddwr.

Ymhlith athrawon cynnar Daniel Protheroe yng Nghymru roedd Philip Thomas, JT Rees, Dr Joseph Parry, Dyfed Lewis, y Parchedig William Fairhurst a’r Parchedig G Emery, ac yn America, JW Parson Price, Dudley Buck a Hugo Kahn. Ym 1893 enillodd ei Mus.Bac. (Toronto) ac ym 1903 ei Ddoethuriaeth mewn Cerdd o Brifysgol Efrog Newydd. Derbyniodd ddinasyddiaeth Americanaidd ym 1893. Dyfarnwyd doethuriaethau er anrhydedd iddo gan Brifysgol Toronto, Coleg Coe, Iowa a Phrifysgol Cymru.

Mae bywyd a gweithiau Daniel Protheroe yn syrthio i bedwar cyfnod: Ystradgynlais (-1886), Scranton, Pensylfania (1886-94), Milwaukee, Wisconsin (1894-1908) a Chicago, Illinois (1908-1934).

Tra oedd yn Scranton, sefydlodd ac arwain Cymdeithas Gorawl y Cymrodorion gyda thros 250 o gantorion corawl Cymreig. Enillodd y côr yr ail wobr yn Eisteddfod Ryngwladol Ffair y Byd, Chicago ym 1893 a Daniel Protheroe oedd y person cyntaf yn Scranton i lwyfannu ac arwain oratorio (Gwledd Alecsander gan Handel) gyda cherddorfa. Yn Scranton hefyd y cwrddodd a phriodi â’i wraig Hannah Harris.

Ac yntau’n eisteddfodwr profiadol, yn saith oed enillodd Daniel Protheroe yr unawd alto (Abertawe) ac yn 18 oed arweiniodd Gôr Ystradgynlais yn y Genedlaethol yn Llandeilo. Yn ystod y blynyddoedd rhwng 1900 a 1933, croesodd yr Iwerydd naw o weithiau i feirniadu mewn Eisteddfodau Cenedlaethol ac arweiniodd gôr yr Ŵyl pan fu’r Genedlaethol yn Harlech ym 1933. Yn yr Unol Daleithiau, bu’n beirniadu pob un o bum Eisteddfod Genedlaethol America, Eisteddfod Ryngwladol Pittsburgh a llawer o eisteddfodau rhanbarthol ar draws y wlad.

Bu galw mawr am Protheroe ar draws y cyfandir fel arweinydd Cymanfaoedd Canu (byddai llawer o’r rhain yn aml yn cynnwys cynulleidfaoedd o filoedd – yn Scranton ym 1926, bu rhagor na 6,000 o gantorion yn Arfdy’r ddinas) ac yn eu plith Cymanfaoedd Canu Eisteddfodau Cenedlaethol America.

Addysgwr: Roedd yn aelod cyfadran o adran leisiol Ysgol Gerdd Sherwood ac yn Gyfarwyddwr adran gerdd Ysgol Hyfforddi Chicago, sefydliad Methodistaidd ar gyfer hyfforddi cenhadon a gweithwyr eglwys.

Addysgeg: Ef oedd awdur y Cwrs Harmoni a Chwrs Arwain Corawl i ddiwallu anghenion nifer cynyddol y corau yn yr Unol Daleithiau.

Er ei fod yn byw y tu allan i Gymru am y rhan fwyaf o’i oes, arddelodd Daniel Protheroe ei iaith gyntaf gydag angerdd ac fe’i canmolid yn aml am ei allu i ysgrifennu a thraddodi beirniadaethau o lwyfan yr Eisteddfod Genedlaethol mewn Cymraeg glân gloyw.

Erbyn heddiw, fe ddichon ei fod yn cael ei gofio’n bennaf am ei emynau. Yn deithiwr cyson, enwir llawer o’i emynau mwyaf poblogaidd ar ôl lleoedd, megis Milwaukee, Wilkesbarre a Cwmgïedd ac ar rai eraill ceir enwau fel Price, Hiraeth a Hannah. Llyfr emynau dwyieithog yn y Gymraeg a’r Saesneg yw ‘Cân a Mawl’ a olygwyd ganddo i Eglwys Methodistiaid Calfinaidd America.

Bu farw Daniel Protheroe yn 1934 ac mae yntau a’i wraig, Hannah, wedi’u claddu yn Scranton, Pensylfania. Ar adeg ei farwolaeth, cynhaliwyd gwasanaethau a chyngherddau coffa arbennig ar draws cymunedau Cymreig America. Yng Nghymanfa Ganu’r Eisteddfod Genedlaethol yng Nghastell-nedd y flwyddyn honno, canwyd ei emyn-dôn Price er cof amdano.

Daniel Protheroe was, in his day, one of the most important and popular Welsh musicians working in America and in Wales.

Born and raised in Ystradgynlais in the Swansea Valley, he became a recognised leader of Welsh music in the United States of America, as well as a major contributor to music-making in Wales. A prolific composer, over a thousand copyrights of mixed genre works were lodged for him at the Library of Congress, without counting the works published in Wales, such as for male voice choir, hymns and songs for children. The majority of his published works are in the archives of the Library of Congress in Washington D.C. with some of his personal papers and manuscripts in the collection of the National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth.

At age nineteen, Daniel Protheroe emigrated from ‘Yr Ystrad’ and settled in Scranton, Pennsylvania, the then epicentre of Welsh-America. Unlike so many who went to Scranton, Daniel Protheroe did not become a miner, iron worker or labourer, but immediately established a successful career as an international musician – as a conductor, educator, adjudicator, singer, author, and most importantly, as a composer.

Among Daniel Protheroe’s early teachers in Wales were Philip Thomas, J T Rees, Dr Joseph Parry, Dyfed Lewis, Rev. William Fairhurst and Rev. G. Emery, and in America, J. W. Parson Price, Dudley Buck and Hugo Kahn. In 1893 he gained his Mus. Bac. (Toronto), and in 1903 his Doctor of Music from New York University. He became a Naturalized American Citizen in 1893. He was awarded honorary doctorates from the University of Toronto, Coe College, Iowa, and the University of Wales.

Daniel Protheroe’s life and works fall into four periods: Ystradgynlais (-1886), Scranton, Pennsylvania (1886-94), Milwaukee, Wisconsin (1894-1908) and Chicago, Illinois (1908-1934).

While in Scranton, he founded and conducted the Cymmrodorion Choral Society with over two hundred and fifty Welsh choristers. The choir won the second prize at the International Eisteddfod of the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893, and Daniel Protheroe was the first person in Scranton to stage and conduct an oratorio (Alexander’s Feast by Handel) with an orchestra. It was in Scranton that he met and married his wife, Hannah Harris.

An experienced ‘eisteddfodwr’, Daniel Protheroe won the alto solo at age seven (Swansea) and at 18 conducted the Ystradgynlais Choir at the National in Llandeilo. In the years between 1900 and 1933, he crossed the Atlantic nine times to adjudicate at National Eisteddfodau and conducted the Festival choir at the one in Harlech in 1933. In the USA, he adjudicated at all five American National Eisteddfodau, the Pittsburgh International Eisteddfod and many regionals across the country.

Protheroe was much in demand across the Continent as a Cymanfa Ganu conductor and many of these frequently would involve congregations numbering in the thousands – in Scranton in 1926 there were more than 6000 singers at the city’s Armoury. And also, for the National American Eisteddfod Cymanfaoedd Canu.

Educator: He was a faculty member of the vocal department of the Sherwood Music School, and Director of the music department of the Chicago Training School, a Methodist institution for the training of missionaries and church workers.

Pedagogy: He authored the Harmony Course, and a Choral Conducting course to address the needs of the growing number of choirs in the United States.

Although he lived outside of Wales for most of his life, Daniel Protheroe passionately maintained his first language, often praised for his ability both to write and deliver adjudications from the ‘llwyfan’ of the National Eisteddfod in impeccable Welsh.

Today, he is probably best remembered for his hymns. As a regular traveller, many of his most popular hymns are named for places, such as Milwaukee, Wilkesbarre, Cwmgiedd, and others like Price, Hiraeth and Hannah. ‘Cân a Mawl’ is a bilingual Welsh-English hymnal that he edited for the Calvinistic Methodist Church of America.

Daniel Protheroe died in Chicago in 1934, and both he and his wife, Hannah are buried in Scranton, Pennsylvania. At the time of his death, special remembrance services and concerts were held across the Welsh communities of America. At the National Eisteddfod Cymanfa Ganu in Neath that year, his hymn-tune, Price, was sung in his memory.

 
Daniel Protheroe - Milwr y Groes

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