Women's Archive of Wales/Archif Menywod Cymru: Iris Evans Thomas of Taibach Papers

Scope and Content

Programmes; photographs; biographical details

Administrative / Biographical History

Iris Evans was born in Taibach, Port Talbot on 22nd September 1910, the daughter of Mr and Mrs Rees Evans. Her father was a grocer, and the family were members of Gibeon Independent Chapel. She had two brothers, Haydn and Dewi Evans. Iris Evans attended Taibach Elementary School and then Port Talbot Intermediate School, and went on to study music in London and Cardiff, gaining the Licentiate of the Royal Academy of Music (LRAM) in 1929 and becoming a member of the International Society of Musicians. She married Percy Thomas, a teacher, becoming Iris Evans Thomas, and together they had a son and a daughter.

Iris Evans Thomas was a talented pianist from an early age, and became organist at Gibeon Chapel from the age of 15. She acted as accompanist to Port Talbot and District Choir, the Port Talbot Cymric Glee Society, and the choir for the National Eisteddfod held in Aberavon in 1932; she also gained success leading Gibeon Chapel's children's choir and the Gwalia Mixed Choir. She later acted as accompanist at concerts throughout south Wales, and became the organist at Wern Independent Chapel, Aberavon. Iris Evans Thomas also gave piano lessons locally, and amongst her pupils was Sir Anthony Hopkins. Her daughter remembers that Iris' husband, Percy Thomas, took on duties of childcare and cooking at home to while she gave lessons. She died in August 1973.


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