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James Samuel (b. 1853) - Conductor, Llanelly Town Band

Mr. James Samuel, who has so often led the Llanelly Band to victory, and who is immensely popular in the Tinplate Town, is an old Llanelly boy, where he was born on November 6th, 1853. Being left an orphan at the early age of 5 years, he was removed to the Orphan Asylum, Myrtle Street, Liverpool. Here at the age of 12 under the tuition of Mr. J. Stubbs, he commenced his study of the clarionet.

He was evidently determined to adopt music as a profession, for he worked hard and at the age of 15 joined the Coldstream Guards, under the late Mr. Fred. Godfrey, as a 2nd clarionet player. His stay here was but short, for 1870 saw him transferred to the 6th Dragoon Guards, with whom he served until 1889, having for 13 years been Band-Sergeant and solo clarionet under Mr. Dan Goring. Most of these latter years were spent abroad, principally in India.

Returning to England towards the close of 1888, the first opportunity saw him - with the instinct of a true Llanellyite - make straight for his native town. The Town Band had for some time been on the look-out for his return, and they then pressed him to accept the position he now holds, which he did in the summer of 1889. How successful he has been is sufficiently well-known. He is a hard worker, and anyone hearing his band cannot but feel that they are under the influence and guiding hand of a born musician.

Mr. Samuel is also conductor of the Llanelly Orchestral Society, in which he has done good work. He is besides a magnificent clarinettist, and as such is in great demand for concert and oratorio work. We feel sure that he is but on the threshold of what he is capable of entering into, and confidently expect that in the future he will rank still higher.

(Report published in 1893)