Edward de Jong was a member of Jullien’s Band in the early 1850’s before his appointment as principal flute under Charles Hallé in 1858. He became the Musical Director of Rhyl’s Grand Pavilion.
Maggi Blythin has written an interesting account below:
On 27th May, 1892, a public reception and supper was held at the Westminster Hotel in Rhyl to honour Mr de Jong when he was the Musical Director of the Grand Pavilion. The evening was a ‘manifestation of welcome and satisfaction at his return to undertake the musical directorship’. The evening was presided over by Councillor W. Elwy Williams (Chairman of Commissioners). The meal was reported as being of a ‘ recherché character’ and fully in keeping with the high and widespread reputation which the Westminster Hotel had gained. There were many speeches and toasts followed by solos and duets!
(click on images to enlarge)
Mr A.L. Clews proposed the toast of the evening – the health of Mr de Jong. He informed the company that Mr de Jong had come to this country at a young age and that he had been Sir Charles Halle’s leading and right hand man for 13 years. He had been director of the Jubilee Exhibition in Manchester and was then engaged for five years at Blackpool, leaving there in 1891 to come to Rhyl.
After the toast was enthusiastically drunk, ‘For He’s A Jolly Good Fellow’ was sung with much gusto and heartiness.
Mr de Jong was appointed shortly after the Grand Pavilion was built. It was converted into a theatre at a later date and destroyed by fire in September 1901.
Edward de Jong was born in Holland in 1837. He first played in public when only seven years old. He began flute studies in Cologne then moved to Leipzig to continue studying. He was appointed principal flute under Charles Halle in 1858.
He married a local girl in Manchester in 1859 and they settled in Chorlton, Manchester. Here he continued his career as a Professor of Music. By 1870 he had set up his own Saturday Popular Concerts in Manchester with an orchestra of sixty players. He appeared as soloist and conductor. By 1891 he and his family had moved to Blackpool where his occupation was given as ‘ Professor of Music, Concert Giver, Dealer in Music and Musical Instruments’. His wife died in 1900, but he remarried the following year and by 1911 he was living in Southport with his second wife.
He died in November 1920 at Sulby, Isle of Man.