TRIBUTES have flooded in for one of Wales' foremost musicians who has been described as "a quiet gentleman" following his death last week.

Colin Jones, 83, who was born and raised in Rhos, worked as a collier for seven years after leaving school, including stints at Hafod Pit and Llay Main, however, it was his musical ability that would cement his legacy.

That talent had been evident from an early age and was demonstrated when he won the prestigious open pianoforte solo at the Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod at just 14; an achievement which eventually led to him studying at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester.

Mr Jones was appointed as the Musical Director of Rhos Male Voice Choir at the age of 21 and spent more than 30 years in the role before retiring in the late 1980's and going on to form Cantorion Colin Jones (Colin Jones Singers) in 1991.

A second retirement followed in 2007, before he made another comeback in 2016 when he formed Corws Colin Jones with a show on a Mediterranean Cruise Ship, before he retired for the final time in September last year.

Steve Gardner, secretary of Corws Colin Jones said: “It (choral music) was his passion and he was particularly interested in male voice music.

“He taught and enhanced choirs throughout his lifetime. People would regularly ring and ask to go for a singing lesson with him or a run through before a performance. Colin would put them on the right road and tell them how to perfect it.

“His forte was definitely working on the technique of singers. He was a quiet gentleman and he was very popular.”

A spokesman for Rhos Male Voice choir said the news of his death had been met with great sadness by members, many of whom were involved during Mr Jones' 35 year reign as Musical Director.

They said: "Under his leadership, the choir celebrated numerous successes, both domestically and internationally. His passing is a massive loss to choral singing and music in Rhosllannerchrugog and far beyond, and he will be sorely missed by those who knew him.

"We would also like to extend our sincerest sympathies to his family."

His son Gary, 54, who moved to Yorkshire 22 years ago to work in the mining industry, said his father had spent the majority of his life in good health, but had recently been diagnosed with pancreatic and lung cancer and died in hospital on Friday, February 15.

Gary said: "I spoke to him every week and would always travel back to Wales to watch the rugby with him. My wife is English, so there is always a conflict of interests in our house when they played each other!

"He'd only ever been to hospital once in his life before he was diagnosed in December, and that was when he'd injured his hand.

"He was happy with what he had in life and managed to travel the world doing what he loved. Away from choral music, he was a really good snooker player and liked to drink and socialise with his friends from the choir."

Mr Jones, a widower since the death of his wife Mary in 2002 had two other children, Alison (54) and Sarah (49), spent his professional life working as a Senior Lecturer in the School of Vocal Studies, and became Principal Lecturer and Head of Music at the N East Wales Institute of Higher Education.

His funeral will take place on Thursday, March 7 at Capel Bychan, Rhos at 1pm and there will be a fitting tribute with a performance by several members of the choirs he's been associated with over the years.