News from 2006


Band Crowned Joint Champion Band of Wales

25 November 2006
 The Band is celebrating after jointly winning the title of Champion Band of Wales 2006.

The Champion Band of Wales title is contested by Championship section bands over three competitions held during the year across Wales. 

The final leg of the competition was held at the Park & Dare Theatre in Treorchy on Saturday, 18 November where the Band, conducted by Musical Director, Colin Hogg came home in third place. This third prize, coupled with fifth and second places in the earlier rounds of the competition was enough to put the band into a three way tie for first place with the Thomas Coaches Mid Rhondda and Park & Dare Bands.

The result ends a successful year for the Band on the contest stage where it has won a number of prizes. 

Principal Cornet Required

25 November 2006
 The Band is disappointed to announce that Principal Cornet, Rhian Linney has decided to leave the Band to take up a position with the Tredegar Town Band.

The Band would like to thank her for all her hard work over the last year and wish her every success for the future.

Following Rhian's departure, the Band are now looking for a new Principal Cornet. For further details please contact Jason Harris on 07740 699441 or e-mail

All Change Around The Stand

31 October 2006

The Band would like to announce a number of changes around the stand.

Firstly, after achieving success in their recent A level examinations Steffan Jones, Kirsty Davies, Aled Williams, Jess Bond and Katie Halls have started, or are about to start university courses.

In addition, due to a change in personal circumstances, Dave Bateman also leaves the Band to take up a position with the Lewis Merthyr Band.

The Band would like to take this opportunity to thank them for all their help and wish them the very best for the future.

Following these changes, Stuart Baddley moves from the bass section to pick up the much more manageable cornet, whilst Tom Howells moves from baritone to bass. 

Band second at Ammanford

8 October 2006

West Wales Brass Band Association
Amman Valley Comprehensive School, Ammanford
7th October, 2006

The Band are celebrating a second place in the Championship section of the latest round of the Welsh Championships, which was held in Ammanford.  

As the contest was own choice, the Band opted to perform Eric Ball's classic "Journey Into Freedom". The contest also marked new Musical Director, Colin Hogg's debut with the Band.

Band appoints new Musical Director

5 September 2006
 The Abergavenny Borough Band is pleased to announce the appointment of a new Musical Director, Mr. Colin Hogg.

Colin takes over the baton from Mr. Alun F. Williams who, after two successful years at the helm, has decided to step down from the position due to increasing work commitments. The Band would like to take the opportunity to thank Alun for all his hard work over this period.

Colin originates from Northumberland and has a diverse musical background. After joining the armed forces he attended the Royal Military School of Music at Knellar Hall. After completing his studies he then held the position of Warrant Officer Class One Bandmaster in the Parachute Regiment. 
Colin and his family relocated to South Wales in 1997 and since then has conducted a number of bands in the area.  He brings a wealth of musical experience with him and the Band are looking forward to working with him in the future.   

On his appointment, Colin commented:
“I am obviously thrilled to have been offered this appointment. Abergavenny are a top class Band and this will give me the chance to work with some fine players of mixed ages. They have been very successful over the last few years and I’m looking forward to working with them. With hard work from us all, we will continue their proud tradition of quality Concert and Contest performances.”

Successful Band Dinner & Awards Night

3 September 2006
 On Friday, 1st September the Band held its' annual dinner and awards night at The Angel Hotel in Abergavenny.

The Band were delighted to welcome the Deputy Mayor of Abergavenny and his wife.

The following awards were made:
Young player of the year : Emma Havard
Bandsperson of the year : Jason Harris & Gareth Havard
Long service awards: Deb Bull, Geraint Thomas & Helen Powell
Special awards : Ray Hill, Eric Powell & Phil Bull
The Band would like to express its' thanks to Sharon Havard and Jacqui Llewellyn for working so so hard to make the evening a success. 

Eight Members In National Youth Brass Band

23 August 2006
 The Band is proud to announce that 8 of its' teenage members successfully gained a place on the 2006 National Youth Brass Band of Wales (NYBBW), and spent a week during the summer holidays on the annual course which this year was held in North Wales.

The Band would like to extend its' congratulations to the eight members. 
As well as being members of the NYBBW, all eight are also members of the Greater Gwent Youth Brass Band who will be performing on 15th November as part of the Youth Proms.  at the Royal Albert Hall.

Four members of the Band are also members of the North Monmouthshire senior wind symphonia who will be appearing at the Youth Proms on 14th November. 

Band comes home in second at Weston

23 May 2006
 Weston Contest
Winter Gardens, Weston-Super-Mare
21st May, 2006

The Band, under the baton of Musical Director Jamie Meredith enjoyed themselves by the sea at the recent Weston open contest, coming home in second place in the combined first and championship section.

After only a week of rehearsals with Jamie, the Band brought out a top class performance of ‘Tallis Variations’ by Philip Sparke.

The Band would like to thank Jamie for all his hard work, and to also congratulate him on his first conducting assignment with the Band. 

Band to perform with up and coming opera star

17 May 2006
 The Band are delighted to announce that they have secured the services of up an coming opera star, Holly Holyoake, as the guest artist at their annual concert.
Holly Holyoake’s remarkable talent and increasing public profile has catapulted the young soprano into the international spotlight.

Debuting aged twelve at the Newport Philharmonic Choir’s Annual Spring Concert, Holly has performed at numerous events, garnering massive public support and increasing visibility in the classical music industry.

Inspired by legendary Italian –American tenor, Mario Lanza, Holly’s passion for her art remains steadfast in spite of a demanding schedule. Increasing demand for Holly to perform, both in the UK and internationally, and her academic commitments means at seventeen, Holly has matured far beyond her years. 
Following her international debut at the 41st Mario Lanza Ball in Philadelphia in 2002, Holly, as the sole representative for the United Kingdom, won gold at the World Championships of Performing Arts in Los Angeles.

In 2004, testament to increasing recognition of her outstanding ability, Holly was invited to perform a duet at the North Wales Theatre, Llandudno with internationally renowned classical artist, Hayley Westenra.

“I was thrilled to perform with Hayley. She’s an inspiration to me … to stand on the same stage as your idol and perform … is a once-in-a-lifetime-experience.”

At seventeen, Holly continues to expand her repertoire, encompassing a wide variety of musical genres, captured in part, on her 2002 debut release, ‘When Dreams have Wings’.

The concert is taking place at the Borough Theatre, Cross Street, Abergavenny on Friday, 23rd June and starts at 7.30pm

Tickets are priced at £7.00 (£5.00 concessions) and are available from the theatre box office on 01873 850805

"Old Boy" to take Band to Weston contest

14 May 2006
 Following the decision of Musical Director, Alun F. Williams to step down due to increasing work commitments, the Band are delighted to announce that former Band member, Jamie Meredith will be taking the Band to the Weston-Super-Mare contest on 21 May.

Jamie played Euphonium with the Band during the 1980's and late 1990's. He is currently the Principal Euphonium with the BT Band, and also the conductor of the United Co-Operatives 2000 Brass Band.

The Band are looking forward to working with Jamie. 

Band comes home fifth at Ebbw Vale

7 May 2006
 South East Wales Brass Band Association
Leisure Centre, Ebbw Vale
6th May, 2006

After only two weeks of intensive preparation, the Band were disappointed to come home in 5th place in the first leg of the Welsh Championship that was held at Ebbw Vale Leisure Centre. 

Drawn to play fifth, the Band opted to perform Phillip Sparke's  "Tallis Variations". 

Steffan represents Wales at the Europeans

4 May 2006
 The Band would like to congratulate Bass player, Steffan Jones on being selected to represent Wales in the European Youth Brass Band
Steffan was one of only three Welsh representatives and took part in a week long series of auditions, concerts and performances that included taking to the stage at the packed Waterfront Hall to play with Black Dyke as well as at the Farewell Concert with the brilliant Eikanger Bjorsvik Band from Norway.

Alun F. Williams steps down as Musical Director

2 May 2006

 The Band are disappointed to announce that its’ current Musical Director, Alun F. Williams is stepping down from the position due to work commitments, although he won’t be severing all ties with the Band.  
Alun commented:
“I would like to thank all the members of the band and the committee for their support and hard work during the two and a half years I have been with the band. During this time the band have given some excellent concerts and are doing well to maintain the standard required at Championship level. I am sorry to leave the band at this exciting time in their development, but due to full work commitments, it has become very difficult to maintain the commitment and preparation required for the band. I hope to still be involved with the band in some capacity and I wish them all the success for the future”.
In respect to the question of a replacement, Chairman, Eric Powell stated:
“The Band will be advertising for a new Musical Director and is keen to ensure the right person is appointed to take the band forward. It’s an exciting time for the Band at the moment with a large contingent of young players and the benefit of well attended rehearsals.”

Disappointment in Swansea

20 March 2006
 Welsh Regional Championships
Brangwyn Hall, Swansea
19th March, 2006

After many weeks of hard work the Band were disappointed to come home in 9th place at the recent Welsh Regional Championships. 

Drawn to play second, the Band performed Peter Graham's  "Journey to the Centre of the Earth".

The Band would like to express its' thanks to Nigel Weeks for his hard work during the build up to the contest. 

New Principal Cornet appointed

2 March 2006
The Band are pleased to announce the appointment of a new Principal Cornet - Rhian Linney. Rhian who is currently studying Chemistry at the University of Birmingham joins from the Rogerstone Band.
Rhian made her contesting debut with the Band at the Miners Eistedfodd entertainment contest in Porthcawl.

Rhian takes over from Diane Mogford who has filled the position for the last 10 months following Kevin Powell's decision to step down from the end chair. Diane now moves down to the "bumper up" chair.  
 The Band would like to thank Diane for all her sterling work over the last 8 months whilst she has been sitting on the end.
In addition, the Band also welcomes two other new members.

Steffan Jones joins the Band on E flat bass. Steffan also joins from Rogerstone Band and recently won the musician of the year award at the annual Greater Gwent Youth Brass Band Concert. Like Rhian, Steffan is also a member of the National Youth Brass Band of Wales.

Khrishan Church joins the Band on second horn. Khrishan takes up the place vacated following the decision of long standing member, Helen Powell to take a break from playing. 

Band wins prize at Mineworkers Eistedfodd

19 February 2006
 Mineworkers Eisteddfod
Grand Pavillion, Porthcawl
18th February, 2006

The Band are celebrating after coming home in fifth place and picking up the prize for "most entertaining programme"  at the annual Mineworkers Eisteddfod entertainment contest.  

For the contest the Band had to perform a 20 minute entertainment programme, and chose to play:
Strike Up The Band
Rhapsody for Euphonium
Gaelic Blessing
Coronation Scene from Boris Godunov

Drawn to play fourth, the Band produced a high standard performance that was entertaining from both a visual and musical perspective.

The Band would like to extend its' thanks to conductor, Nigel Weeks for all his hard work over the last few weeks, and also to Rachel Johnson from Thoresby Colliery and Andy Donaldson from Besses O' Th' Barn who stepped in at short notice to help on horn and trombone.

Youth Flourishes at Abergavenny

29 January 2006
 The last few years has seen a resurgence of the youth section of the Band, and this continued at the recent Gwent Youth Brass Band Festival, where the Youth Band won 4th prize in section 1.

The Festival took place at Coleg Gwent, Crosskeys College on 28th January. The Youth Band, conducted by Jeff Jones, had to play a 20 minute entertainment programme.

The Band opened their programme with Fanfare for a New Age by Goff Richards, and then followed this with the Connaught Overture by Simon Wyld. The next two items put the spotlight on individual members. First up was Benedictus from "The Armed Man" by Karl Jenkins which featured solo Euphonium Jamie Jones, and this was followed by King Of The Road, from the pen of Roger Miller which featured Emma Havard on Horn. The Band closed their programme with music from the film, Pirates of the Caribbean.

In addition, the Band are also celebrating a record number of members successfully gaining places on the 2006 National Youth Brass Band of Wales (NYBBW).

Kirsty Davies (cornet), Rhian Linney (cornet), Emma Havard (horn), Jamie Jones (euphonium), Aled Wiliams (trombone) and Steffan Jones (bass) were successful in gaining places. In addition, Katie Halls (cornet) gained a place on the reserve list.

In addition to the 2006 course, the players will also be members of the NYBBW that will be touring America and Canada in 2007.

Weeks To Conduct Borough Band

18 January 2006
 The Abergavenny Borough Band are pleased to announce that they have secured the services of Nigel Weeks, ex-Dalewool Auckland Brass and current resident conductor with the Brighouse & Rastrick Band, for the Welsh Regional Championships at the Brangwyn Hall, Swansea and the Porthcawl Mineworkers Eisteddfod Entertainments Contest.
Nigel is no stranger to South East Wales and has maintained his links with the area. 

Musical Director, Alun F. Williams commented
“I am delighted that Nigel has been able to find time in February and March to rehearse Abergavenny Band and will conduct them in both Porthcawl and Swansea. After a mixed first year in the Championship section, the band is working hard to establish themselves as a Championship section band this year, and recent concert performances in Ebbw Vale and Abergavenny before Christmas showed their potential.

Having known Nigel for many years, he will bring to the band his superb musicianship and enthusiasm, and everyone connected with the band are looking forward to this new partnership”.

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