News from 2008
Awards handed out at annual dinner
24 October 2008
The Band has recently celebrated the achievements of what has so far proved to be a very memorable year at their Annual Dinner.
A number of awards were made at the Annual Dinner, with second cornet, Emily Humphries being voted the “young player of the year” by members of the Band. In addition the committee were pleased to award long service awards to Andrew Richards and Dave Mogford for 40 plus years service, Diane Mogford and Phillip Bull for over 30 plus years service and Steve Ward for 20 years service.
Band Manger, Geraint Thomas, commented
“It is pleasing that the band still has many experienced players within its ranks and that they are always on hand to pass on their experience to the younger players who continue to progress through the ranks.”
The Band are now preparing for a very busy run up to the Christmas period to raise funds for a tour to France in 2009.
Youth band bucks the trend
4 October 2008
Banks may be collapsing all over the world, but there’s no sinking feeling for our beginner and youth bands, both of which have welcomed new recruits in the autumn term.
After restructuring during the summer break we now run a separate session for beginners on Tuesday evenings, with the Youth Band meeting on Thursdays.
Despite our mushrooming membership we still have a few instruments available for loan and space for even more recruits. For more information click here.
Band Says "Abercadabra"
17 September 2008
The Abergavenny Borough Band, conducted by Gareth Ritter, are pleased to announce the launch of their inaugural CD, entitled "Abercadabra".
The CD includes old favourites such as "March Lorraine" and "Prelude For an Occasion" along with some newer additions to the repertoire such as "Salute to Sinatra" and "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang".
The CD features solos from Principal Cornet Tim Baldwin, Solo Horn Deb Bull, Principal Euphonium Jason Harris and Percussionist Alison Thomas.
Band Manager, Geraint Thomas commented:
"The CD was recorded back in April, and although it was hard work it was a thoroughly enjoyable experience and the band are now looking forward to the next recording! A huge thank you goes out to all of the people who helped make this recording a success."
Copies of the CD are available from the Band at a cost of £10.00 + postage and packing. Please contact Phil Bull (07787 128583) for order details.
Farewell To Piers
28 June 2008
The Band are sorry to announce the departure of Piers Hallihan on Bass Trombone.
After holding the position for over 5 years with distinction, the cost and time of travelling from Pontyclun to Abergavenny on a regular basis, coupled with family commitments has resulted in his decision to step down.
The Band would like to express their thanks to Piers for all his hard work and support and to wish him and his family well for the future.
This means the Band now has a vacancy on Bass Trombone.
Solo Success For Youth Members
5 June 2008
After a couple of late withdrawals, Evan Roberts was the sole official Abergavenny representative at the annual Gwent Youth Solos and Quartets competition held in Newport on 31 May. For the first time this year's competition was open to non-Gwent musicians and attracted entrants from the Forest of Dean, the Rhondda and Cornwall. Defending the title he won last year, Evan won second prize in the 11-and-under slow melody section, first place going to talented Forest of Dean trombonist Rhiannon Symonds. Evan also gave highly creditable performances in the toughly contested 15-and-under air-varie and the open slow melody.
Several other young borough players also took part in the competition, entering under the colours of Usk Youth Band. Congratulations to Emily Humphries and Jamie Jones who were among the prize-winners, Emily gaining 3rd place in the 12&13 year-old slow melody category, and Jamie taking second in the open air-varie.
The date for next year's competition has already been set and we'll be aiming for a bigger turnout from our youngsters for that one!
Full results of the competition can be found on the Gwent Music Supprt Service website www.gwentmusic.net
Band Elects New Chairman
30 March 2008
The Abergavenny Borough Band is starting a new chapter in its long history with the election of a new Chairman
Long standing member and bass player, Mr. Andrew Richards has been elected to the role of Chairman and takes over this position from Mr. Eric Powell.
On election, Andrew commented:
"It is an honour to have been elected Chairman and to follow in the footsteps of two great bandsmen and former chairmen; Bill Parry and Eric Powell. I remember the first day I walked into the band room as a young lad to be greeted by some school friends and taken under the wing of Mr Parry who taught new players. As I improved on the cornet, Eric took over and I was in the Junior Band. Eventually elevated to the senior band, I have enjoyed over 40 years of playing in the Band and owe a debt of gratitude to Bill and Eric for their enthusiasm and inspiration. Now, as chairman, I am proud to have the chance to represent the Band in a different role and look forward to the new challenges this will bring.
Congatulations to Emma
22 March 2008
The Band would like to extend its' congratulations to Emma Harvard who played with the Desford Colliery at the recent Midlands Regional Championships.
Emma proved her worth by helping Desford to first place and in so doing booking their place at the National Championships at the Royal Albert Hall in October.
The Band would like to thank Emma for all her hard work with the Band over the last 9 years and wish her good luck in her future banding career!
Welsh Regional Championships 2008
15 March 2008
After many weeks of hard work the Band were very pleased to come home in 4th place at the recent Welsh Regional Championships.
Drawn to play seventh, the Band performed Gilbert Vinter's "James Cook Circumnavigator".
The result was testament to the many weeks of hard work that went into the result under Musical Director, Gareth Ritter. The Band would also like to thank Tabby McGrath who stepped in to play solo trombone due to Phil Bull's unavailability due to a pre-planned Irish excursion to Croke Park.
Band Appoints New Principal Cornet
23 February 2008
The Band is delighted to announce the appointment of Tim Baldwin to the position of Principal Cornet.
Tim started his musical career at the age of 7 with his local band, Severn Tunnel. At 16, Tim then transferred to Blaina Band and after this a number of other welsh bands. At 22, Tim then joined the Royal Regiment of Wales band as Principal Cornet, a position he held until 2006 when he became Bandmaster.
Tim is employed as a mechanical engineer for Rolls-Royce and enjoys keeping fit, cycling and fly fishing when he is not working or making music.
Band comes home in 9th place at Miners Eistedfodd
18 February 2008
The Band recently competed at the Miners Eistedfodd at the Grand Pavilion, Porthcawl. After several weeks of hard work under the direction of Musical Director, Gareth Ritter the Band were came ninth out of eleven bands.
Although there was a high quality field, the Band were nonethless disappointed with their overall performance on the day.
Congratulations go to Emily Humphries on 3rd cornet, who took away the prize for the youngest competitor on the day. Thanks also go to Gavin Saynor and Fiona Howard for their help.
The Band's programme was as follows:
- Softly, Softly
- Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
- 18th Variation On A Theme Of Paganini
- Fugue From Graduation Day
Youth Band get contesting year off to cracking start!
02 February 2008
The Abergavenny Youth are celebrating after coming second at the recent Greater Gwent Youth Festival at the Coleg Gwent campus, Crosskeys.
The Band were up against 12 very good regional and town bands. A comment from one of the supporters summed it up when she said:
"they played out of their socks!"
The Band's programme was as follows:
March : The Roadster
One Day In Your Life
- (horn soloist Emma Havard)
Hine e Hine
Gareth Ritter to take over MD reigns for Porthcawl & Swansea
26 January 2008
The Band is pleased to announce that Mr. Gareth Ritter will be taking over the Musical Director duties for the Crosskeys Youth, Porthcawl and Welsh Regional contests.
The Band are delighted that Gareth has agreed to take up the post whilst normal MD, Tudor Williams is away on holiday.
Gareth brings a wealth of musical experience having played with the Cory Band and conducted the Goodwick, City of Cardiff (Mellingriffith) and Blaenavon Town bands.
The Band would like to welcome Gareth and are looking forward to working with him.