Our Rehearsal Nights

The Senior Band rehearses from 7:30-9:30 every Thursday


When the carolling is over

Traditionally, December is a busy time for any Brass Band and we are no exception. There have been several open air carol concerts in the town centre, our annual Christmas concert, carols for Hospice of the Valleys Light Up a Life Service and some for their patients at the Hospice Day Centre. Carols were also played at the Archway in Pontypool, at Abergavenny Library and at Waitrose Supermarket.

Our concert, though, has to be the highlight of the season with solo renditions from each of our young learners; each well practiced and excellently played on the stage in front of the band and before a packed auditorium.

2019 Band

The band was joined on the stage by the Croesycelliog Male Choir under the direction of James Davies who was so versatile that he was able to help the band out with his Trombone.

The Senior Band “mixed it up” to give a varied programme of Christmas pieces with some out-of-season fillers to keep everyone on their toes. It was also a chance for some of our soloists to “shine” but perhaps not as brightly as the youngsters from the bands “Buzzers & Blowers” who really stole the show. However, we were treated to excellent performances from Ken Lewis (Y-Bore Glas on Cornet), Jon Mudd and David Bateman’s duet “Pie Jesu”, Elen Everett who played an amusing “Frosty the Snowman” on Tuba and Ted Rawlins on Euphonium who treated us to an emotional “Jeanie With The Light Brown Hair”

Proposal

But as far as emotions are concerned, nothing could “Top” what came next as our Solo Horn player, Elizabeth Tingay stood in front of the band to play her solo “Sul A Ruin”. This is a traditional Irish song, sung from the point of view of a woman lamenting a lover who has embarked on a military career, and indicating her willingness to support him. Beautifully played by Elizabeth but as she took her applause from the audience the Theatre was amazed to see a young man appear from “stage left”, go down on one knee before her and “pop the question”. Thank goodness, she said yes.

Proposal

Congratulations Adam and Elizabeth.

So the band has reached the end of 2019 as a close knit and happy family of players all looking forward to 2020 with renewed hope under the drive and leadership of our enthusiastic MD, Lana Tingay. It is music that draws us into the band, it is our friendships that keep us here.

One continuing and heart warming theme of 2019 has been the support the band has received not only from it players and their friends and families, but from the wider community of Abergavenny. The band is very conscious and proud of the name it bears and its association with the town. Thank you Abergavenny, happy Christmas and a healthy and happy New Year to all from the Borough Band.


Mania at Christmas

Mistletoe Mania is the title of this year’s Christmas concert on 13th December in the newly refurbished Borough Theatre. The Band will be joined by Croesyceiliog Male Voice Choir and will feature individual solo performances from each of our youth band members. The concert is fast approaching and after last year's complete sell out now is the time to secure your tickets for this year's extravaganza of good music, youth and experience with the resounding sound of brass and the melodic voices of a male voice choir.

Rumour has it that there will be a very special surprise for someone in the theatre that night


2019 November Remembrance 2

Remembrance Parade

Once again the Borough Band enjoyed the privilege of leading Abergavenny’s Remembrance Parade. The parade made its way to the cenotaph to the strains of the march True and Trusty where a large crowd were waiting. Remembrance Parade After a moving and well organised ceremony the band led the return to the Town Hall with a rousing rendition of Men of Harlech. Well done Lowri Powell, Solo Cornet, for delivering a superb Last and Reveille. Thank you and well done to Andrew Richards, Abergavenny’s most senior player, who most ably led the band in the temporary absence of our MD, Lana Tingay.

Some of our young players also played with the band at Remembrance. We are extremely proud to have them at Abergavenny.

November 10th


 

Friends of Castle Meadows Remember

Remembrance at Castle Meadows Abergavenny stalwart, Jon Mudd, played The Last Post and Reveille at a ceremony in the Castle Meadows on Saturday. The Friends of Castle Meadows dedicated a memorial stone to the Fallen of WW1 in the copse behind the castle. The copse has been cleared by the Friends who have also planted a hundred trees in memory of the Fallen in this peaceful and beautiful place.

 

 

 


Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something “Brass”

Wedding at Belle Vue Park

A fantastic afternoon in Belle Vue Park Bandstand, Newport playing for wonderful wedding. A thoughtful surprise for the bride arranged by her new husband that inspired all present. No better way to welcome the happy couple and their guests than the sound of brass. The band was invited to play when the groom heard us playing in Abergavenny Town Centre.

 

 

 

Sept 23rd


Brewery Yard Open Air Concert

Brewery Yard Concert

Now a regular feature of the Band’s diary, our open air concert at the Brewery Yard was well received by the locals and visitors to the town on a warm, sunny, Sunday afternoon. What better way to enjoy this venue than to sit and listen to a wide selection of popular music from the town’s Band.

Our repertoire included classical arrangements, music from the shows and more contemporary items. The concert also featured some of the Bands soloists.

Sept 8th


Shoppers Delight (another sequel)

Another fun outing for the band. Despite the weather the band enjoyed their concert at Ebbw Vale’s Festival Park Outlet Shopping Centre. Many thanks to the Festival Park management and all those that supported us. Special thanks to Bethan Cook for standing in for our holidaying percussionists.

August 13th


Brass and Beer in the Forest

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An enjoyable evening playing at the Rising Sun, Moseley Green in the Forest of Dean yesterday. The Baad was excited to be involved in this popular season of Brass Band concerts ‘over the border’. It’s a venue well worth a visit to listen to Bands or at any time you are in the area.

August 5th

 

 


Sun Shines at Bedwellty Park

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Another wonderful afternoon in Tredegar’s Bedwellty Park. A large appreciative audience enjoyed the sunshine and excellent music, there was even ice cream in the interval. Well done Tredegar Town Council for arranging this series of Summer Concerts in such a beautiful setting.

The band enjoyed playing a varied and interesting programme with outstanding solo performances from our principal cornet, Kristyann Symonds, and flugel, Jon Mudd. One of youngest players, Ted Rawlings, joined one our more mature, Andrew Richards in a sensitive rendition of Deep Inside the Sacred Temple. Prior to the duet the band and audience sang happy birthday to mark Andrew’s 65th birthday. He has been an outstandingly loyal, valuable and supportive member of the band for an incredible 56 years.

The band is especially grateful to the players from other bands who stood in for our players relaxing and enjoying the sunshine elsewhere.

July 29th


Oldest & Youngest

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Abergavenny's youngest recruit pays alongside its elder statesman. Twelve year old Harry Collect sits next to our chairman, Terry Prosser, a mere 60 years his senior, during the band's latest appearance in Abergavenny town centre. Harry, recently graduated from the Youth Band, has already acquitted himself well on stage at the Spring Festival Contest in Cardiff. Terry also made his first appearance on the contest stage at the same age with Blaina Brass Band and has fitted in a great deal more since then. Also waiting in the wings is Harry's younger sister Bella who plays with the Youth Band. Our Youth Band rehearses on a Thursday starting at 6pm. All are welcome to come along and pick up an instrument.

June 16th


Band Rally’s Round the Steam Engines

May Bank Holiday is the time for the annual steam rally in Abergavenny. This two day event offers something for the whole family. As well as the mighty giants of steam and vintage vehicles, the show has a children’s funfair, a food village, rural crafts and handicrafts and a wealth of stands selling everything from auto jumble to garden plants and, of-course, bandstand concerts from the band on the Sunday and Monday.

This is a regular fixture in the Band’s diary and it is always a pleasure to entertain visitors in the wonderful smoky atmosphere of the park. Next year’s event is due to take place on May 24th & 25th.

May 28th


Shoppers Delight (the sequel)

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Another Saturday, another open air concert in the town centre. It is always an enjoyable experience for the players and good experience for our youngsters from the Youth Band. We appreciated the applause and praise for the band. Thank you again, Abergavenny, for all your encouragement and support, we hope we helped to brighten up a dull day.

May 21st

 

 


Welsh Capital Welcomes SEWBBA Spring Festival

The Spring Festival, the first leg of the three-event Welsh Brass Band League 2019, took place at Willows High School (Cardiff) on Saturday 11th May. Bands from all parts of the UK were welcome to compete at the event. Our own choice test piece was Laudate Dominum, and our performance was adjudicated by Paul Holland. He found lots to praise in the performance including individuals and all sections within the band. However, his final remarks cited some obvious tuning and technical errors that he could ignore and wouldn’t allow him to place us in the prizes.

11th May


Shoppers Delight

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Despite the chilly breeze, the Band enjoyed the spring sunshine entertaining the shoppers with a wide variety of music. Thanks again to the citizens of Abergavenny for all your support, and for your enthusiasm whilst listening to the Band.

The Borough Band regularly plays in Abergavenny town centre throughout the year.

April 20th

 

 


Band AGM says a big thanks you to retiring President

The Band has been very fortunate to have enjoyed the patronage and support of Abergavenny Businessman, Alun Griffiths, over recent years. Alun was invited to take on the role of president following the retirement of the late Ray Hill in 2014, and has been a staunch supporter of the band ever since. Sadly, Alun decided to step down from the role of Band President at this year’s AGM and, in his address to the members, encouraged the continuing search for excellence by the band and congratulated its considerable contribution to the life of the town. He also assured us that, although he is stepping down as president, his support for the Band will remain strong.

Chris Woodhouse=

Band Chairman thanked Alun for his dedicated support and all he had done to further the development of the band room. Alun finished by recommending a longstanding supporter of the Band, Mr Chris Woodhouse, for election to the position of President. This was approved by the AGM and the Chairman welcomed Chris to the Band and we all look forward to an enduring and rewarding future with him in the role.

Each year we elect new vice-presidents and this year Andrew Richards nominated three people who are renowned for their influence in the town. Andrew outlined the role of Vice-Presidents and proposed Sheila Woodhouse and Maureen and John Powell. All were unanimously elected.

Sadly, Band Treasurer Jonathan Tingay, also decided that this AGM was the right time for him to step down. Jonathan has been treasurer for four years and worked hard during that time to bring the accounts into good order; work that was recognised by our auditor, Michael Cleaves, who complimented the treasurer in his report.

Librarian and long term band supporter, Fiona Evans, was nominated as the new Treasurer which was unanimously endorsed by the members.

March 28th


Disappointment in Wrexham

Our participation in the Welsh Regional Championships this year took the band on the long journey to Wrexham for a performance at the William Aston Hall of the Glyndwr University. The set test piece was the classic and well respected Symphony of Marches by Gilbert Vinter

Adjudicator, Roger Webster was generous in his praise of the best competitors, He described the top three as "exceptional" whilst showing enough overall quality to suggest that they were potentially ready to move up to Championship status. “A great piece" had made the judges task "very simple" he said; although adding that despite most being able to meet the technical challenges few were able to master the musical ones.

The adjudicators congratulated the Band on a fine performance with individual contributions of merit. Sadly the band wasn’t able to repeat previous year’s successes at this event being placed 11th

March 16th


Welsh Open Entertainment Contest, Porthcawl

Our regular visit to the seaside town of Porthcawl proved disappointing for the band this time around. Although adjudicator, Phillip Harper, praised the Bands entertainment programme stating that the MD’s choice proved to be a good theme, he also commented that our performance lacked the quality needed for placement in the top three. Specifically he advised that we need to address the inconsistencies in the balance of the band and some stark tuning issues and he placed us a lowly 14th.

Our musical fayre developed an American theme and included Hoe Down, Sunrise, Swing Low and An American Tale.

None though could match Goodwick, however, as the latest generation of what is a remarkable production line of talent in an isolated outpost of brass banding in West Wales claimed a well-deserved victory.

6th February


Revitalised Band Celebrates at Annual Dinner (8th February)

Band Chairman, Terry Prosser, praised the band for its stoic response to the trials and tribulations that were experienced in recent years. Despite losing some key players, Terry praised the Band for its achievements in the year culminating in a well-deserved 2nd position in the 1st Section.

As players and guests enjoyed the superb cuisine of the Bear Hotel, Crickhowell, the Mayor of Abergavenny, Cllr Teslin Davies, proposed a toast saying how proud the whole of the town is of its band. She went on to congratulate the band on its achievements and especially for the outstanding work undertaken with the youth band.

Four honours were awarded at the dinner. Two were voted on by members; Best Young Player of the Year which was won by cornet player Ffion Johnson (18yrs) and Bands Person of the Year which the band awarded to Richard Shorey.

The Musical Directors awards were awarded to Ffion Johnson for most improved player and Tenor Horn players Lana Tingay, Elizabeth Tingay and Joy Dando for the best section in the band.

Ffion Johnson & Mayor Teslin Davies Richard Shorey & Chris Woodhouse Horn Section & Sheila Woodhouse

Website editor

9th February 2019


 

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