Our Rehearsal Nights
The Senior Band rehearses from 7:30-9:30 every Tuesday and Thursday.
A Clean Sweep at Swansea
The Band takes all three prizes in the Welsh Regional Brass Band Championships 2nd Section
After playing a controlled and polished rendition of dean Goffins’ 1949 Test Piece, Rhapsody in Brass, there was an anxious wait for the announcement of the contest results after the 7th band concluded the second section. The words we all wanted to hear were “Band number four” and it was worth the wait to hear it announced three times.
First was the award of the best instrumentalist in the section...”the band that played number four”. Our solo Horn player, Deb Bull, having delivered a superb melody in the second movement of the piece, was rewarded with the well deserved accolade from the adjudicators.
Then there was the prize for the best percussion section....”the band that played number four” were the words from the announcer. A tribute to our three percussionists made all the more astounding as Lauren, Rhys and Jackie had only played together three times in as many rehearsals. Well done all.
With half the band in the pub watching Rugby it was left to a few of us to chew the fingernails as we awaited the final announcement.....”the band that played number four” and we all leapt from our seats to cheer and applaud as band Chairman, Terry Prosser, received the silverware on stage.
Adjudicator, Mike Kilroy, described our performance as one with style and musical merit whilst Derek Broadbent commended the bands rendition. Both adjudicators praised the bands control of the test piece and congratulated the soloists for their excellent work.
Musical Director, Sean O’Neil, said “This is a richly deserved result for Abergavenny Borough Band in Swansea. Huge congratulations to Deb Bull on winning 'Best Horn' award and the Percussion Team of Jackie, Lauren and Rhys on their award for 'Best Percussion Section'. What a fantastic achievement for the Band, 'Welsh 2nd Section Champions' I am sure the Band will represent the Principality with great distinction and pride when we go to the National Finals in Cheltenham next September. This result is all down to the total dedication and hard work of the members and the fantastic 'team work spirit' that all bring to the Rehearsal Hall. Brilliant result, onwards and upwards”!
Band Chairman, Terry Prosser, commented "It`s been 15 years since Abergavenny Borough Band have been able to lay claim to the title Welsh Regional Champions. During those 15 years there have been some difficult times but the tenacity of players and committee has enabled the band to weather the storms.
The appointment of Sean O`Neill in late 2016 marked a turning point for the band. His professionalism, musicality and empathetic approach to players gave renewed enthusiasm and determination and under his guidance the band once again were awarded the title of Welsh Regional Champions at the Brangwyn Hall on Saturday. As the icing on the cake our talented horn player, Deb Bull gained the title of best instrumentalist and with the award of best percussion section we swept the board. Abergavenny Band is on a long overdue upward curve.
I have been involved in the brass band movement for almost 60 years and played from Youth level through to championship section National Finals, Open Championships and European Championships, playing with Abergavenny is a sheer joy, it`s what brass banding is all about, making good music with good mates. Long may it last".
The band will be representing Wales in the second section on 16th & 17th September at the Centaur, Cheltenham in the National Championships of Great Britain.
19th March 2017
AGM celebrates successes
At the AGM on Thursday, Band President, Alun Griffiths, and Chairman, Terry Prosser, congratulated the band on a successful year in concerts and competitions. Alun thanked the band for its magnificent record of representing the town of Abergavenny both locally and wider afield and praised the dedication of officers and committee for their hard work on behalf of the band.
Terry also praised the band for the way it pulled together through some difficult times, mentioning the departure of MD Alun F Williams for personal reasons, but also the way the band has responded to the new MD, Sean O’Neil. Terry added that confidence is high and there is a good deal of optimism and an excellent spirit in the band which can only bode well for the future.
MD, Sean O’Neil, stated how proud he is to be associated with the band and how delighted he was to be asked to become the bands MD. He praised the band for its prize winning performances and individual soloists, Diane Mogford and Aled Daniels as well as the entire horn section for their awards at contests. He pointed out that the band has embarked upon a significant upgrade to the concert programme for the future adding some 55 new pieced of music to the rehearsal folders. Sean concluded by looking forward to concert and contest performances with great optimism and hopes his association with the band will extend long into the future.
Youth band MD, Lana Tingay, said how delighted she is with the progress of the youth players with some now moving across to the senior band. However, she remains disappointed that the youth band has not participated in as many concerts and contests in its own right, something she is determined to put right. Never the less, Lana was thrilled with the first Master class in November, organised for the youth players from Abergavenny and other bands.
Band treasurer, Jonathan Tingay, gave a very positive financial report which was endorsed by band auditor, Michael Cleaves.
Elected to the Committee for 2017/18:-
• Terry Prosser – Chairman
• Megan Prosser – Secretary
• Jonathan Tingay – Treasurer
• Ian Howe – Band Manager
• Steve Ward
• Richard Shorey
• Jacqueline Llewellyn
• Lana Tingay
• Jonathan Mudd
3rd March 2017
The band is very grateful to our president, Alun Griffiths, and his staff for the excellent work carried out at the band room. With a new “ramped” access, double doors and reconfigured toilet facilities, the premises are now much more accessible to people with disabilities. A fresh coat of paint has brightened the ambiance and with the air conditioning Alun had installed last year, the band room is definitely a fine facility for music making all year round.
26th February 2017
Sad loss of a bandsman of 30 years
The Band is saddened at the loss of a former player and committee member, Andrew Moss. Andrew joined the youth band in 1972 under the tutelage of Bandmaster, Eric Powel. He played trombone, baritone and euphonium in the senior band and served for several years as Band Manager.
It was through the band that Andrew met his wife Mandy in 1975 when she was 16 years old. They have been together ever since and were married in 1981. Together they had three sons, Paul, Peter and Tom and have one granddaughter, Ella Jay. Pictured here are Andrew & Mandy on their first date.
Andrew passed away on January 26th, peacefully at home with his loved ones around him. He said he had many happy memories of the band and the friends he made during his playing career, the highlight of which was playing at the Royal Albert Hall in 1985.
The band will be playing at Andrew's funeral at St Mary's Church, Abergavenny and will be joined by several former players from Andrews' time with the band.
22nd February 2017
A great start to 2017
The new year is off to a flying start with the first rehearsal under the bands new MD, Sean O'Neil. It was great to see a full bandroom after the festivities and also to welcome some new players to the fold. In his message to the band, Sean said how much he is looking forward to 2017, to building on the fantastic achievements in 2016 and putting a new programme of music together for our audiences throughout the new year. He congratulated the band for its spirit and hard work ethic.
We now focus on the Swansea contest in March with confidence and look forward to 2017 with eager anticipation.
5th January 2017