Rhapsody in Merthyr
At the South East Wales Brass Band Association contest in Merthyr on Saturday 7th May, the band delivered a performance of Rhapsody In Brass which presented everyone with challenges to meet. Adjudicator, Glyn Williams, however, criticised the band for, perhaps a little too much enthusiasm in rising to a difficult piece and placed the band in 7th place. But many of the band are new to the contest arena and some can remember playing the piece over 30 years ago.
Musical Director, Alun F Williams commented: ‘’Following on from 4th place in the Second Section in March at the Welsh Regionals, last Saturday saw the band perform in the 1st Section of the local South East Wales Brass Band Association Contest held in Merthyr. Dean Goffin’s Rhapsody in Brass was another step up from the piece performed in Swansea, both technically and musically and I would like to thank everyone in the band for working so hard in the preparation and for the performance on the day. It was not the result we were achieving for, but we must now move on to the next rehearsal and event and continue with the same attitude and commitment. There were lots of positives in the performance and is all part of the progress the band is making. Congratulations to all the bands who took part in a fantastic day of quality music making’’.
9th May 2016
Band plays for HRH’s 90th
On Sunday 12th June 2016, The Mall in St. James’ Park, London, will host its largest ever street party to celebrate The Queen’s 90th birthday and her patronage of over 600 charities and organisations.
There will also be festivities taking place in parks, streets and gardens throughout the UK and across the Commonwealth. The Queen's 90th birthday is on April 21, and while this will not be the main focus of the celebrations, there will still be an opportunity to see the Queen for hardy royal-watchers.
The band will be joining in with the festivities on two occasions; Saturday April 23rd in St Marys Church, Abergavenny when we will join with the Priory Choir for a celebration concert, and Sunday June 12th in Ebbw Vale (1pm to 4pm) when we will share Hospice of the Valleys street party with Cwm and Ebbw Vale male voice choirs. Official celebrations will climax on Sunday, June 12th when the Mall in London will be transformed into a giant street party for The Patron's Lunch, with 10,000 guests eating a picnic lunch and being entertained by street performers and circus acts. Hospice of the Valleys is organising its own street party at its premises in Festival Drive Ebbw Vale and the band and choirs will join together to provide the entertainment. There will also be a contingent of 10 welsh Guardsmen present and the public are invited to come in fancy dress as their favourite "Royal".
A weekend of events to celebrate the Queen's birthday and, unofficially, the Duke of Edinburgh's 95th birthday, will start on June 10th with a Service of Thanksgiving at St Paul's Cathedral. The congregation will be made up of invited guests only, but the service will be televised. June 10 is also the Duke of Edinburgh's 95th birthday, but he has specified that he does not want any public celebration of the date.
Saturday, June 11 is the date of this year's Trooping the Colour, the official annual celebration of the Queen's birthday. Otherwise known as The Queen's Birthday Parade, it is a chance for the Queen to inspect soldiers from the Household Division. It takes place on Horse Guards Parade behind Whitehall, and is televised live by the BBC from 10am.
8th April 2016
New spirit on show at Swansea
The band showed its contesting intentions at the Welsh Regional Championships in Swansea on 19th March. After weeks of hard work from the players and dedication from MD Alun F Williams, the bands first contest performance of the year was described as exciting by adjudicator, Paul Holland and one of the most detailed performances of the day by Dr Robert Childs.
Missing out on the prizes by one place, the band came 4th but the performance laid solid foundations for the busy contest and concert schedule ahead of us in 2016. MD Alun F Willams thanked everyone for working so hard to produce a very detailed and committed performance of Philip Harper’s The Mermaid of Zennor. He said “It was not an easy piece to perform as there were different tempi, time signatures and lots of detail to adhere to, but the band gave a very confident and consistent performance and this is what we were looking for”.
Following the Easter nreak the Band is busy once again rehearsing hard and planning out the music for the next five weeks, the band is developing and progressing very well.
Mayors Charity Concert
The Band was proud to support the Mayor of Abergavenny's charity appeal with an outstanding performance at the fundraising concert held in the Borough Theatre on 6th February. Raising funds for Velindre Hospital and the Wales Air Ambulance, councillor Maureen Powell brought together the choir from Llanfoist Fawr Junior School, soloists from King henry VII school and the band to delight a near capacity audience.
Under the direction of Musical Director Alun F Williams, the band opened its account with the exciting "Fanfare and Flourishes" before a traditional overture, "The Impresario" and the evocative "In Perfect Peace". An outstanding performance of "Misty" from Flugel Horn soloist, Zoe Alexander was the highlight of the first half and the band took the concert into the interval with Tchaikovsky's "Excerpts from the Little Russian". Welsh music started the second half with the march "Castell Coch", "All Through the Night" and "Sosban Fach". and the band finished the concert with "Pure Imagination" and "Born Free". For an encore the audience clapped along to the "Floral Dance", our tribute to the late Sir Terry Wogan.
Llanfoist Fawr school choir thrilled the audience with renditions of "When It’s a Sunny Day", "Wade in the Water" and "Thank you For the Music". Their final spot included pieces from Aladin before a superb rendition of "Consider Yourself" from the musical Oliver. King Henry VIII School soloists Amelia Francis and Ben Baker gave excellent performances of selected songs from the shows.
MD, Alun F Williams thanked all band members and soloists for another excellent performance on the concert stage and congratulated the Llanfoist Fawr School Choir, King Henry VIII School soloists Amelia Francis, Ben Baker and accompanist Jennifer Rhys-Davies, and compere Lana Tingay for their superb contribution to the evenings programme.
The Band now looks forward to preparing for the Welsh Area Regional Contest in Swansea in March and a concert with the St Mary's Priory Church Choir at St Mary's Priory Church, Abergavenny on Saturday 23rd April.
7th February 2016
First Competition of the year
The Band is delighted to be participating in the successful Band Cymru competition organised by S4C. This is an exciting and thrilling competition for brass, wind and jazz bands and is a unique opportunity for television audiences to enjoy the very best in Welsh bands.
Participating bands have to perform an entertaining programme to the highest standard of presentation. The competition is organised by Rondo and the semi-final rounds and the final will be broadcast on S4C.
Our first audition will be in Cardiff on 10th January and if successful we will join 11 bands from across Wales to appear at the Aberystwyth Arts Centre in April.
The final will be held at the Parc & Dare Theatre, Treorci on Sunday May 22nd 2016 and the overall winner will receive a prize of
The band has been rehearsing hard for the contest over the Christmas period under the direction of MD, Alun F Williams. Alun has been delighted with the way the band has responded to the challenge and has raised its performance. He says “everyone has shown great commitment and we are all looking forward to the experience”
10th January 2016
Thanks to Abergavenny people
The Band would like to thank the townsfolk of Abergavenny for their tremendous support over the Christmas period. A very successful Christmas concert was reinforced by the generosity of peoples donations to the band when we played carols in the town centre and at Waitrose Supermarket.
Overall, 2015 has been a year of change for the band and we are now set up ready for the year ahead which promises to be very busy and exciting. We all look forward to the new challenges the band faces with renewed dedication. Our new Musical Director, Alun F Williams, and Youth Band MD, lana Tingay, have both worked hard to prepare the band for the future and there is still much to be achieved.
As we hang up the Christmas hats until next years concert, the Band wishes all its supporters and friends a very happy new year.
30th December 2015