Plenty to play for at Na­tional Championships

Cynon Valley - - BRASS BAND NOTES -

AU­TUMN is a se­ri­ous time for brass bands who are in­volved in band con­tests.

The Na­tional Fi­nals for lower sec­tion bands took place in Septem­ber at Chel­tenham and Aber­tillery & District and New­port Bor­ough man­aged to keep the Welsh flag fly­ing by fin­ish­ing 3rd and 6th re­spec­tively in Sec­tion 3.

We now have the sec­ond of the three com­pe­ti­tions of the Welsh League sys­tem who de­cide over three con­tests who the cham­pion band of each sec­tion will be.

This sec­ond con­test or­gan­ised by the West Wales Brass Band As­so­ci­a­tion is this com­ing Satur­day.

The win­ners in May were Oak­dale Sil­ver and 2nd was Gwaun Cae Gur­wen in Sec­tion 4.

Sec­tion 3 win­ners were Cwmtawe & District Youth and 2nd were Up­per Rhondda.

Sec­tion 2 win­ners were Mid Rhondda (Thomas Coaches) and 2nd were Aber­tillery & District.

The win­ners in Sec­tion1 were AW Parker (Dry­brook), but they are not el­i­gi­ble to be granted Cham­pion Band sta­tus so the lead­ing band is 2nd placed Am­man­ford Town and next placed was Aber­gavenny Bor­ough.

The Cham­pi­onship Sec­tion was won by Ll­wyd­coed and 2nd was Ty­lorstown.

These are ob­vi­ously the front run­ners to gain Cham­pion band sta­tus for this year. It will be an in­ter­est­ing con­test on this Satur­day, October 7, start­ing with Sec­tion 4 at 9.30am.

Or­der of play is as fol­lows: there will be three bands com­pet­ing in Sec­tion 4, five bands in Sec­tion 3, six bands in Sec­tion 2, the Ju­nior/Youth sec­tion has six bands tak­ing part while there are seven bands in Sec­tion 1 and eight bands com­pet­ing in the Cham­pi­onship Sec­tion.

The Ju­nior/Youth Sec­tion seems to be go­ing from strength to strength. In ad­di­tion to the bands ap­pear­ing on Satur­day, who are Burry Port Ju­niors, City of Cardiff (Mel­in­grif­fith) Youth, Gwaun Cae Gur­wen Ju­niors, Mil­ford Haven Ju­niors, Rhondda Fach and Up­per Rhondda Ju­niors, there are other ju­nior bands be­ing tu­tored and no doubt will be mak­ing an ap­pear­ance some­time in the fu­ture, for ex­am­ple, Aber­gavenny Ju­niors, Mel­in­grif­fith Begin­ners, Cwmtawe Train­ing, Blae­navon Town Ju­niors, Ll­wyd­coed Ju­niors, BTM Learn­ers and Aber­tillery Train­ing.

This is good news and the fu­ture seems to be look­ing good as all these young play­ers con­tinue to make progress..

Un­for­tu­nately, Aber­tillery band will not be com­pet­ing as they de­cided that prepa­ra­tion for the Na­tional Fi­nals was a pri­or­ity which proved to be a good de­ci­sion for that con­test.

The Na­tional Fi­nals con­test and the Au­tumn Fes­ti­val of the Welsh League are very close to­gether and while some bands would pre­fer dates to be fur­ther apart oth­ers con­sider that com­pet­ing at both is an ad­van­tage if the band plays the same test piece at both.

How­ever, it is a fact that bands tak­ing part in the Na­tional Fi­nals are of­ten miss­ing at the Au­tumn Fes­ti­val. Bands who this year took part in the Na­tional fi­nals and who will be com­pet­ing at Burry Port are Aber­gavenny Bor­ough, New­port Bor­ough, Pen­clawdd Brass and St Athan Vol­un­tary.

A band who is hop­ing to re­peat its suc­cess of May’s Spring Fes­ti­val is Ll­wyd­coed who, in ad­di­tion to win­ning the Cham­pi­onship Sec­tion, also had Evan Key gain The Best Horn Player award and they also had the award for the Best Back Row Sec­tion.

Hav­ing ex­pe­ri­enced the re­cent ex­cite­ment in Birm­ing­ham of the Bri­tish Open be­ing won by Euro­pean band Valaisia, the Swiss Cham­pi­ons, we now have the Na­tional Championships of Great Bri­tain tak­ing place at the Royal Al­bert Hall on October 14.

Rep­re­sent­ing Wales will be world num­ber one Cory Band, Tre­de­gar Town Band and Tong­wyn­lais Tem­per­ance Band.

Cory has won The Bri­tish Championships on the last two oc­ca­sions and is go­ing for the hat-trick. What an in­cred­i­ble po­si­tion to be in and what an achieve­ment if the play­ers suc­ceed.

In 2013, Tre­de­gar was runner up to Cory to cre­ate a Welsh record of hav­ing the best two bands in Great Bri­tain.

Can Tre­de­gar sur­pass their pre­vi­ous achieve­ment and take the Bri­tish ti­tle in 2017?

There is cer­tainly plenty to play for at this year’s Na­tional Championships for our Welsh bands!

Ll­wyd­coed play­ers cel­e­brat­ing May’s suc­cess

Aber­gavenny at the Na­tional Fi­nals

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