Brass Extravaganza Review

Preparations had been made and Penglais School had been set up ready for the participants to arrive.

The day started at 10.00 am with soloists up to 11 year of age, continuing right up to 21 years of age. A total of 24 young people played to a very high standard. Almost 40 youngsters took part in the ensemble competitions from local junior and senior schools.

Our adjudicator for the day was Gareth Hann, Musical Director of Tongwynlais Temperance Band. Born in Cardiff, South Wales, Gareth has been involved in music since an early age. He began playing the cornet in both the local county schools brass band and the Tongwynlais Temperance Band in 1984. Gareth was taught by Gareth Rees, who developed Gareth’s cornet playing by encouraging him to enter local solo competitions, where he excelled winning many awards, including the prestigious Richard Fice memorial award in 1995. This gave Gareth the opportunity to showcase his talents as a cornet player and at age 15 was invited to join the world-famous Cory Band where he spent 6 happy years playing and learning with some of the best musicians in the brass band world. Gareth has also had the fantastic experience of playing for the Tredegar Town Band, the National Youth Brass Band of Wales for several courses and was chosen to tour with the Young Ambassadors Band of Great Britain.

Principal members of Tongwynlais Band held workshops for the different sections in the band. A total of 39 instrumentalists attended the workshops.

The evening culminated in a grand concert given by Tongwynlais Band who is currently ranked in the top 3 brass bands in Wales. To close the first half, all the workshop participants were invited to join in the band to play Bach’s Toccata in D Minor – the ‘Rock’ version. A total of 63 musicians were performing in this concert. We were treated to not one, but two soloists. In the first half, the band’s principal cornet, Robert Tolhurst, performed ‘Miss Blue Bonnet’ (Frank Simon arr. Sandy Smith) and in the second half, Georgie Evans played Paul Lovatt-Cooper’s ‘Donegal Bay’ on the baritone.

The audience had been well entertained throughout the day and plans are already underway for this increasingly popular event to take place on Saturday 25th January 2020.

Geraint Evans, Ceredigion Music Service Manager, did an excellent job as Master of Ceremonies for the day and gave thanks to all who had taken part in the day.

More photos available on our facebook page

This event was jointly organised by Aberystwyth Silver Band and Ceredigion Music Service. Grant money from Aberystwyth Town Council and Tŷ Cerdd ensured that the event was able to take place.

Noddwyr yn cynnwys / Sponsors include:

Ysgol Penglais School, Cyngor Tref Aberystwyth Town Council, Tŷ Cerdd

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