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Presidential pride at Welsh youth festival appearance

The National Youth Brass Band of Wales certainly made their President, Edward Gregson proud with their performance at the recent North Wales International Music Festival.

Dewi Griffiths
  Dewi Griffiths, Prof Edward Gregson and Ian Porthouse met at St Asaph Cathedral

Prof Edward Gregson has spoken of his pride on hearing the National Youth Brass of Wales open the 2017 North Wales International Music Festival at St Asaph Cathedral last weekend.

The concert under the direction Ian Porthouse was the opening event of the high profile festival founded in 1972, which runs from 16th to 30th September.

Featured artists this year include renowned Italian pianist Federico Colli and the Aquarelle Guitar Quartet, as well as composers Paul Mealor, William Matthias and Robat Arwyn.

Gregson Concerto

The band showcased works by Aaron Copland, Eric Ball, Philip Wilby, Gavin Higgins, Rhian Samuel and William Mathias (who is buried in the cathedral grounds), whilst Gregson's acclaimed 'Cornet Concerto' was performed by Tredegar principal cornet Dewi Griffiths who hails from the nearby north Wales village of Bethel.

"I'm very proud to be the President of the National Youth Band of Wales, so to hear them open such an important festival in such splendid fashion certainly added to that," Edward Gregson told 4BR.

"Having been involved since its formation in 1982 it's heartening to hear them in such fine form and packed with so many talented young musicians."

Artistic policy

He added: "It's also so important that an ensemble such as this has a long term artistic policy that encompasses the opportunity to perform at such events and can feature new commissions and works from the very best composers for the brass band genre. That was also shown here.

I hope it continues for another 35 years and more under its new management. My congratulations go to Ty Cerdd, Ian Porthouse and of course to Dewi Griffiths who gave a thrilling performance of my Concerto."

It's also so important that an ensemble such as this has a long term artistic policy that encompasses the opportunity to perform at such events and can feature new commissions and works from the very best composers for the brass band genreProf Gregson


In reply Ian Porthouse added: "It was such a thrill for the players to know that Prof Gregson was in the audience to hear them. He has been the guiding artistic light for the band over 35 years, and I hope for many more to come.

They performed superbly on demanding repertoire and my thanks go to them, and Dewi's performance was brilliant. It's great that through the band Wales continues to produce musical talent like that."

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Conductor, Arranger, Adjudicator & Educationist