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Banding rivals help new convert

Welsh rivals join forces to promote banding benefits on air.

radio band


Players from some of the leading bands in Wales have put contesting rivalries behind them in aid of promoting the benefits of joining local community bands.

Christmas challenge

The players from Cory, Tredegar, Tongwynlais, Tylorstown and Ebbw Valley Brass met at the BBC studios in Cardiff on Friday afternoon to play live on air in support a of Christmas challenge led by Ebbw Valley tuba player Dean Woods.

With the help of horn star Owen Farr, the pair have been teaching Radio Wales presenter Louise Elliott to play the tenor horn, after she revealed that her 4 year old daughter had taken up the instrument at school.

Expert advice

Owen’s expert advice enabled her to produce a few well balanced, tuneful notes as an introduction to the ensemble’s impromptu performances of ‘Rudolf the Red Noised Reindeer’, ‘Silent Night’ and ‘Come All Ye Faithful’, whilst Brass Band Forum Wales Chairman Iestyn Davies was interviewed outlining the benefits brass banding can provide youngsters and their parents.

The 20 minute spot also featured interviews with the players, such as Dewi Griffiths, Chris Thomas and Martyn Patterson, whilst Owen tried manfully to retain his composure faced with his pupil’s increasingly fraught, but entertaining efforts.

Thanks to Dean and Owen the live slot provided a great opportunity to explain the benefits to be gained from joining community based bandsForum Chairman Iestyn Davies

Great fun

Owen told 4BR: "It’s been great fun and Louise and her daughter have really enjoyed themselves. Hopefully, more parents will now be persuaded to join their children in starting to play with their local bands throughout Wales."

Iestyn Davies added: "Thanks to Dean and Owen the live slot provided a great opportunity to explain the benefits to be gained from joining community based bands."

He concluded: "I have to thank all the players for giving their time to turn up to promote what’s good about Welsh banding—and I think we have gained at least another couple of converts as a result!"


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Ian Holmes

BA (hons), PGDip (RCM), ARCM, ALCM
Conductor, piano accompanist and educator