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Llanrug enjoy 61 year old taste of success

The Llanrug Band is still celebrating a long, long, overdue title winning success...

Cornets

 

It may have taken a long time, but the small North Wales village band of Llanrug has regained the title of Champion Band of North Wales — 61 years after they last won it in 1953!

Thrilling

Under the direction of MD and Fairey Band principal cornet Paul Hughes they claimed both the Own Choice and the ‘Best March’ prizes at the recent North Wales Brass Band Championships in Ruthin.

Their thrilling performance of the Philip Sparke’s ‘The Land of the Long White Cloud’, and T J Powell’s ‘The Spacemen’ saw them clinch the long overdue victory over defending champion Deiniolen.

Beaming

A delighted contest Secretary Alan Owen, beamed from ear to ear as he was presented with both prizes, despite ill health seeing him missing out on playing on the day. Fortunately, Paul’s great friend and Fairey colleague Gavin Saynor, stepped in to help out.

“It was a blow not to be part of the performance as we had a strong feeling that this could finally be our year!” Alan said.

“The band has been brilliant throughout the preparations and Paul was very clear at the early stages of rehearsals as to what it would take to bring the title home."

School age

He added: "We yet again had a very young band on stage, with 11 players of school age and a further four still in education, all led for the first time by our new principal cornet Owain Llestyn, who is just 13.

He was not along though as there were plenty of other notbale contributions from all around the stand, in particular Sacheus Pritchard (soprano), Rebecca Roberts (flugel), Tomos Roberts (horn) and Merin Lleu (trombone).”

Cloud Nine

Not surprisingly Musical Director, Paul Hughes was still on cloud nine when he spoke to 4BR.

“‘I’m delighted for everyone associated with Llanrug. It’s been a long and rocky road to get to this point — but such a brilliant achievement for a band that can trace its proud history back to the 1880s.

Five years ago I entered the bandroom unsure at what I would find. I was greeted by 12 players, many of them of them were of school age, so to arrive at this point in such a short space of time is an astounding by them all.”

The key is to nurture the youngsters and give them time to develop and gain vital experience. This work ethic is really starting to pay dividends!MD, Paul Hughes

Nurture

Paul added: “The key is to nurture the youngsters and give them time to develop and gain vital experience. This work ethic is really starting to pay dividends!

The transformation has been incredible, and I knew we were in good form off the back of a very strong performance at the National Eisteddfod.”

To add to the senior band’s success, the Llanrug Youth Band also came runner-up in the Youth B Section.



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David Hirst

MA, B.Ed (Hons), LTCL
Conductor, adjudicator and arranger