Results: 2011 SEWBBA Ebbw Vale

Abergavenny head the prize list at Ebbw Vale, with section wins for City of Cardiff, Llywdcoed, Goodwick, Oakdale and Melingriffith Juniors.


The first Welsh League contest of the season took place at Ebbw Vale Leisure Centre in South Wales on Saturday, where an encouraging line up of bands battled for the honours.

Blackpool prep

With some leading Welsh bands putting final preparations to their forthcoming Spring Festival test pieces in Blackpool, just five bands took to the stage in the Championship Section.

Championship Section:

Abergavenny Borough gave themselves a huge confidence boost as they took the RTB Trophy and £200 top prize thanks to their solidly delivered performance of ‘Trittico’ under the baton of Craig Roberts.

Adjudicator Jim Davies, making a welcome return to his native land, spoke of the suitability of some of the own choice selections, but had no problem picking a clear winner.

It was a performance that showed the great deal of the potential that is in the bandMD Craig Roberts


Craig Roberts told 4BR that he was very happy with his band’s winning performance. "They put in a great deal of hard work on this one and it showed," he said. "It was a performance that showed the great deal of the potential that is in the band."

Second place went to Markham & District, with their rendition of ‘Prisms’, with Tylorstown in third with ‘Benvenuto Cellini’.

First Section:

There was also a small list of entrants in the First Section, where just three bands gave adjudicator Philip Harper an easy task of settling the results.

A quality performance of ‘Chivalry’ by Cheltenham qualifiers City of Cardiff (Melingriffith) conducted by Gareth Ritter saw them claim the Mark Constance Memorial Trophy.

Five point margin

That gained a five-point winning margin over second placed Blaenavon Town, who played ‘The Plantagenets’. Ynyshir were two points further back in third with their rendition of ‘A Celtic Suite’.

Philip told the audience that he had heard what he described as an ‘outstanding’ winner, whilst he also highlighted the need for conductors to use bandroom recordings to help analyse pre contest ‘run-throughs’ and for players to concentrate more on tuning issues.

Second Section:

Earlier in the day Welsh Regional Champions Llwydcoed continued to show their excellent 2011 form with a clear victory over fellow Cheltenham qualifiers Lewis Merthyr in the Second Section – a repeat of the Swansea Area result.

Well crafted

Their performance of Kenneth Downie’s ‘Purcell Variations’ under the baton of Carl Saunders gave them a three-point winning margin over their rivals, who produced a well crafted account of ‘Royal Parks’.

Third Section Area qualifiers Treherbert, who reprised their Swansea test piece, ‘A Little Light Music’, took third.

Speaking after their win Llwydcoed Band Chairman Kevin Johnson told 4BR that the win wasn't the end of their day of music making: "We were keen to keep pressing on and improve, but two wins out of two this season is a real achievement.

It's testament to the dedication of the band and also that of their families that they have worked so hard, come out on top and then returned to Merthyr to perform in what turned out to be a marathon two and a half hour concert."

Third Section:

There was no doubting the quality on show with the winners in the Third Section, where Goodwick added the Myers & Harrison Trophy to the Area Shield they claimed in Swansea with an outstanding performance of ‘Laudate Dominum’.

Massive win

It gave the West Wales band conducted by Matthew Jenkins, a massive eight-point winning margin over Abertillery & District with Treherbert a further three points back in third.

Adjudicator Philip Harper told the audience that the winner had produced a ‘superb performance’ to take the title, whilst he also praised the performances of Cheltenham Fourth Section qualifiers Abertillery with their solid account of ‘Lydian Pictures’ and Crwbin’s ‘2nd Suite in F’.

Fourth Section:

The only cross border battle of the day took place in the Fourth Section, where the honours went to Wales, with a wonderful win for Oakdale under the baton of Nigel Seaman.

Their performance of ‘Anglian Dances’ saw the band, who just missed out on Cheltenham qualification at Swansea, take the Toby Trophy by a point from Area winners Melingriffith 2, playing ‘Lydian Pictures’. Severn Tunnel claimed third with their rendition of ‘Triptych’.

Lovely performance

Nigel later told 4BR that he had enjoyed taking the band on stage.

"It was a lovely performance from a lovely bunch of players. There is plenty of potential with the band, and I am sure they will enjoy further success this year if they can build on this success."

The sole English representatives, Drybrook were fourth, with Cwmtawe fifth.

Junior Section:

The opening event of the day saw Melingriffith Juniors take a well deserved Gold Award from adjudicator Jim Davies, with their 15 minute entertainment programme under the baton of Gareth Ritter.

Starting with ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ they went on to feature Josh Herman on trombone on ‘The Acrobat’ before playing the hymn tune ‘Abide with Me’ and ‘Hootenanny’ as a finale.

76 players

It provided the growing Melingriffith organisation with a wonderful start to a long contesting day – one which saw them put no less than 76 players on stage with the three bands in the Junior, Fourth and First Section.

Gareth told 4BR: "All the hard work in investing in youth is starting to pay off for. To get so many players, both young and old to play on stage this weekend an achievement we are all very proud of."

In a highly enjoyable event there were silver awards for Blaenavon Town, Cwmtawe Juniors and Goodwick Juniors.

All Prizes: £200; £150: £100

Championship Section:
Adjudicator: Jim Davies

1. Abergavenny Borough (Craig Roberts) – 192
2. Markham & District (Adrian Morton) – 190
3. Tylorstown (Gary Davies) – 188
4. Rogerstone (James Jones) – 186
5. RAF St Athan (Alan R Bourne) – 185

Best Instrumentalist: Principal Cornet (Rogerstone)
Best Horn: Markham & District

First Section:
Adjudicator: Philip Harper

1. City of Cardiff (Melingriffith) – 192
2. Blaenavon Town (Andrew P Jones) – 187
3. Ynyshir (Dean Evans) – 185

Best Instrumentalist: Euphonium — City of Cardiff (Melingriffith)
Best Soprano: City of Cardiff (Melingriffith)

Second Section:
Adjudicator: Jim Davies

1. Llwydcoed (Carl Saunders) — 191
2. Lewis Merthyr (Gareth Pritchard) – 188
3. Treherbert (Craig Roberts) – 187
4. Gwaun Cae Gurwen (Colin Hogg) – 186
5. Upper Rhondda (Gareth Robinson) – 185

Best Instrumentalist: Principal Cornet (Lewis Merthyr)

Third Section:
Adjudicator: Philip Harper

1. Goodwick (Matthew Jenkins) – 190
2. Abertillery & District (Dean Evans) – 182
3. Crwbin (Julian Jones) – 179
4. Newport Borough (Ivor Barnett) – 178
5. Ystradgynalis Public (A. Paarker) – 176
6. Ogmore Valley (Miss Alice Johnes) – 175

Best Instrumentalist: Principal Cornet (Goodwick)

Fourth Section:
Adjudicator: Philip Harper

1. Oakdale (Nigel Seaman) – 182
2. Melingriffith 2 (Dewi Griffiths) – 181
3. Severn Tunnel (Alex McGhee) – 180
4. Drybrook (Kevin White) – 178
5. Cwmtawe (Wayne Pedrick) – 177

Best Instrumentalist: Flugel (Melingriffith 2)

Junior Section:
Adjudicator: Jim Davies

Gold Award:
Melingriffith Juniors (Gareth Ritter)

Silver Awards:
Blaenavon Town (Evan Smith)
Cwmtawe Juniors (Simon Howell)
Goodwick Juniors (Stephen Vaughan Thomas)

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