Pontypool Brass will be facing the challenge of Philip Harper’s ‘Olympus’ this weekend with the help of a real life Olympian.
Multi-talented Venissa Head, one of Welsh athletics finest international competitors, will be playing Bb tuba in the band’s quest for victory at the Brangwyn Hall.
Venissa competed in the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles, achieving an impressive 6th place in the shot putt and 7th in the discus event, amazing achievements given the level of competition from the former Soviet Union and Eastern European countries that were taking part.
She went on to claim a silver medal in the discus in the 1986 Commonwealth Games.
Venissa‘s niece, Cerys, is also a member of the bass section, (which is three quarters female!) and her twin sister, Viv, plays for the band too.
Venissa competed in the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles, achieving an impressive 6th place in the shot putt and 7th in the discus event4BR
This year marks the band’s first appearance at the Championships since being rescued from folding little over a year ago by Owen Farr, Cory’s star horn player, who started his playing career with the band and still lives in the town.
Under his command they have gone from strength to strength returninbg local Welsh League competition with a stunning 2nd place and a ‘Best Horn Section’ prize at the Blaenavon contest late last year.
Nerves of steel
A spokesperson told 4BR: "It will be the first time that many of the band will perform at the Brangwyn Hall, as a good proportion are under 18 and are playing with a contesting band for the first time."
They added: "Although ‘Olympus’ features a chariot race, rather than more modern day sports, the band will be hoping to share Venissa’s nerves of steel and Olympic pedigree as they take to the stage in hope of a podium finish!"