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Porthouse victory in Brecon

17 year old Harry Porthosuse has claimed the honours in the first Youth Solo Competition Final hosted by The Band of The Prince of Wales

Porthouse
  The finalists with Andrew Porter and Chris Turner

17 year old Harry Porthouse of Tredegar Band claimed the honours at the first Youth Solo Competition Final hosted by The Band of The Prince of Wales in Brecon this week.

The public event was held at Brycheiniog Theatre and featured four talented musicians who were asked to perform a major solo with the band conducted by Bandmaster Andrew Porter of the British Army Band Tidworth.

The competition attracted 62 entries which was later whittled down to a semi-final of 20 performers before four finalists were chosen.

Comfort zone

Harry's performance of 'Jubilance' by William Hines was described by adjudicator Chris Turner as being "totally within his comfort zone", with special commendation for his lyrical appreciation of phrasing and tonal quality.

A supportive audience was on hand to enjoy four excellent performances, with the band also performing a number of concert works including a 'Deep Harmony' tribute to conductor Richard Evans, who Andrew Porter stated was a huge influence of his own musical career.

Difficult decision

Adjudicator Chris Turner admitted to the audience that it had been "a very difficult decision"to choose between for players who has all shown "maturity far beyond their years".

Harry, who is also a member of the National Youth Brass Band of Great Britain, was pushed all the way to the first prize of a future concert performance with the band.

Fellow Tredegar cornetist Jack Hoof gave an accomplished rendition of 'The Song of Exaltation' by Norman Bearcroft, percussionist Dylan Sanders Swales aged 16, provided a thrilling kit performance to Gareth Trott's arrangement of the great Buddy Rich's drum feature from 'West Side Story', and 15 year old Elliott Harrington was a fine baritone lead on Philip Sparke's 'Fantasy for Euphonium'.

Harry (second right) told 4BR: "I'm thrilled to have won and to have been given the opportunity to play with the band in the future. All the finalists were great."

I'm thrilled to have won and to have been given the opportunity to play with the band in the future. All the finalists were greatHarry Porthouse

Talented musicians

Andrew Porter later told 4BR: "This has been the climax a hugely successful engagement with community bands and performers both in the UK and beyond.

I was delighted to be asked to come and conduct the band and enjoy the performances from four very talented young musicians who we will be keeping an eye on for sure.

The British Army Music Services offers ideal opportunities for young musicians and we hope to continue to strengthen these community links with event such as this in the future."

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