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Report and Results: 2018 National Eisteddfod of Wales

Tylorstown head the national prize winners in Cardiff as they lift the National Eisteddfod crown, with section wins for Newport Borough, Taff Vale and Upper Rhondda.

  The Welsh National Eisteddfod is taking place in Cardiff this year

Tylorstown Band claimed the Blue Riband brass band title at the Welsh National Eisteddfod in Cardiff on the weekend.

Televised live on the national S4C channel from the stage of the iconic Welsh Millennium Centre, the Rhondda valley First Section band took home the £750 first prize with a balanced 20-minute set that caught both the eyes and ears of adjudicator Melvin White as well as the audience at home.


The band opened with Mark Freeh's 'Malaquena' followed by a sparkling rendition of 'Chiapanecas' by principal cornet Kevin Jones. Contrast came with 'Doyle's 'Lament' and the march 'The Cossack' before 'Catari, Catari' featuring Angela Westacott on euphonium led into the finale of 'Balkan Dance'.

"We are thrilled to have claimed such a prestigious title — one that has been won by some of the most famous names in Welsh banding," Gary Davies told 4BR.

"We've been working hard all year and this is the result against very strong opposition, so you can imagine we had a little bit of a celebration even though due to a mix up we still haven't received the trophy!"

Missing trophy

It later transpired that the Flintshire Territorial Army Cup was safely stored in a back room of the Millennium Centre and the band will now receive it this week.

BTM came second, maintaining their solid improvement with a set based on their recent Band Cymru final performance, with a solid Deiniolen in third.

However, there was surprise as Welsh Area winner Ebbw Valley failed to make a mark as they ended outside the prizes alongside Lewis Merthyr and Llanrug.

Section winners

Newport Borough's mix of Duke Ellington, William Rimmer and The Drifters saw them claim victory in the Second Section under Robin Hackett.

Confidently delivered renditions of 'Caravan', 'The Cossack', 'Under the Boardwalk' and 'Abide with Me' saw them claim the Ivor Jarvis Cup and £500 top prize. City of Cardiff (Melingriffith) 2 was second with Blaenavon in third.

Welsh Area champion Taff Vale maintained their excellent 2018 form as they secured the Third Section under Gareth Ritter in equally imposing fashion ahead of Briton Ferry and RAF St Athan, whilst another Area champion in Upper Rhondda won the Fourth Section — ending their energetic programme with a rousing performance of 'Music' by John Miles.

With expert commentary from the likes of former Fairey Band principal cornet Paul Hughes and well known television presenter Alex Humphries, Wales continues to enjoy extensive televised coverage of brass band events — with 2018 also seeing S4C produce the Band Cymru competition.

We are thrilled to have claimed such a prestigious title — one that has been won by some of the most famous names in Welsh bandingTylorstown MD, Gary Davies


Championship/First Section:

Adjudicator: Melvin White

1. Tylorstown (Gary Davies)
2. BTM (Jeff Hutcherson)
3. Seindorf Arian Deiniolen (Lois Eifion Jones)
4. Ebbw Valley (Gareth Ritter)

Also competed:
Lewis Merthyr (Craig Roberts)
Llanrug (Paul Hughes)

Second Section:

1. Newport Borough (Robin Hackett)
2. City of Cardiff (Melingriffith) 2 (David Thomas)
3. Blaenavon (David Langley)
4. Ynyshir (Gary Davies)
5. Crwbin (Craig Roberts)

Third Section:

1. Taff Vale (Gareth Ritter)
2. Briton Ferry (Jeff Pearce)
3. RAF St Athan (Alan Bourne)
4. Ogmore Silver (Alice Jones)
5. Ynyshir (Gary Davies)

Fourth Section:

1. Upper Rhondda Band (Jayne Thomas)
2. Gwaun Cae Gurwen (Robert Burnett)
3. Dyffryn Nantlle (Gwenllian Jones)


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Steve Pritchard-Jones

Conductor, Adjudicator, Teacher