facebook twitter rss vimeo shop label support us


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)

Support us for less than a cup of coffee...

4BR wants to ensure that the brass band movement remains vibrant and relevant. We also want to be able to question, challenge and critically examine those who run and play in it, producing high quality journalism that informs as well as entertains our readers.

So if like us you value a strong, independent perspective on the brass band world - then why not consider becoming a supporter and help make our future and that of a burgeoning brass band movement more secure.

So one less cappuccino then?

Support us    

Hats off to Carlton Main — Brass in Concert 2018

World Rankings — December update

December 12 • Lots of movement in the rankings following Brass in Concert and plenty of other contests but it's hats off to Carlton Main who jump eight places to secure a top ten spot to end 2018.


No registration border between Wales and England

December 11 • Clear border roads ahead as the Welsh Brass Band Registry merges with the Brass Band Players Registry from 1st January to guarantee no future ambiguity in relation to cross-border transfers.


Double-sided Christmas telly treat for Oldham Band (Lees)

December 11 • The First Section National Champions to appear on both BBC1 and ITV on Christmas Day...


Foden's link up with Ford for double festive treat

December 11 • National Champions to link up with big-band singer Matt Ford for a double dose of festive music making close to home.

Black Dyke Band - Queensbury Parish Church

Thursday 13 December • West End, Queensbury, West Yorkshire, BD13 2AD,

Woodfalls Band - Christmas Charity Concert with the Woodfalls Band

Friday 14 December • Abbey United Reformed Church, Romsey SO51 8EL

Regent Hall Concerts - Royal Greenwich Brass Band

Friday 14 December • Charlton House. Charlton Road. London. SE7 8RE SE7 8RE

Newstead Brass - Christmas at the Proms

Friday 14 December • Woodborough Village Hall, Lingwood Lane, Nottingham NG14 6DX

Enderby Band - Hinckley Rock Choir

Friday 14 December • Salvation Army Hall. Lancaster Road. Hinckley. Leicestershire LE10 0AW

Roberts Bakery Band

December 12 • We have a vacancy for a 3rd cornet & solo trombone to complete our strong line up. We have an exciting 2019 ahead including a tour, high profile concerts & competing in the North West areas. See what we're up to: https://www.facebook.com/robertsbakeryband

Newstead Brass

December 11 • Due to change in work commitments Newstead Brass have an immediate vacancy for BASS TROMBONE. . . Come and join the highest placed midlands band at the 2018 Bolsover Festival of Brass as we move on to the next stage of our musical development.

Lewes, Glynde and Beddingham Brass Band

December 11 • L&SC 2nd Section Regional Champions have a cornet vacancy, ideally front row. We rehearse on Thursday evening in Lewes with extra Tuesdays before concerts and contests. Good balance of concerts and contests and varied social activities too.

Stan Lippeatt

Conductor, adjudicator, tutor