After filling its trophy cabinet with silverware in 2016, the world's number 1 ranked band gave out its own awards recently at their annual presentation evening held in Cardiff.
The Cory Band 'Player of the Year' and 'Member of the Year' are decided by the members themselves and on this occasion the awards went to flugel star Helen Williams and percussionist Steve Jones.
It was yet another award for Helen in what has been a memorable year in which she has already collected a host of personal accolades.
After being presented with the award by MD Philip Harper, she said: "To be recognised by my peers at Cory Band is something very special indeed. I feel extremely privileged to have been a part of such a historic year for the band and although it sounds like a cliche, I'm most definitely living the dream!"
Philip added his own tribute by saying: "To say that no-one was surprised that Helen won the award this year seems somehow to devalue her achievement.
The point is that, in a year when every player in Cory Band has generally excelled themselves on a regular basis, Helen has been nothing short of phenomenal, with a consistency running through the year which should not be underestimated.
For example, as she played her extended solo cadenza in 'Journey of the Lone Wolf' at the National Finals, she held several thousand people in the Royal Albert Hall in the palm of her hand and created for Cory yet another spine-tingling magical moment. I'm delighted that she has now earned the Player of the Year Award on top of everything else."
Meanwhile, the 'Member of the Year' award was won by percussionist Steve Jones, affectionately known throughout the banding world as 'Weenie', who said: "I'm absolutely surprised and delighted to have been awarded this honour — and even more so with it being Cory's Grand Slam year. It makes the hard work worthwhile."
Philip Harper added: "Steve came back to Cory in 2016 after a few years away. He's the model bandsman in so many ways, over and above his contribution as, in my opinion, one of the best percussionists in the banding world.
I'm sure that his award is also partly based on the fabulous work which he has been doing at the bandroom since the summer, bringing historic photos and banners out from storage and onto the walls, making an inspiring and celebratory environment for us all to work in."
in a year when every player in Cory Band has generally excelled themselves on a regular basis, Helen has been nothing short of phenomenal, with a consistency running through the year which should not be underestimatedPhilip Harper
There was also a very special award made to Cory veteran Gwyn Thomas, who has now notched up a remarkable 60 years of service to the band as a player, committeeman and in recent years a hard working librarian.
Paying tribute to Gwyn, Philip said: "There are some people in life for whom no words are sufficient to summarise just what they mean to others.
Gwyn is one such person — the guy who is always there for us, with his passion for Cory as strong today as it ever was, and commanding instant respect amongst players and colleagues alike after an incredible stint in the soprano seat, including the famous Nationals hat-trick.
He and his wife Helen deserve this wonderful accolade after 60 years of association with Cory and we look forward to many more to come."