Foden’s Band Online Whit Friday Championships 2021

Having enjoyed its first taste of virtual contesting with the Kapitol Cory Online Brass Band Championships, the band entered the Online Whit Friday Championships, run by Foden’s Band.

The contest was broadcast on the 28th and 29th of May, the weekend the Whit Friday contest usually takes place in the Tameside and Saddleworth areas.

A total of 119 bands from around the world entered the contest, performing 57 different marches! In true Whit Friday fashion, all bands competed against each other, but with prizes awarded to the highest placed bands in each section. The contest was adjudicated by Michael Fowles.

Pontardulais Town Band were band number 38 in the draw, performing ‘The Contestor’ by T. J. Powell, which starts at around 2:56:10 in the video below.

The band were pleased to be placed 35th overall (from 119) and 15th in the 1st Section (from 24).

Kapitol Cory Online Brass Band Championships 2021

The band were thrilled to compete in the Kapitol Cory Online Brass Band Championships 2021, a virtual music contest broadcast live on YouTube and hosted by the Cory Band. Broadcast over three successive weekends in March, the contest included Championship, 1st to 4th, University and Youth Sections, with bands entering from all around the world!

Pontardulais Town Band competed in the 1st Section, broadcast on 20th March in a field of 12 bands. The adjudicators for the section were Cory Band members Chris Thomas, Simon Howell and Helen Williams.

The entire contest is worth watching, but if you only want to view our entry, it starts at 1:12:57 in the video below.

The running order for the section was as follows:

  1. Coalburn Silver Band (Scotland)
  2. Strabane Brass (Northern Ireland)
  3. Johnstone Band (Scotland)
  4. Pontardulais Town Band (Wales)
  5. Dallas Brass Band (USA)
  6. Langley Band (England)
  7. Seindorf Arian Deiniolen (Wales)
  8. Freckleton Brass Band (England)
  9. North Skelton Band (England)
  10. Drogheda Brass Band (Republic of Ireland)
  11. Wotton Silver (England)
  12. Strata Brass (England)

Welsh Regional Championships 2020

The band was placed 6th in the 1st Section at the Welsh Regional Championships 2020, held on February 29th at The Great Hall on Swansea University’s Bay Campus.

The set test piece was a new work by Welsh composer Tom Davoren titled ‘Legacy’, and the adjudicators were Alan Morrison and Jonathan Pippen.

Despite the low placing, the result has seen the band retain its 1st Section status for next year, following promotion back into the 1st Section in 2019.

Full results for the section are below.

1B. T. M. BandJeff Hutcherson4
2Tylorstown BandGary Davies1
3Deiniolen Silver BandLois Eifion5
4Lewis Merthyr BandCraig Roberts6
5Parc & Dare BandLewis Wilkinson7
6Pontardulais Town BandPaul Jenkins2
7Newport Borough BandRobin Hackett3

Best Instrumentalist: Dylan Williams – Cornet (Deiniolen Silver Band)

Welsh League First Section Champions 2019

The third and final leg of the 2019 Welsh League Series was held on November 23rd at Stanwell School in Penarth, and saw the band named joint First Section Champions for 2019, alongside the BTM Band.

This leg of the Welsh League Series was a ‘Concert Programme’ contest and saw the Championship and First Sections combined. The band was placed 5th, but were 2nd of the First Section bands, with a programme which included the premiere contest performance of band member Jonathan Mead’s ‘Prelude on Two Welsh Hymn Tunes’.

Full results for the combined Championship and First Sections are below.

1City of Cardiff M1 Band
(Championship Section)
Christopher Bond3
2Ebbw Valley Brass
(Championship Section)
Nigel Seaman5
3Tongwynlais Temperance Band
(Championship Section)
Carl Saunders1
4BTM Band
(First Section)
Jeff Hutcherson4
5Pontardulais Town Band
(First Section)
Paul Jenkins6
6Markham & District Band
(First Section)
Matt Rowe2

Best Instrumentalist: Tim Jones – Euphonium (BTM Band)
Best Trombone: Bethan Cooke (Ebbw Valley Brass)
Best Bass Section: BTM Band

Gold Award for the Training Band

Both the Pontardulais Town Band and Pontardulais Training Band competed at the 2019 West Wales Brass Band Association Contest on 5th October, held at Ysgol Maes y Gwendraeth in Cefneithin.

Best Instrumentalist - Christopher Jenkins
Best Instrumentalist – Christopher Jenkins, with adjudicator Paul Holland. (Photograph courtesy of the West Wales Brass Band Association.)

The Senior Band was awarded 2nd place in the First Section, performing ‘A King’s Lie’ by Stan Nieuwenhuis in this Own Choice contest, which was the second leg of the 2019 Welsh League series. For the third Welsh League contest in succession, principal cornet player Christopher Jenkins won the ‘Best Instrumentalist’ award.

The Training Band achieved a Gold Award on its return to the contesting stage, after performing a 10 minute selection of music. The set included ‘When I Grow Up’ by Tim Minchin arr. David Edmonds, featuring Aled Tumelty on Cornet, Dylan Fowles on Flugelhorn and Tom Fowles on Euphonium, ‘Kid Shifter’ by Simon Wyld – a tenor trombone solo performed by Evan Kinnear – and ‘African Funk’ by Alan Fernie. The Training Band also won the prizes for Best Performance and Best Section, which was awarded to the Percussion section.

Full results for both the First Section and Junior Section are below.

First Section

1Burry Port Town Band
(Ceri John)
(Philip Sparke)
2Pontardulais Town Band
(Paul Jenkins)
A King’s Lie
(Stan Nieuwenhuis)
3Markham & District Band
(Matt Rowe)
The Forest of Dean
(Derek Bourgeois)

Best instrumentalist: Christopher Jenkins – Cornet (Pontardulais Town Band)

Youth and Junior Section

GoldPontardulais Training BandKevin Shanklin
SilverGwaun Cae Gurwen Junior BandDafydd Lewis
SilverNewport Borough Training BandHayley Gibbs

Best section: Percussion – Pontardulais Training Band
Best performance: Pontardulais Training Band

Silverware Claimed at the Cardiff Contest

The band was pleased to attain 2nd place in the First Section at the opening leg of the newly restructured 2019 Welsh League series. The contest was held on May 11th 2019, and once again took place at Willows High School in Cardiff.

Best Instrumentalist - Christopher Jenkins
Best Instrumentalist – Christopher Jenkins

With the contest reformatted to recognise National Gradings and with the removal of promotion and relegation, the band competed in a small field of four bands at this Own Choice contest.

The band elected to perform ‘Of Distant Memories’ by Edward Gregson, with Paul Holland adjudicating the section.

In addition to the 2nd place awarded to the band, principal cornet player Christopher Jenkins again collected the ‘Best Instrumentalist’ prize, having won the ‘Best Instrumentalist’ prize at the final Welsh League series contest of 2018 in Cardiff.

Full results for the section are below.

Position Band Piece Draw
1 B. T. M. Band
(Jeff Hutcherson)
Symphony of Marches
(Gilbert Vinter)
2 Pontardulais Town Band
(Paul Jenkins)
Of Distant Memories
(Edward Gregson)
3 Markham & District Band
(Matt Rowe)
Symphony of Marches
(Gilbert Vinter)
4 Abergavenny Borough Band
(Sean O’Neill)
Variations on Laudate Dominum
(Edward Gregson)

Best instrumentalist: Christopher Jenkins – Cornet (Pontardulais Town Band)

Best soprano cornet: Clint Miller (B. T. M. Band)

Welsh Regional Championships Success

The band achieved 3rd place on its return to the 1st Section at the Welsh Regional Championships 2019, held at the William Aston Hall at Wrexham Glyndwr University on 16th March 2019.

On an emotional day, and following a difficult couple of weeks for conductor Paul Jenkins after a family bereavement , the band was very proud of its performance and only narrowly missed out on an invitation to represent Wales for a second successive year at the finals of the National Brass Band Championships of Great Britain.

Performing the set test piece ‘Symphony of Marches’ by Gilbert Vinter, the band were placed 3rd by adjudicators Sheona Wade and Roger Webster, behind Goodwick Brass and Burry Port Town Band, to complete a West Wales 1 – 2 – 3!

Burry Port Town Band’s euphonium player and Besson Artist, Robbert Vos, won the Best Instrumentalist prize.

Full results for the section are below.

Position Band Conductor Draw
1 Goodwick Brass Matthew Jenkins 7
2 Burry Port Town Band Ceri John 3
3 Pontardulais Town Band Paul Jenkins 9
4 Deiniolen Silver Band Lois Eifion 10
5 Tylorstown Band Gary Davies 6
6 Lewis Merthyr Band Craig Roberts 2
7 B. T. M. Band Nigel Seaman 1
8 Markham & District Band Matthew Rowe 5
9 Llanrug Band Brian Connolly 4
10 Ifton Colliery Band Scott Lloyd 8
11 Abergavenny Borough Band Sean O’Neill 11

Best instrumentalist: Robbert Vos – Euphonium (Burry Port Town Band)

Some comments on the performance from brass band media on the day were as follow:

From Pontardulais provide the judges with a mature, well controlled account to ponder. MD picks his tempos judiciously as well as the dynamics. The odd smudge here and there, but this had a touch of richness to compliment the wit and thoughtfulness.

From on Twitter A mature performance of quality from Pontardulais – confident as well as considered. Odd little moment or two but such a coherent and musically authentic whole.

Welsh Open Return

The band enjoyed performing at the Welsh Open Entertainment Contest, held at the Grand Pavilion, Porthcawl on February 16th 2019.

PTB at the Welsh Open 2019
On stage at the Welsh Open 2019

Making a first appearance at the contest since 2016, and in a strong field of Championship and 1st Section bands, the band had the difficult task of catching the ear of adjudicators Philip Harper and Sarah Hayward, with a programmed entitled ‘The Eye of a Child’. The set list was as follows:

  • Activate, Matthew Hall (Soloist: Gareth Halfpenny)
  • Carnival of Venice, James Benedict/Harry James arr. Mark Freeh (Soloist: Chris Jenkins)
  • Lullabye (Goodnight, My Angel), Billy Joel arr. Philip Harper (Soloists: Owain Evans, David Kelly, Gareth Halfpenny, Adrian Hiscock and Martyn Llewellyn)
  • Helter Skelter, W. G. Lemon arr. Ray Woodfield (Soloist: Sara Llewellyn)
  • Tale of the Dragon, Paul Lovatt-Cooper (Soloists: Kevin Shanklin, Chris Jenkins, Owain Evans, Tara Smith, Lyndon Harris and Gareth Halfpenny)

Though the band didn’t feature in the prizes on this occasion, the performance puts the band in good stead ahead of the Welsh Regional Championships in Wrexham in a month’s time.

Dylan Fowles on his debut contest appearance

Another positive from the day was the first contest appearance with the senior band for brothers Tom and Dylan Fowles, who have both progressed through the Junior band. While Tom already has some contesting experience under his belt, this was Dylan’s first ever contest appearance, and both brothers sportingly agreed to play percussion for the demanding final piece of the programme, which even involved playing Japanese Taiko drums!

Full results for the day are below.

Position Band Conductor Draw Points
1 Filton Concert Brass Tom Davoren 13 193
2 City of Cardiff M1 Band Chris Bond 4 190
3 Llwydcoed Band Chris Turner 7 189
4 Thundersley Brass Band Melvin White 12 188
5 Jackfield Brass Band David Maplestone 6 187
6 Tongwynlais Temperance Band Gareth Hann 1 186
7 Enderby Band Ryan Richards 10 185
8 Haverhill Silver Band Paul Filby 8 184
9 Burry Port Town Band Ceri John 9 182
10 Pontardulais Town Band Paul Jenkins 11 181
11 Tylorstown Band Gary Davies 5 180
12 A.W. Parker Drybrook Band Joshua Ruck 2 178
13 B. T. M. Band Jeff Hutcherson 14 177
14 Abergavenny Borough Band Sean O’Neil 3 176

Most Entertaining Band: Filton Concert Brass

Best First Section Band (not in main prizes): Jackfield Brass Band

Best Soloist: James McLeod – Euphonium (Thundersley Brass Band)

Best Cornet: Tim Pannell (Haverhill Silver Band)

Best Soprano Cornet: Adrian Williams (Burry Port)

Best Horn Section: Filton Concert Brass

Best Percussion Section: Jackfield Brass Band

Youngest Player: Dylan Rowlands – 12 (Burry Port)

Spring Festival Invitation: Thundersley Brass Band

Prizes Won at the Cardiff Contest

At the final contest of the year for the band, and the final leg of the three-part Welsh League series, the band were delighted to be awarded 2nd place in the Championship Section, which also saw the band achieve the overall runner-up position in the Championship Section of the Welsh League for 2018.

Christopher Jenkins
Best Instrumentalist – Christopher Jenkins, Cornet

In addition, the band’s principal cornet player, Christopher Jenkins, was awarded the ‘Best Instrumentalist’ prize for the section, for his fantastic contribution to the band’s performance of the set test piece, ‘Between the Moon and Mexico’, by Philip Sparke.

The result rounds off a brilliant year for the band on the contesting front, with one 1st place, three 2nd places, a ‘Best Instrumentalist’ prize for Christopher Jenkins, a ‘Best Percussion Section’ prize and a ‘Best Back Row Cornet Section’ prize.

This set piece contest was adjudicated by Stan Lippeatt.

Full results for the section are below.

Position Band Conductor Draw
1 Llwydcoed Band Chris Turner 1
2 Pontardulais Town Band Paul Jenkins 5
3 Tylorstown Band Gary Davies 2
4 Ebbw Valley Brass Gareth Ritter 4
5 Markham & District Band Matthew Rowe 3

Best instrumentalist: Christopher Jenkins – Cornet (Pontardulais Town Band)
Best trombone: Gareth Robinson (Llwydcoed Band)
Best bass section: Llwydcoed Band

Haverfordwest Contest

On a very wet and windy day, the band were placed 6th in the Championship Section at the second leg of the 2018 Welsh League series, held at Haverfordwest High VC School on October 13th 2018.

Taking place only four weeks after the band’s successful appearance at the the Second Section Final of the National Brass Band Championships of Great Britain, the band gave a good performance of ‘Chivalry’ by Martin Ellerby with only three weeks of preparation!

This Own Choice contest was adjudicated by Ian Porthouse and David Hayward, who stepped in at short notice in place of David Hirst, who was unable to attend due to travelling problems as a result of Storm Callum.

Full results for the section are below.

Position Band Piece Draw
1 Llwydcoed Band
(Chris Turner)
Of Distant Memories
(Edward Gregson)
2 Goodwick Brass
(Matthew Jenkins)
A King’s Lie
(Stan Nieuwenhuis)
3 Markham & District Band
(Matthew Rowe)
Coventry Variations
(Bramwell Tovey)
4 Ebbw Valley Brass
(Gareth Ritter)
King Arthur – Scenes from a Radio Drama
(Benjamin Britten arr. Paul Hindmarsh)
5 Tylorstown Band
(Gary Davies)
Tallis Variations
(Philip Sparke)
6 Pontardulais Town Band
(Paul Jenkins)
(Martin Ellerby)

Best instrumentalist: Steve Stonelake – Baritone (Llwydcoed)
Best soprano cornet: Jayne Thomas (Markham & District Band)
Best percussion section: Goodwick Brass