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

Open Day and Workshop 2019

The band hosted a very successful Open Day and Workshop on September 21st 2019 at the bandroom in Pontardulais.

The Workshop was led by Create!, a music education company run by Chris Bond and Sam Jowett, and included a Master Class from Besson Artist and Principal Cornet player of the Tredegar Town Band, Dewi Griffiths.

Throughout the day, players from Pontardulais Training Band and other local Youth and Training bands took part in workshops, sectionals and the Master Class, before giving a short concert performance at the end of the day.

A huge thank you to Tŷ Cerdd and the Austin Bailey Foundation for their financial support, enabling us to run this event for young brass players in South West Wales.

While the Workshop took place in the bandroom, the band held and Open Day outside, with the aim of attracting new players to the Beginners’ Group and Training Band. Visitors had the opportunity to try playing a selection of instruments under the instruction of Beginners’ Group and Training Band conductor Kevin Shanklin, and other members of the Pontardulais Town Band.

A highly encouraging number of these new players returned the following day for the first Beginners’ Band rehearsal of the new term, with a number of new recruits also present at the Training Band rehearsal later in the day.

Annual Concert and Training Band Awards 2019

Pontardulais Town Band welcomed tenor horn star Sheona White as guest artist for the Annual Concert on July 6th 2019. Sheona entertained the audience with a selection of classic repertoire, which included ‘Demelza’, ‘Cappricio Brilliante’ and ‘The Piper O’ Dundee’, a piece originally commissioned for Sheona.

The band’s selection of pieces for the evening included the world premiere of a piece written by band member Jonathan Mead, titled ‘Prelude on Two Welsh Hymn Tunes’.

The Training Band also performed a set at the Annual Concert, which this year included a solo by trombone player Evan Kinnear, who chose to play ‘Kid Shifter’.

Following their performance, the Training Band Awards were presented to members by this year’s guest soloist, Sheona White. Congratulations to all the winners, who were as follows:

Best Attender – Eleri Huxtable
Most Improved Player – Dylan Davis (Left)
Player of the Year – Evan Kinnear (Centre)
J. D. W. Maclean Bandsman of the Year – Ffion Llewelyn (Right)

At the Patrons’ reception prior to the concert, Band President and compere for the evening, Garry Owen, was presented with a band blazer and tie by band chairperson, Sue Aldrich.

Garry Owen blazer presentation
Band President Garry Owen presented with his band blazer and tie.

Junior Band Awards 2018

Winners of the various Pontardulais Junior and Beginner Band Awards were presented with their trophies by guest soloist Tom Hutchinson at the Annual Concert on June 16th 2018.

This year saw the inaugural awarding of the J. D. W. Maclean Junior Bandsman of the Year award, introduced in memory of long-standing Band President, Mr John Maclean, who sadly passed away last year, after a period of 45 years acting as Band President.

Congratulations to all the winners.

Most Promising Beginner – Cian Curry
Most Promising Beginner – David Davies
Best Attender – Helen
Most Improved Junior – Sian Jones
Junior Player of the Year – Aled Tumelty
J. D. W. Maclean Junior Bandsman of the Year – Evan Kinnear

Tesco Bags of Help

Pontardulais Town Junior Band calls out for votes to bag a share of Tesco’s Bags of Help Initiative.

Tokens available in the Tesco Pontarddulais Superstore now until the end of February 2018. Customers will cast their vote using a token given to them at the checkout in store each time they shop.

Pontardulais Town Junior Band and Beginners are expanding and are desperately in need of new instruments, music, stands, folders and cases.

Following a very successful Open Day in September 2017 we have been delighted to welcome many new members to our Beginners and Junior Band. We now have so many wanting to learn that we have run out of instruments!! We would very much like to give our members old and new some decent instruments to play on and also to buy them some exciting new music. We are also in need of music stands, instrument cases and music folders to update our current bedraggled collection which after many years of use is looking very worse for wear and held together with sticky tape and a prayer!

The Pontardulais Town Band and Junior Band participate in many local events such as the Annual Pontardulais & Hendy Carnival, Father Christmas Parade, the Armistice Parade, Goppa Christmas Carol Concert and of course our Annual Concert and are often to be heard outside Tesco’s at Christmas time playing Carols. We are also very proud to represent our village at local and national brass band competitions.

As a charitable organisation we rely on donations from band members, our patrons and what we take from performing in concerts and competitions. Christmas Carolling is also a very important income for the band and the generous donations of our local community goes a long way in ensuring the band can continue for another year. It is always a struggle to make ends meet. We have a lovely bandroom but of course this takes a large amount of money to maintain what with heating, lighting, water rates etc., and when you consider that a new Tuba can cost upwards of £8,000 replacing instruments is an almost insurmountable task. Most of our juniors play on instruments that are significantly older than them!

We have been very proud to be part of the community of Pontardulais for well over a hundred years and this money would enable us to continue to share our passion for brass band music with our young band members and help us continue to bring music to the community of Pontardulais.


Tesco Bags of Help Logo


Tesco teamed up with Groundwork to launch its community funding scheme, which sees grants of up to £4,000, £2,000 and £1,000 – all raised from carrier bag sales in Tesco stores – being awarded to local community projects.

Bags of Help offers community groups and projects across the UK a share of revenue generated from carrier bag sales in Tesco store. The public will now vote in store during January and February on who should receive the awards.

Junior Band Awards 2017

Congratulations to Eleri Huxtable and Cameron Greenall, winners of the Pontardulais Junior Band Awards 2017. Eleri won the award for ‘Most Improved Player’ and Cameron won the ‘Best Attender’ award. Well done both!

Most Improved Player – Eleri Huxtable

Best Attender – Cameron Greenall