News

National BBC Coverage

The band’s first ever ‘Virtual Concert’, published during the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic, and associated fundraiser has been featured by BBC Cymru, both in a television news broadcast on Sunday 13th July and online.

The news item can be read on the BBC Cymru website (in Welsh) with the televised item also available on the BBC Cymru website or below.

The Virtual Concert is available to view from the Virtual Concert post on this website.

As mentioned in the news feature, if you would like to make a donation to the band, please follow this link to the band’s current campaign on GoFundMe.

Virtual Annual Concert 2020

The band was sadly unable to hold its Annual Concert at Pontardulais Comprehensive School, scheduled for July 4th, due to the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic.

Instead, the band were delighted to share its first ever Virtual Concert, which included some of its highlight performances and outstanding soloists’ contributions from previous Annual Concerts. The virtual compere for the evening was Band President, Garry Owen.

The band hope you enjoy the concert and encourage you to share it with your friends and family to enjoy too.

As mentioned at the end of the video, if you enjoyed the concert and would like to make a donation to the band, please follow this link to the band’s current campaign on GoFundMe.

Programme

Men of HarlechTraditional
1. Ol’ Man RiverOscar Hammerstein and Jerome Kern, arr. Mark Freeh2015
2.Prelude on Two Welsh Hymns Jonathan Mead 2019
3.Stardust
Guest Soloist: Chris Thomas – Trombone
Hoagy Carmichael arr. Bill Geldard2015
4.Green Hornet
Guest Soloist: Tom Hutchinson – Trumpet
Billy May arr. A. Morrison2018
5.Ballade
Guest Soloist: Sheona White – Tenor Horn
J. Golland2019
6.The World’s Greatest Storyteller Philip Harper2017
7.Salsa Tres’ PradoPhilip Harper2017
8.Helter Skelter
Soloist: Sara Llewellyn
W. G. Lemon arr. Ray Woodfield2019
9.Tale of the DragonPaul Lovatt-Cooper2019
Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau

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.

PositionBandConductorDraw
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.

PositionBandConductorDraw
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

Remembrance Parade

The band was once again proud to lead the Remembrance Sunday Parade in Pontardulais on 10th November 2019. The Senior Band was pleased to be joined on Parade by members of the Training Band, some of whom were taking part in their first Remembrance Parade.

Special thanks to band member Iwan Hill for playing the Last Post at the outdoor Service held at the War Memorial in Pontardulais.

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

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

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

Youth and Junior Section

AwardBandConductor
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.

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)
3
2 Pontardulais Town Band
(Paul Jenkins)
Of Distant Memories
(Edward Gregson)
4
3 Markham & District Band
(Matt Rowe)
Symphony of Marches
(Gilbert Vinter)
2
4 Abergavenny Borough Band
(Sean O’Neill)
Variations on Laudate Dominum
(Edward Gregson)
1

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

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

South Wales Evening Post Community Award for Neil Palmer

The band would like to congratulate Neil Palmer (a.k.a. Mr. Pontardulais Town Band) on winning the Lifetime Achievement Award in the South Wales Evening Post Community Awards 2019.

South Wales Evening Post Community Awards 2019 - Lifetime Achievement Award Winner - Neil Palmer

The award ceremony took place at the Brangwyn Hall in Swansea on Friday 22nd March. The judges for the award were:

  • Leon Britton – Swansea City AFC Ambassador
  • Lisa Cameron – Commercial Managing Director of Media Wales
  • Kev Johns MBE – Actor and Broadcaster
  • Phillipa Mounsey – representing one of the sponsors, McDonald’s
  • Mathew Rees – 2018 Amabassador Award winner
  • Jonathan Roberts – Editor at South Wales Evening Post