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

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

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.

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)

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

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