News

Christmas Videos 2020

The ongoing COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic has unfortunately restricted our ability to spread some much needed Christmas cheer in the local community.

Instead of public performances at local supermarkets, pubs, in the community and of course our annual Christmas concert, we are delighted to share a selection of past performances of our favourite Pontardulais Town Band Christmas pieces to put you in the festive mood.

As we countdown to the big day, we will be posting a new piece every day, including something VERY special on the weekend of the 19th/20th.

Keep an eye on our Facebook page, or check this page for updates!

24th December – We Wish You A Merry Christmas

For our final video, a socially distanced offering of the piece we normally finish our carol playing sessions with.

We hope you’ve enjoyed our Christmas videos, we end with a message from the Chair of Pontardulais Town Band:

This year has proved to be a difficult one for us all. We are very grateful to all of you for your support in these very challenging times and value your continued assistance. The committee has been busy in working together and collaborating in keeping our members safe. We are now looking forward to the future in 2021 and would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Sue Aldrich
Chairperson, Pontardulais Town Band

23rd December – The Twelve Days of Christmas

Time for a sing-along! This has become a bit of a tradition at our annual Christmas Concert!

22nd December – (Not So) Silent Night

Now a different take, by Jonathan Mead, on the classic Silent Night, performed by the Senior, Training and Beginner Bands. Definitely another one to watch until the end…

21st December – Mary, Did You Know?

A change of pace today with this piece, arranged by our solo horn player, Tara Smith.

20th December – Santa Claus-Trophobia

Next up is the second of our special videos, recorded especially for this Christmas!

19th December – Jingle Bells

Here is the first of the special videos as promised, recorded especially for this Christmas!

18th December – Winter Wonderland

Another festive favourite today!

17th December – Christmas Overture

How many Christmas songs and carols can you count in today’s offering?

16th December – One Day I’ll Fly Away

Next up is a solo from our soprano cornet player, Kevin ‘Snowman’ Shanklin. Once again, keep watching for the hidden bonus track at the end…

15th December – A Christmas Adventure

Today’s piece feature a solo from our solo horn player, Tara Smith.

14th December – Jingle Bells

Now a joint effort from the Senior, Training and Beginners Bands.

13th December – O Holy Night

Next up, we feature our solo euphonium player, Lyndon Harris. Watch to the end for an extra treat…

12th December – Festive Intrada

Sit back, relax and enjoy our first piece, Festive Intrada – do keep a look out for a very naughty elf…

Remembrance Sunday 2020

Due to the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic there is no Remembrance Parade in Pontarddulais this year. This video, using footage from previous years’ parades and the 2018 WW1 100 Years Remembrance Concert, as well as contributions from Pontarddulais Male Choir and Pontarddulais Town Band, has been put together as a tribute to the service and sacrifice of our Armed Forces, veterans and their families.

Arts Council of Wales Funding

Arts Council Of Wales

The band are delighted to have been awarded a generous grant from The Arts Council of Wales, funding which has been made available by the Welsh Government as part of its Cultural Recovery Fund.

The grant will go a long way in helping the band continue its activites as best as possible during the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic.

The band are very grateful to The Arts Council of Wales for the awarding of this grant and for its continued support.

Further information is available in the news release on The Arts Council of Wales website.

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.