After leading Ebbw Valley Brass to the 2014 Third Section National Championship of Great Britain title, as well as securing the Welsh League Championship in Merthyr Tydfil on the weekend, Gareth Ritter has been presented with the prestigious Eric James Memorial Trophy as ‘Welsh Conductor of the Year’.
Presented since 1990 in memory of one of the most popular and respected Welsh conductors, it is the second time the MD has won the award, which reflects the hard work, commitment and success of conductors working at ‘grass roots’ level in Welsh banding.
Speaking on behalf of the award committee, Eric’s son Alyn told 4BR: “During November each year our group meets to discuss the achievements of Welsh conductors throughout all the sections and choose a recipient for the award.
This year, in choosing Gareth, we show our appreciation of his wonderful work in guiding Ebbw Valley to a second successive National title. We feel it is only a matter of time before he completes the set with a win at the Second Section and First Section Finals!
We also recognize Gareth’s infectious enthusiasm and total commitment in “spreading the word” to youngsters across Wales.”
Gareth told 4BR: “It is a real honour to receive this award once — but twice makes it truly memorable.
Welsh banding is full of outstanding conductors working hard and inspiring young players in particular in the North, South, East and West of Wales, so to gain recognition in this way once again at a time when others do such fantastic work, is humbling.”
This year, in choosing Gareth, we show our appreciation of his wonderful work in guiding Ebbw Valley to a second successive National titleAlyn James
1992: E.J. CLARK — British Steel (Port Talbot)
1993: HAYDN EVANS — Pontardulais Town
1994: BERNARD WILLIAMS — Cwmaman Institute/Blaina
1995: GERALD ROBERTS — Ammanford Town
1996: MICHAEL THORNE — Burry Port
1997: GRAHAM SHEPPARD — Treherbert
1998: C. BRIAN BUCKLEY — Pontardulais Town
1999: BRYN DAVIES — Blaenavon Town
2000: ALAN PHILLIPS — Aberystwyth Youth/Schools
2001: JIM DAVIES — Ammanford Town
2002: MIKE FARO — Briton Ferry Silver
2003: GRAHAM SHEPPARD — Treherbert
2004: CRAIG ROBERTS — Parc & Dare
2005: PAUL HOLLAND — Newbridge Celynen
2006: ALAN DAVIES — Llwydcoed
2007: PAUL HOLLAND — Newbridge Celynen
2008: GWYN EVANS — Beaumaris
2009: GARETH RITTER — City of Cardiff (Melingriffth)Band
2010: GARY DAVIES — Tylorstown
2011: DEWI GRIFFITHS — City of Cardiff (Melingriffith) 2
2012: MATTHEW JENKINS — Goodwick Brass
2013: GARY DAVIES -Tylorstown
2014: GARETH RITTER — Ebbw Valley