Ritter claims Welsh Conductor Award for third time

Gareth Ritter, the conductor of the Welsh League Champions Ebbw Valley and Taff Vale Brass has been presented with the prestigious Eric James Memorial Award.

  Gareth Ritter (right) was presented with the award by Eric James' grandson David.

Gareth Ritter, the Musical Director of Ebbw Valley and Taff Vale Brass (right) has been presented with the Eric James Memorial Trophy as Welsh Conductor of the Year.

The much sought after honour is decided by a small group of dedicated brass band lovers, family members and aficionados in honour of Eric James, one of the most popular conductors of the Welsh banding scene, following his death in 1990.

Grass roots

His son Alyn told 4BR: "My father had expressed the view that, all too often, the hard work of 'grass roots' conductors can go largely unrecognised and that an award of some kind might go some way to remedy this.

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."

Force of nature

He added: "Gareth has been up against stiff competition for the title this year but the results of his work with Ebbw Valley and Taff Vale speak for themselves — he really is a force of brass banding nature!

We commend Gareth for his continuing commitment and formidable work ethic and feel confident his contribution to Welsh banding will provide us all with inspiration for years to come."

The presentation was made at the recent South East Wales Association Welsh League contest held in Cardiff marks the third time that the conductor has won the award.

Gareth has been up against stiff competition for the title this year but the results of his work with Ebbw Valley and Taff Vale speak for themselves — he really is a force of brass banding nature!Alyn James

Award Recipients:

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
2015: MATTHEW JENKINS — Goodwick Brass
2016: LUKE JENKINS — Phoenix Brass (Goodwick)
2017: CHRIS TURNER — Llwydcoed
2018: GARETH RITTER — Ebbw Valley / Taff Vale Brass

Become a supporter and help make our future secure.

4barsrest continues to be a proudly independent voice. There are no paywalls to overcome to be able to enjoy what we do to keep our journalism at the heart of the brass banding world. Support us with a one-off donation or subscribe from just £2.50 per month.

Support us    


The World Rejoicing...

April 3 • Study scores and conductor scores of Edward Gregson's latest major championship work will be available from the publisher later this month.


4BR Interview with Allan Withington

April 3 • In a new series of major interviews with leading conductors, players and personalities around the banding world, 4BR Editor Iwan Fox catches up with Stavanger MD, Allan Withington.


Student initiative seeks solo entries

April 3 • A new on-line solo competition is being organised by an enterprising University of Salford music student — so why not give it ago.

John Doyle

Doyle takes lead at Milnrow

April 3 • John Doyle becomes the new Musical Director at Milnrow Band.

scaba Youth Band - Southern Counties Youth Band Easter Residential Co

Monday 6 April • St Catherine's School,. Station Road,. Bramley,. Surrey GU5 0DF

scaba Youth Band - Southern Counties Youth Band Easter Concert

Thursday 9 April • Anniversary Halls,. St Catherine's School,. Bramley, Surrey GU5 0DF

Regent Hall Concerts - Ibex Brass

Friday 10 April • Regent Hall (The Salvation Army). 275 Oxford Street . (Opposite RESERVED). London. W1C 2DJ W1C 2DJ

Black Dyke Band - Sheffield Philharmonic Chorus, Sheffield City Hall

Saturday 18 April • Barker's Pool, Sheffield S1 2JA

Cory Band - St David's Church, Neath

Saturday 18 April • St David's Church, St David's Street, Neath SA11 3EP

Chadderton Band

April 1 • Chadderton Band is a non-contesting band playing at various events throughout the year. We are a friendly band looking for players of all ages and abilities on all sections. Euph and percussion . Come along to one of our rehearsals.

Upper Rhondda Brass Band

April 1 • Upper Rhondda NEEDS YOU. Again losing players to further their education, our focus switches on ensuring the Bands stability and continuity. Vacancies now exist throughout the Band. In particular Soprano, Solo Cornets, Solo Euphonium and Tuned Percussion.

Amesbury Town Band

March 28 • Players and beginners of any standard are always warmly welcomed, especially some more solo cornets and Eb horns. Feel free to drop in, even if you just fancy a blow or just want to try another instrument.

Prof. Christopher Houlding

Conductor, Performer, Educator


 © 2020 4barsrest.com Ltd