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Greater Gwent Youth Brass Band

Conductor: Chris Turner
Guest Soloist: Philippe Schartz
Hoddinott Hall
Millennuim Centre
Cardiff Bay
Sunday 6th January 2019

After a successful four day winter course, the Greater Gwent Youth Band headed to the Millennium Centre in Cardiff for an entertaining showcase concert for family, friends and an encouraging number of local brass band enthusiasts. 

There were also quite a few orchestral aficionados in the audience, as the guest soloist was National Orchestra of Wales principal trumpet Philippe Schartz - no stranger to the brass band movement having made a couple of contest appearances in his time, and with his son playing cornet in the current band’s ranks. 

The concert also featured the next generation of talented youngsters led by Lana Tingay, whilst amid the proud supporters were a team of well satisfied of tutors who had worked the current crop of players with hard, fun packed enthusiasm.   


The results were on show throughout the afternoon at a hall that offered an immediate acoustic - the varied programme of repertoire including a well chosen mix and match of classic band standards such as the march ‘Slaidburn’ to something more contemporary with ‘Memories of a Lost Boy’ by Ben Hollings and an up to date selection from the hit film ‘The Greatest Showman’.

More serious intent was shown with a well-worked ‘Repton Fantasy’ by Jonathan Bates and PLC’s ‘The Forces Unleashed’, whilst the Intermediate Band showed their growing maturity with items as diverse as ‘Mack the Knife’ and ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ to ‘Largo’ and ‘Disney Matters’. 

MD Chris Turner’s excellent understanding of just where the current band was in its overall development was sharply observed and managed – the music offering variety in its challenges.  

Serious intent

More serious intent was shown with a well-worked ‘Repton Fantasy’ by Jonathan Bates and PLC’s ‘The Forces Unleashed’, whilst the Intermediate Band showed their growing maturity with items as diverse as ‘Mack the Knife’ and ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ to ‘Largo’ and ‘Disney Matters’. 

Gifted inspiration came with Philippe Schartz, who played with wonderful facility on ‘Charivari’, ‘Send in the Clowns’, ‘Napoli’ and ‘Song of Hope’, before an enjoyable afternoon came to a close with deserved awards to individual players and a touch of Nordic mischief with ‘In the Hall of the Mountain King’.

Helen Thomas

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