facebook twitter rss vimeo shop label

*
banner

Greater Gwent Youth Bands & Tredegar Band

Conductors: Ian Porthouse & Lara Tingay
Guest Soloist: Gareth Small
Ebbw Vale Leisure Centre
Saturday 6th January

The provision of a well funded peripatetic and support music service was for over half a century one of the shining examples of good local authority governance in the south Wales valleys. 

Concerts such as these were readily supported by blinged-up ‘Goldy Looking Chain’ councillors with false smiles and vote-seeking handshakes.  

Pygmy politicians

Until a few years ago it was perhaps without equal in the UK; the results of which produced generations of youngsters who benefitted hugely from playing musical instruments in local schools and community bands. 

Not surprisingly the pygmy politicians no longer show their faces.

However, despite the financial scythe of austerity cutting ‘non-essential’ services to stubble, a palpable sense of communal pride and indefatigable determination has enabled the Greater Gwent Youth Band (and its sibling Intermediate Band) to continue to provide an outstanding service to youngsters throughout its remit area.  

That was certainly shown here with the latest generation (which contained numerous offspring of former members in its ranks) providing ample evidence that emerging talent is still being nurtured through enjoyment, enthusiasm and endeavour.  

However, despite the financial scythe of austerity cutting ‘non-essential’ services to stubble, a palpable sense of communal pride and indefatigable determination has enabled the Greater Gwent Youth Band (and its sibling Intermediate Band) to continue to provide an outstanding service to youngsters throughout its remit area.  

Sparkling brilliance

Led by Ian Porthouse and featuring the sparkling brilliance of Halle Orchestra principal trumpet Gareth Small (also a product of a well funded approach in West Wales), it was a cracking concert that even in times of severe financial constraints generously supported the Brass for Africa Charity.

Well chosen repertoire (‘All Night Long’ to ‘Fire & Flame’ via ‘Pie Jesu’, ‘A Time for Us’ and ‘Duelling Xylos’ featuring soloists in Maya Ross, Elliott King, Alex Evans and Robert Bull) showcased the progress made in the four days of the course, whilst the inclusion of the Intermediate Band led by Lara Tingay was an added joy.

12 bore

Tredegar Band dusted off any post Xmas lethargy with 12-bore whip-throughs of their recent concert fizz bombs, whilst Gareth Small gave a masterclass in the art of style - from hot ‘Flamenco’ to the stunningly beautiful, 'He wishes for the cloths of Heaven' written by Karl Jenkins, arranged by Gareth’s father Tony and inspired by the poem of WB Yeats.

By the time we came to a bit of massed band ‘Star Wars’, ‘McArthur Park’ and ‘African Funk’, a super concert left a thoroughly entertained audience brimming with a communal pride the results of financial austerity can never destroy however hard its excusers and implementers try.

Iwan Fox



Roberts Bakery Band - Bluedot Festival

Saturday 21 July • Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre. . The University of Manchester. . Macclesfield, Cheshire SK11 9DL


Medway Band - Higham Church Annual Prom

Saturday 21 July • St. Marys Church. 1 Abbey Farm Cottages . Church Street. Higham. Rochester . ME3 7LS


Lofthouse Brass Band - Oxenhope Railway Station

Sunday 22 July • Oxenhope Railway Station, The Railway Station, Station Road, Haworth BD22 8NJ BD22 8NJ


Tendring Brass - Opening Night Concert of the Frinton Mission 2018

Saturday 28 July • Greensward,. Frinton on Sea,. Essex CO13 9DN


Lofthouse Brass Band - Filey Bandstand

Sunday 29 July • Filey Bandstand, The Crescent, Filey YO14 9JS YO14 9JS


Walsall Brass Band

July 22 • Walsall Brass Band need a 1st Tenor Horn player & 2 or 3 Cornet players for an event on Sunday 5th August 2 - 4 pm


Flixton Band

July 22 • With an exciting time ahead, Flixton band invite applications for FRONT ROW CORNET. As we prepare to move into 1st section next year we are looking to complete our line up for Cheltenham in September


Frampton on Severn Silver Band

July 22 • We are a friendly non-contesting band in Gloucestershire looking for players, particularly cornets, baritone and basses, but all are welcome. We play at many local events and bandstand jobs, and practice on Tuesday evenings just off Junction 13 of the M5.


Sarah Groarke-Booth

BA (Hons) MA
Conductor, Adjudicator, Compere, Actor