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Penclawdd Brass Band

50th Anniversary Concert
Conductor: Tony Small BEM, M.Mus
Featuring: Parti Llwchwr; Ros Evans
St Catherine's Church
Gorseinon
Friday 20th October


This emotional concert marked the retirement of the distinguished founding conductor of Penclawdd Brass Band. 

Tony Small BEM, M.Mus, has been an inspirational figure in Welsh banding, his commitment and dedication as well as his work in education has influenced hundreds of musicians, many of whom were in audience on the night.  

Enhanced

Choral support involving Ros Evans (soprano) of Welsh National Opera, together with Parti Llwchwr (Ladies Chorus) conducted by Janet V. Jones also enhanced a thoroughly enjoyable evening. 

The band’s opening sequences came with well-established music from Gareth Wood (‘Margam Stones’), Dr. Denis Wright’s arrangement of ‘Deep Harmony’  and Tony Small’s own gem entitled ‘Soprano Serenade’.  It was performed with stylish aplomb by Gurnos Rees, one of many players inspired by Tony who have gone on to enjoy distinguished brass banding careers.  

It was performed with stylish aplomb by Gurnos Rees, one of many players inspired by Tony who have gone on to enjoy distinguished brass banding careers.  

The awful weather conditions stopped trains from London to Swansea and unfortunately meant that his close friend, composer Sir Karl Jenkins, was unable to appear. It was fitting though that his compositions were heard to mark the occasion – including ‘Benedictus’  and “from small beginnings great things happen”,  which touchingly related to their lifelong friendship.

Joy

It was also a joy to hear the next generation of young Penclawdd players perform, with the Junior Band under Charlotte Gibbs opening the second half.  Flugel soloist Lili Gibbs was a super lead during ‘Perfect Day’.

It was fitting that Tony therefore took a rousing ‘National Anthem’  to bring to a close a highly emotional evening of celebration of a fine man and outstanding musician.

John Jones, B.Music has now taken on the baton from his mentor, and he led the current ensemble through its paces in the second half -  with ‘I Know Him So Well’  a pertinent and heartfelt reminder of the unbreakable bond between him and the band.

It was fitting that Tony therefore took a rousing ‘National Anthem’  to bring to a close a highly emotional evening of celebration of a fine man and outstanding musician.
 
C. Brian Buckley

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