Tredegar Band

A Road Less Travelled By in more ways than one as Tredegar shine on showcase form in Reading.

Conductor: Ian Porthouse
British Bandsman Concert Series
Saturday 8th June

As was the case earlier in the day, the attraction of an outstanding ensemble at a wonderful venue was still not enough to draw an audience deserving of the quality of the entertainment provided.

Lessons to be learnt then for the organisers in promoting future events in this series.  It was a huge pity. Tredegar was on very fine form indeed in providing contrasting halves of high class playing. 

They opened with ‘Flight’  by Louisa Trewartha, an evocative propeller burst of excitement inspired by Maude Bonney’s remarkable solo flight from Australia to Britain in 1933.


This was the prelude to a substantive first half – one which followed with the UK premiere of Holst’s ‘A Fugal Overture’,  recently recorded for an eagerly awaited CD release in celebration of the composer’s 150th anniversary. 

It was hallmarked by a depth and quality of sound at both ends of the dynamic spectrum, elements of control and refinement, inherently balanced and seemingly effortless.

This allowed the MD to inform his shaping of a cultured rendition of Gavin Higgins’ ‘Fanfares and Love Songs’.  It was a joy – the fanfares fluid and bright, the intertwined love songs both yearning and eerie, a sound wash of textural magic.

It was hallmarked by a depth and quality of sound at both ends of the dynamic spectrum, elements of control and refinement, inherently balanced and seemingly effortless.

John Rutter’s ‘The Lord Bless You and Keep You’  (dedicated to former players Jeff Thomas and Steve Legge) was a subtle contrast ahead of the UK premiere of the recent European test-piece, ‘A Road Less Travelled By’.  

This was classic Sparke – technically demanding but musically engaging, allowing soloists to shine (notably here with the bluesy flugel of Cerys Hughes) and the ensemble to stun. Both were delivered in full.

Showcase playing

The second half was showcase playing – the ‘Judy Garland Tribute’  a trio of classic songs: the waspishly paced 'Get Happy'  and ‘That’s Entertainment’  top and tailing Dewi Griffiths on belting ‘Over the Rainbow’  form. 

‘Byrdland 400’  (the band’s 2023 Brass in Concert programme) may have been tenuously linked in inspiration, but was all the better for it – featuring classy soloists in Sion Jones (euphonium), Cerys Hughes (flugel) and Ryan Richards (trombone) against some clever genre detours (the pick the ear-worm take on The Beatles’ ‘Blackbird’) ending in a thumping bit of 1970s Weather Report.

It was left to a stonking ‘MacArthur Park’  and a sublime ‘Ar Lan y Mor’  to bring an outstanding concert to a close.

Fiona Bennett and John Heritage

Support us for less than a cup of coffee...

4BR wants to ensure that the brass band movement remains vibrant and relevant. We also want to be able to question, challenge and critically examine those who run and play in it, producing high quality journalism that informs as well as entertains our readers.

So if like us you value a strong, independent perspective on the brass band world - then why not consider becoming a supporter and help make our future and that of a burgeoning brass band movement more secure.

So one less cappuccino then?

Support us    

Boarshurst Silver Band - Sunday Brass Concert - Phoenix Brass

Sunday 28 July • Boarshurst Band Club, Greenbridge Lane OL3 7EW

Dobcross Silver Band - Milnrow Band

Sunday 28 July • Dobcross Band Club. Platt Lane. Dobcross. Saddleworth. Oldham OL3 8AD

Regent Brass - 'Brass on the Grass' at Westminster Abbey

Wednesday 14 August • Great Peter House, Abbey Gardens, 2 Great College St, London SW1P 3SE


Sunday 1 September • Boarshurst Band Club, Greenbridge Lane OL3 7EW

Contest: 170th British Open

Saturday 7 September • Broad Street, Birmingham. B1 2EA

Chinnor Silver

July 23 • Require a Bass player (Bb or Eb), Bass trombone, Soprano cornet and Percussionist. We are a friendly, ambitious 2nd section band that will start 2025 at the top of their Regional league table. We are located in South Oxfordshire and have our own bandroom in Chinnor

Linthwaite Band

July 23 • We are a 4th section contesting Band, based on the outskirts of Huddersfield, and we currently have a vacancy for a tenor trombone, to complete our friendly team.

Thoresby Colliery Band

July 22 • Thoresby Colliery Band are inviting applications for a Baritone player.. We are at the top of tables for the 1st section Midlands Area, with a sensible calendar of concerts and contests.

Jason M Smith

Band Trainer (Contest Preparation), Conductor


 © 2024 4barsrest.com Ltd