SUCCESSFUL DAY AT THE WELSH REGIONALS
The band had a successful day at the Welsh Regional Contest held on Saturday March 18th at the Brangwyn Hall, Swansea. Led admirably by our Musical Director Alex McGee we were awarded 3rd prize in SECTION 3 in a strong field with each band playing the test piece Chorale and Toccata by composer Stephen Bulla.
The result was as follows:
1. Cross Keys (Sion Rhys Jones)
2. Newtown Silver (Steve Edwards)
3. CRWBIN SILVER BAND (Alex McGee)
4. City of Wrexham (Ian Johnson)
5. RAF St Athan (Alan Bourne)
6. Gwauncaegurwen (Alex Parker)
7. Ynyshir Band (Dean Evans)
8. Briton Ferry Silver (Jeff Pearce)
Congratulations to Cross Keys on their win. We were delighted with the result and with the positive feedback from the adjudicators to our performance. The hard work over the winter months at rehearsals paid off and is testimony to the commitment of the members. Prior to the contest we were at the head of the Third Section grading system – we will have to wait to hear from the Regional Council to find out whether we will be promoted.
The band’s CHRISTMAS CONCERT was held at Pontyberem Memorial Hall on Friday December 16th – it was a very successful evening with a great deal of positive and encouraging feedback. Unfortunately due to reasons out of our control the Junior Choir from Ysgol Maes Y Gwendraeth and the pupils of Ysgol Bancffosfelen had to withdraw at the last minute. However the pupils of Ysgol Y Fro, Llangyndeyrn did not disappoint and the appreciative and sizeable audience really enjoyed their rendition of some traditional carols and Christmas songs. The headteacher Mr Rhys Thomas accompanied the pupils. The support from their parents was fantastic and to be commended.
The BAND led admirably by musical director Alex McGee provided a varied programme of Christmas music that was well received by the audience. The JUNIOR BAND led by Carl Bryant had an opportunity to perform in public – an experience they thoroughly enjoyed - they played a few items from their repertoire and some traditional carols to accompany the singing by the audience.
Due to the last minute withdrawal of two of the local schools, we were fortunate to be able to call on some young musicians who agreed to perform at short notice. Alys Lavery a Year 9 pupil at Ysgol Maes Y Gwendraeth performed two classical and challenging pieces on the flute accompanied by her teacher Mrs. Jacquie Scaife. Then we were fortunate to be able to call on a string trio in Mared, Carwyn and Tanwen Lloyd to entertain – their rendition of two traditional carols were of a high standard. All three are members of the band. We were extremely grateful on being able to call on such talented youngsters at the last minute.
The officials and committee of the band wish to thank everyone for their support and words of appreciation to the performances and to the workers who ensured that things ran smoothly. We are also indebted to the staff at Pontyberem Memorial Hall for their assistance.
The Christmas period is the busiest time of the year for the band as there is an increased demand for the band’s services in a variety of community events. On top of this we continue with the long tradition of playing carols around the local villages - Bancffosfelen, Crwbin, Llangyndeyrn a Phontyberem – this is our main income of course to ensure that Crwbin Band can continue and flourish for years to come. We wish to thank everyone for the continued support once again this year.
NATIONAL BRASS BAND CHAMPIONSHIPS OF GREAT BRITAIN
The band represented Wales at the Championships on Saturday September 17th at the Centaur, Cheltenham Racecourse. A fantastic venue and a great experience – not a great result but coming off stage we were pleased with our performance – a lowly 16th position from the adjudicators wasn’t what we hoped for – this is the nature of competition – we were after all up against the best Section 3 Bands in Britain, each one a winner within their respective regions. Cwmtawe Brass also representing Wales must be congratulated on their 7th position.
Despite the disappointment we move on with confidence – the weekend away, the opportunity to socialize and the camaraderie has given the band an added impetus and a determination to do well next year at the Welsh Regional Contest. Standards within the banding movement are high and continue to rise – the only Welsh Band to come into the prizes over the two days was Beaumaris who came 3rd in the Second Section.
SUCCESS AT THE WELSH REGIONAL AREA CONTEST AT THE BRANGWYN HALL - March 2022
It was a successful day for the band at the Welsh Regional Council’s Area Contest held at the Brangwyn Hall, Swansea on Saturday March 19th 2022. This was the first band contest following the pandemic and it was great to see the band back on the contest stage performing once again. This was our Musical Director Alex McGee’s debut competition as our conductor and gaining 2nd place in a strong field was a fantastic achievement and testimony to the hard work and effort of all the band members.
Test piece – FACETS OF GLASS by Gordon Langford
1. Cwmtawe Brass
3. RAF St Athan
4. Briton Ferry
BOTH CWMTAWE BRASS and CRWBIN have been invited to represent Wales at the National Brass Band Championships to be held at Cheltenham in September. Exciting times for the band – only the second time we have reached the National Finals. The last time was in 2010 at Harrogate playing then in the FOURTH SECTION - yes we have moved on!
NATIONAL EISTEDDFOD OF WALES, CEREDIGION - July 2022
The band were awarded 3rd place in the THIRD SECTION at the Eisteddfod held at Tregaron. The competition was to perform a 15 minute own-choice entertainment programme – led by our Musical Director Alex McGee we opened our programme with excerpts from Summon the Heroes by John Williams, arranged for brass by Philip Sparke. To follow we played an arrangement by Alex McGee of Mozart’s Ave Verum Corpus, then his composition of Barcud Coch. We completed the programme with Alan Fernie’s Starlight. The result was not what we expected but that of course is the nature of competition. The adjudication was very positive and complementary on the whole. Congratulations must go to Cross Keys Silver Band on their success.
1. Cross Keys
2. RAF St Athan
5. Briton Ferry