Jun 30

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Tongwynlais Temperance Band appoint Ian Holmes as Principal Conductor

The Tongwynlais Temperance Band have announced the appointment of Ian Holmes to the newly created role of Principal Conductor. Recognised and respected across a range of high profile musical fields, Ian as well as being recognised for his skills in musical direction is a renowned piano accompanist, tuba player and educator having recently left the position of Director of the Centre for Performing Arts at the University of the West of England, where amongst his many roles, he curated and conducted numerous large-scale concerts.

Band Chairman Iestyn Davies commented saying, “We have appointed a Principal Conductor to set and lead the overall musical direction of the band. We are grateful for the input we have had from a number of professional conductors over the last few years but now feel there is a need to consolidate and set out a clear direction for the band going forward. The appointment of an experienced Principal Conductor, who is also a respected musical educator, will enable us to achieve this.”

Ian Holmes will direct the band at the forthcoming Pershore Festival of Brass on 1st of July and added, “I’m looking forward to taking up the role with Tongwynlais and in leading the band at the Royal Albert Hall. It will be great to renew my association not only with Ton but also with my family roots in South Wales.

“The band has some fantastic young talent supported by a range of experienced and dedicated players. Our main focus during and beyond the immediate challenge set by Howard Snell’s Gallery, will be to define the band’s unique artistic voice, something which I look forward to doing.”

Iestyn concluded, “Consolidating our musical leadership will provide a firm foundation as we enter into a new era for the band. I know the band is very much looking forward to what will unfold on both the concert as well as the contest stage.”

Apr 11

Tongwynlais welcomes player enquiries

BandCymru2016As the summer season approaches and many bands and are players looking forward to a hard earned break the band is encouraging players with the necessary drive, enthusiasm and ability to join them in their mission for musical excellence.

The band currently has two significant vacancies one on second trombone and one on the ‘back bench’.

Applications are invited from hardworking players who value music making within a strong team of like-minded members. The band is keen to hear from players willing to commit to the band and support its vision of reaching the top ten in the world as well as supporting its youth programme @TonMusicAcademy.

Iestyn Davies said, “We pride ourselves on doing things the right way in Ton and we’d like other committed brass banders to join us. We’re a down to earth band that makes music the old fashioned way – through hard work, determination and sheer graft. There’s no politics, no egos and certainly no prima donnas – so, if that sounds like the banding you prefer why not give us a call?”

The band rehearses on Monday and Thursday at its purpose built, state-of-the-art band room just off the junction 32 of the M4. Led on a day to day basis by talented MD and composer Christopher Bond and with the assistance of its principal guest conductor Michael Fowles the band is set to compete at the Grand Shield and at the National Finals of Great Britain later this year.

Iestyn added, “We’re looking to attract players seeking that something extra from their banding, namely, the genuine experience of working together and supporting each other. For the remainder of 2017 we’ve got a busy yet manageable schedule of high profile contests and concerts and we support our players to balance family, work and banding.”

Applications for the two roles, currently covered by longstanding ‘deps’ are invited via email chairman@tongwynlaisband.com.

Apr 11

Sunday success at Stroud

StroudOn Sunday 9th April, Tongwynlais Temperance band took to the stage at the Stroud Subscription Rooms as part of the longstanding brass band concert season. The appearance featured its range of talented soloists and recent Welsh Open winning performance under the direction of its principal guest conductor Michael Fowles.

As part of a carefully crafted programme the band commenced its performance with the march Imperial Echoes as the first half focused its attention on the staples of the brass band repertoire. Programme items, befitting the Victorian neo-classical surroundings, included the overture Le Domino Noir and showcased the brilliant ability of Matt Rowe on euphonium with the Air Varie Napoli and Christopher Bond’s Greek myth inspired Song of the Night Sky from Principal Cornet Harvey Rees.

With the inclusion of Eric Ball’s arrangement of All in the April Evening and Rimmer’s masterful reworking of Liszt’s Les Preludes to conclude, the audience were treated to a Sunday afternoon entree and main course of substantial fayre.

The band returned with a sugar rush second course taking to the stage with Sandy Smith’s arrangement of Los Hermanos de Bop before reprising its American themed entertainment set with the addition of Stardust from Principal Trombone Jo Hirst. Complementing the exquisite  presentation of Moonriver from Emily Evans were contributions from Solo Baritone, Georgina Evans and debuting on Flugel Horn, Charlotte Chambers in Somewhere Out There.

Concluding with Dan Price’s ever-popular American Tale the audience were then treated to the standard concert digestif of Ray Farr’s take on Toccata and Fugue in D minor before emerging into the afternoon spring sunshine from what proved to be a well received afternoon of top brass band music.

Speaking after the event, Barry Scott, the band’s bass trombone player and fundraiser said, “It’s great to be able to take to the stage with so many talented players not just in the soloists but across the stand. The band has plans in place to increase the number of concerts this year and I know we’re all looking forward to the chance to be on stage together during the summer. The band’s participation at the concert series was facilitated by a generous donation from SAFRAN Landing Systems and we are extremely grateful for their support.”

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