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May 12

Welsh welcome for Ben

Ben KnowlesAhead of their appearance at this weekend’s Grand Shield contest, Tongwynlais Temperance Band have announced that Ben Knowles will be assisting the band by stepping into the role of Principal Trombone.

Ben who has joined the Wales and UK Championship and British Open contenders in the busy contest week. He will fill the seat made vacant by regular Principal Trombone Dafydd Thomas, who is working as one of the tutors at Cardiff’s Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. Ben most recently played for Fodens along with his wife Eve and formed part of the band that won the double in 2012 under the leadership of Allan Withington.  He studied music under Philip McCann and was pleased to receive the Harry Mortimer award, presented at the British Open.

Playing with Ton marks a welcome return to contesting for Ben who said, “I’ve most recently been involved in leading my trombone quartet – In-Slide-Out as well as a funk and soul band – The Tremé”. His break from contesting was prompted by a period in the middle of the band.  Ben added, “I was privileged enough to have the guidance of Russell and Mareika Gray in learning to conduct at Eccles and more recently the Formby Band and I’ve been enjoying teaching and educating new and developing brass talent in the north west.”

Band chairman Iestyn Davies commented, “We’re really pleased to welcome Ben to the Band for this important contest and are very much looking forward to him joining with us on stage at the Winter Gardens. The Shield is a key contest for us as we set out our stall for a return to the British Open and Birmingham Symphony Hall. We have a great team of players making the journey to the Golden Mile and are looking forward to a great weekend of banding. I’d like to express my thanks to all the players who are part of our team.” As contest week comes to its climax, Ben concluded, “I received a brilliant welcome and reminded me how much I’ve missed being part of a band! It’s great to be a part of the Welsh banding scene and to be working once again with former band mate Glyn Williams.”