Tredegar town band scoop record breaking championship title
7:02am Friday 13th September 2013 in News
A VALLEYS band swept the board at at a top competition, making history despite members having to self-fund their love for music.
Tredegar Town Band wowed everyone at a sell-out British Open, scooping the £3,000 first prize and a shield valued at £30,000 from1926 at Birmingham's Symphony Hall on Saturday,.
The players of instruments like cornets, tenor horns and tubas took all of the three best soloist prizes, the first time in the contest's 161 year history.
Seeing off their rivalsThe Cory Band from the Rhondda into second, it was also a first for Wales to take the top two places.
Incredibly Tredegar's musical maestros have failed to find a sponsor in 15 years of trying, so members pay their way to attend rehearsals and competitions.
The Valleys representatives were winning the competition for second time in four years.
Historically it has witnessed numerous triumphs for English bands, but the Welsh sound has proved too good of late.
Manager Alwyn Powell, 80, who followed his late father Gus into the band, said: "Our performance was described as absolutely incredible. The band has a terrific spirit, members know they are not going to get any financial gain out of it."
Soprano Ian Roberts, Dan Thomas on the euphonium and cornet player Dewi Griffiths were the three best soloists.
The band is due to climb the brass band world rankings following their win, up to third from fifth best.
Under conductor Ian Porthouse, head of brass at Birmingham Conservatoire, their well-practised rendition of a musical piece from Arabian Nights did not just catch the eye of judges and a several thousand strong audience.
The band were recruited to take part in a film about the Welsh miner's strike.
Their win, which erupted members into cheers and laughter, was revealed on the band's Facebook page on Sunday: "On behalf of everyone in the Tred family, we want to say thank you to the hundreds of people who've sent us messages of congratulation following our British Open win yesterday!" it read.
President Ian Clowes said: "We are a history making band. The players were absolutely delighted, there was plenty of tears on stage and the audience went wild."
Following a few days off, members will be looking forward to the start of filming next month and representing Wales at the Royal Albert Hall's National Championships.
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