GWENT Wind Band had their first rehearsal since February 2020 this weekend after what's been an 'awful' year for musicians.

The group chose to have their rehearsal near the bandstand in Belle Vue Park, Newport on Saturday.

James Davies, one of the founding members of the band, said it felt "absolutely awesome" be be back playing live music again - even more so to an audience who had gathered at the park to watch. 

"For us we did our last concert the end of February (2020) and haven't been able to do anything safely or legally since," he said. 

South Wales Argus: The band setting up ready for rehearsal in the weekends heatwave The band setting up ready for rehearsal in the weekends heatwave

"Some of the brass players have been back with local town bands, but as a music service we haven't been because we are run through the council and we've got to adhere to safety rules set by them.

"This is our first day back and people are just glad to see each other. There's a load of new people as well which is always good".


Mr Davies said the last 15 months had been "awful".

"I've been a professional musician for 15 years and it's the longest I've gone without singing," he said. "I sing for Brecon Cathedral Choir.

"It was very strange not singing for Easter last year. 

"As a professional Tuba player I've had four engagements since last March and as a conductor this, today, is the first time I've been back with the wind band.

"It's been very hard for all of us musicians really."

A wind band comprises of instruments where the sound is produced by making a column of air vibrate inside the instrument – essentially wind and brass instruments.

To find our more about potentially joining and future rehearsals, head to @adultcommunitywindband.