On Saturday the 5th of August the choir had the pleasure of being part of a joint concert with the renowned Burry Port Town Band from South Wales. This band has an outstanding pedigree and showed this to be the case with a superb sound in the glorious setting of St John’s Methodist Church Llandudno. The band had been competing in the National Eisteddfod in Anglesey during the day, hence their visit to North Wales, they came a very credible second in the top tier section one. It was a superb concert enjoyed by both the choir and the audience and we hope to have the opportunity to sing with them again in the future.
History of the Burry Port Town Band
Burry Port Town Band has a long and colourful past, with the first historical mention of the band, originally named the Elliot’s Smelting Works Band, found in 1896. The band grew from this humble, industrial beginnings and established itself as a community favourite, playing at local fetes and marches and raising money to support both itself and worthy causes.
Sadly, just before the outbreak of the Second World War the band’s fortunes took a turn for the worse and it disbanded. Gone but not forgotten, decades later, in 1972 a group of local enthusiasts held a meeting with the aim of re-establishing the band. Old instruments and a library of music were discovered, and these, together with some new purchases, a place to rehearse and a keen group of volunteers, sowed the seeds of the band’s renaissance.
The band continued to grow in terms of its level of performance throughout the 80s and 90s winning a host of prizes in 4th, 3rd, 2nd and 1st Sections and in 2000, the band was promoted to the elite Championship Section. Since 2001, the band has six times claimed the title of “Champion Band of Wales”, three times won the National Eisteddfod of Wales and three represented Wales at the National Brass Band Championships of Great Britain at the Royal Albert Hall in London, competing against the country’s top 20 bands. In 2005 the band also claimed victory in the British Open Senior Cup competition at the Winter Gardens, Blackpool, beating off the challenge of 20 other bands from across the UK.
In 2010, 11 consecutive years competing as a Championship Section band, the band was relegated to the First Section. However, following a sustained period of building, 2012 saw the band being promoted back to the Championship Section following their victory in the First Section at the Welsh Regional Championships. That victory formed part of a purple patch of success between October 2011 and November 2014 which saw the band awarded 20 overall performance prizes, 14 “best instrumentalist” prizes and promo on to the British Open Grand Shield.
Indeed, the band prides itself on remaining a top-flight brass band, however we never forget our humble roots. We are keen to ensure that future generations of young players enjoy the opportunity of playing a brass instrument without any financial pressure on their families. To which end, we run, without any cost to the young brass and percussion players, a Junior Band which rehearse on a Thursday evenings.
From the newest of players to the next generations’ banding stars, we are keen to support and secure the future of the brass banding tradition in Wales through our youth programme.