History of the Band

There has been a brass band in Usk off and on since the early 20th century, but the present band can trace its beginnings to 1972.

1904 - 1972

There has been a brass band in Usk off and on since the early 20th century, but the present band can trace its beginnings to 1972 when a group of players got together under the guidance of Jack Stradling. The Usk Town Band (also known at the time as Usk and District Silver Band) in addition to entertaining the community in and around Usk, began competing.

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1972 - 1989

In 1982 Usk and Distict Silver Band won the Welsh Regional Championships (fourth section) under the musical directorship of Michael Pegram, which qualified the Band to play in the National Championships at the Royal Albert Hall in London. Also, in 1982 the Band made a highly popular visit to Usk's twin town Graben-Neudorf in Germany with Nigel Weeks as conductor, who conducted the Band at various times in the late 1970's and through the 1980's. Other conductors in this period included Aubrey Brice and home-grown Mark Stones. Unfortunately, due to a lack of players, the Usk and District Silver Band folded in the late 1980's.

1990's - 2017

The Band was reincarnated in the 1990's as Usk Youth Brass Band under the musical directorship of James Nicholas, who was awarded the 2001 Con Buckley Memorial Trophy in 2001, at the Greater 
Gwent Youth Brass Band Festival, for actively encouraging and developing young players.

 

The Band's present conductor, Jeff Jones, took over in 2003 and, under his directorship, the Band has grown and improved greatly, including making the Band's first-ever CD in 2008, and making return visits to Graben-Neudorf in 2006 and 2009.

 

Jeff too was awarded the Con Buckley Memorial Trophy in 2007, as has junior band conductor Lea Jones in 2012, both for their commitment to banding in the community.

 

In 2013, to mark the 10th anniversary of Jeff taking the reins, the band was registered to compete in the Fourth Section of the South-East Wales Brass Band Association and to begin competing once again.

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2018 - present

In late 2017 long serving conductor Jeff Jones decided to step down and pass the baton to his son James. James was certainly no stranger to the band having performed with them since 2003 when Jeff took the baton. James held the seat of principal euphonium during his father's tenure as MD winning ample solo and instrumentalist prizes along the way. James also had spells conducting other bands in Wales, before proudly accepting his father's offer. Since James took the baton, and in just three contesting years, the band have been promoted from 4th to 2nd section and incredible achievement for a town band. They also boast the accolade of qualifying for the National Finals of Great Britain in a consecutive hat-trick of times since 2018. Under his guidance the band continue to find innovative ways to connect with their audience and support the local community whilst striving to become a better ensemble constantly.