Results: Gwent Youth Solo, Quartet & Ensemble

The fifth Gwent Youth Brass Solo & Quartet Contest took place on Saturday 5th June at the YMCA Centre in Newport.


And it proved to be a very successful day with 89 brass players taking part, representing bands and schools within Greater Gwent, plus entries from Upper Rhondda, the Forest of Dean, Co-operative Band Crewe, Camborne and Mount Charles in Cornwall.

The adjudicators for the day were Helen and Glyn Williams of the Foden's Band.

Sound Advice

The proceedings were handled smoothly by Alun F. Williams (Head of Service) and Christopher Turner of the Gwent Music Support Service.

Before the announcement of the results, Helen and Glyn displayed just why they are at the very top of their profession, as Helen spoke on the art of the slow melody and then proceeded to hold the audience spellbound with a beautiful rendition of 'Macushla'.

Glyn opted for stage presentation and performing the pieces you can play and practicing the ones you can’t! He then performed Arban’s 'Carnival of Venice', much to the delight of the stunned audience!

Alun F Williams told 4BR: "Just by looking at the faces of the young audience you could tell how this moment was going to inspire them in the future."

Next year

Following the support and success of this event, the date of next year’s Contest will be Saturday 4th June 2011.

'The undoubted star of the day was was Ben Stratford, a baritone player from Lydbrook Band who showed his classy sound, technique and stamina to win four prizes' ~ 4BR

Young talent

The undoubted star of the day was was Ben Stratford, a baritone player from Lydbrook Band who showed his classy sound, technique and stamina to win four prizes.

Meanwhile, in the 11 years and under slow melody, the winner Charlotte Lewis of Upper Rhondda Band produced a mature sound well beyond her years and had the adjudicator Helen Williams lost for words.

The local youth bands also had a great day, with Abergavenny Borough, Rogerstone and Usk Bands winning in the various quartet and ensemble classes.


Class A Slow Melody: 11 years & under 1. Charlotte Lewis (Upper Rhondda Brass Band) 2. Harry Lloyd (Tre-Gib Comprehensive) 3. Ethan Hall (Blaenavon Town Band)

Class B Slow Melody: 12 & 13 years 1. Rhiannon Symonds (West Dean Youth) 2. Benjamin Abbott (Camborne Youth Band) 3. Evan Roberts (Abergavenny Borough Band) Most promising Player Joe Hopkins (Rogerstone Band)

Class C Slow Melody: 14 & 15 years 1. Ben Stratford (Lydbrook Band) 2. Hollie Jones (Upper Rhondda Brass Band) 3. Lewis Rees (Upper Rhondda Brass Band)

Class D Air Varie: 15 years & under 1. Ben Stratford (Lydbrook Band) 2. Lewis Rees (Upper Rhondda Brass Band) 3. Rory Rolfe (Co-Operative Band Crewe)

Class F Slow Melody: 16—18 years 1. Jack Carlisle (Camborne Youth Band) 2. Claire Smith (Bassaleg School) 3.Otis Williams (West Dean Youth)

Class G Air Varie: 16—18 years 1. Otis Williams (West Dean Youth) 2. Jack Carlisle (Camborne Youth Band) 3. Ben Teague (Cross Keys College)

Class H Slow Melody: Open 1. Ben Stratford (Lydbrook Band) 2. Rhiannon Symonds (West Dean Youth) 3. Brendan Caddy (Mount Charles Band)

Class J Air Varie: Open 1. Ben Stratford (Lydbrook Band) 2. Rory Rolfe (Co-Operative Band Crewe) 3. Otis Williams (West Dean Youth)

Class K Quartets: 15 years & under 1. Only Brass R Loud (Abergavenny Borough Band) 2.The Railway Children (Severn Tunnel Band)

Class M Quartets: Open 1. Rogerstone Band Quartet (Rogerstone Band) 2. Euph4ria (West Dean Youth)

Class N Ensemble: 15 years & under 1. Aber Super Troupers (Abergavenny Borough Band) 2. Aber Arrival(Abergavenny Borough Band) Class P Ensemble: Open 1. TUBE (Usk Brass Band)

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