Usk's blast from the past

Usk Brass Band are performing their popular annual summer concert a Blast from the Past in the Memorial Hall, Usk, at 7pm on Saturday 13th July. The highlight of Usk Band’s summer calendar is their Summer Concert. Every year it has a theme. Last year to celebrate the Olympics, it was Around the World in 80 Minutes, playing pieces from around the globe. However, 2013 is a special year as the Band is celebrating the 10th anniversary of their musical director, Mr Jeff Jones, with the baton. Because of this the Band has decided to play a selection of its favourite pieces from the last 10 years – a Blast from the Past. It is very rare for a conductor to stay at a band for more than a couple of years, but Usk Band has had great success, having achieved so much and progressed so well under the baton of Mr Jones. Mr Jones, originally from Colwyn Bay, joined the army as a musician in 1979 and attended the famous Royal Military School of Music, Knellar Hall in London, and performed with the army all over the world. On leaving the army, Mr Jones played with championship section bands and he took up the baton at Usk in January 2003. Since 2003, Usk Band have progressed from being a youth band to a full contesting band, and have won prizes from numerous competitions, recorded two CD albums, twice toured Usk’s twin town Graben-Neudorf in Germany, and Mr Jones was himself awarded the Con Buckley Memorial Trophy in 2007 for his contributions to brass banding in the community. Mr Jones said “it’s been wonderful being the conductor at Usk Band over the past 10 years, with all we’ve achieved, and the great support from players, the Committee, parents, and people of Usk”. “Each year I look forward to the summer concert as a chance for the Band to play a wide variety of pieces to entertain the townsfolk of Usk. The Band’s Christmas Concert is fantastic too, but the programme is slightly more predictable!” “Our Blast from the Past summer concert this year should be a fantastic evening and will include great pieces from the movies, such as the theme from Saving Private Ryan, to the rock classic Stairway to Heaven by Led Zeppelin. There should be something for everyone.” Usk Band will be joined on stage by Chris Moreton, a long-time friend of the Band and amazing guitar and banjo player who always entertains the audience with his unique versions of classic bluegrass and sing-along songs. The door opens at 6.30pm for a 7pm start. Tickets are available on the door priced £6 and £4 (concessions) and refreshments are available. For more information about the Band, please visit their website.

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