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NEWS

  NEWTOWN (MID WALES) MARCH AND OPEN AIR CONTEST - SUNDAY 14TH JUNE 2015

After the torrential rain for the Newtown Carnival on the previous day the weather was lovely for the fourth Newtown (Mid Wales) March and Open Air Contest on Sunday 14th June 2015, when crowds lined High Street in Newtown and assembled in the Town Hall Park to listen to nine bands competing for the many prizes on offer.

Beaumaris Brass was the main winner of the contest winning First Prize overall, Best March and the Soloist Award which went to the band's Principal Euphonium player Aled Williams. Beaumaris also won a new trophy this year for the Best Bass Section. This trophy was donated by Annette Griffiths of Severn Trophies, Newtown in memory of the Newtown Band's late president John Bennett, an ex bass player himself, and was presented to Beaumaris Brass by one of John's sons Stephen Bennett, also a bass player. Beaumaris Brass was conducted by it's Musical Director Gwyn Evans, and narrowly beat off the challenge of the home band Newtown Silver Band conducted by its MD Steve Edwards into Second Place overall with newcomer to the contest this year Menai Bridge Porthaethwy taking Third Place, and also taking the Open Deportment Shield.

A new award this year was a medallion given to the youngest player on the day and this award was won by Evan Haines, age five, who played percussion with North Powys Training Band.

Music Adjudicator was John Winterflood who listened to all nine performances in closed adjudication. The Deportment Judge was Captain Stewart Halliday, Director of Music of the Royal Corps of Signals Brass Band, RAF Cosford. Both the music adjudicator and deportment judge spoke very highly of each bands performance especially in view of the huge age differences within the participating bands and the number of young people taking part in a contest for the first time. Both adjudicators gave very helpful and informative advice before the presentation of the prizes.

The Newtown Silver Band was delighted to welcome to the Contest the Band of the Royal Corps of Signals, RAF Cosford with it's conductor Staff Sergeant, Band Master David Hatton. The band provided a wonderful splash of colour to the occasion and performed a short and very enjoyable concert during the collation of the results.

In these days of severe cuts to the music services throughout the country the Newtown Silver Band endeavours to promote and encourage the young and not so young to learn to play and enjoy the pleasures of making music by providing free tuition and instruments to those who wish to learn to play.

The overall results were as follows:

1st Prize – Beaumaris Brass conducted by Gwyn Evans
2nd Newtown Silver Band conducted by Steve Edwards
3rd Menai Bridge Porthaethwy conducted by Chris Williams
4th Shrewsbury Brass conducted by Wendy Jones
5th Knighton Town conducted by Sarah Freeman
6th Deiniolen Youth conducted by Osian Tomos
7th North Powys Training conducted by Phillip Pryce
8th Newtown Training conducted by Steve Edwards
9th Beaumaris LSW conducted by Fred Evans
Soloist Award Aled Williams, Euphonium, Beaumaris Brass
Best Bass Section Beaumaris Brass
Best Contest March Beaumaris Brass
Best Hymn Newtown Silver Band
Highest Placed Youth Band (Not in Main Prizes) Deiniolen Youth conducted by Osian Tomos
Highest Placed Training Band (Not in Main Prizes) North Powys Training conducted by Philip Pryce
Highest Placed Non Registered Band Shrewsbury Brass conducted by Wendy Jones
Runner-Up Newtown Training Band conducted by Steve Edwards
Deportment (Open) Menai Bridge Porthaethwy
Deportment (Youth/Training) North Powys Training Band

Mayor Richard with 1st prize 2015 contest.Newtown Training BandNSB contest Royal Corps of Signals Cosford.

Presentations were made by the Music Adjudicator John Winterflood, Deportment Judge Captain Stewart Halliday, and contest sponsors the Mayor of Newtown, Cllr Richard Edwards, Neil Lewis of JT Hughes, Honda Cars, Alan Hughes of Rhys Astley Insurance Services, Cllr Phil and Elaine Watkins and Jen Reynolds of Newtown Carnival Trust, Helen Pryce of Newtown Silver Band, David Lloyd Evans, Chairman of Newtown Silver Band, and Steve Bennett.

The whole day was compered by contest controller Helen Bennett and David Lloyd Evans chairman of Newtown Silver Band who paid tribute to Newtown Carnival Trust and the members of Newtown Silver Band who worked so hard to make the event run smoothly. Newtown Silver Band is very grateful for all the sponsorship received from many other individuals.

The contest next year will once again be held the day after Newtown Carnival, on the second Sunday in June on 12th June 2016. Come and join us!!!

Helen Bennett
President NSB



  NEWTOWN SILVER BAND AGM 2015

The AGM of Newtown Silver Band was held in the Band room, Back Lane, Newtown on Thursday 21st May 2015.

The chairperson Helen Bennett, welcomed past and present members to the meeting including two of the four Trustees of the band – John Jones and Francis Shirley. An apology was received from Tony Leach and David Pugh.

At the start of the meeting a minutes silence was held in memory of the Band President John Bennett and other friends of the band who had passed away during the last twelve months.

Reports were received from the chairperson, treasurer, secretary, contest secretary, and musical director Steve Edwards, whose report was read by the secretary David Gardner in Steve's absence due to ill health. Everyone at the meeting was delighted to hear that there is almost a full complement of playing members in the senior band and that good progress is being made in the Training and Learners Band where several members will be moving up from their group to the next one. All members of the Learners and Training Band receive free tuition and the free use of an instrument, and with some members moving up in September the Learners Group has room to accommodate more new players. Please come along on a Monday evening of term time at 6.30pm.

The following officials were re-elected for the ensuing year:
President – Helen Bennett; Musical Director/Conductor Steve Edwards; Assistant Conductor Philip Pryce; Band master John Hughes; Chairperson David Lloyd Evans; Secretary David Gardner; Contest Secretary Helen Pryce; Treasurer Ernie Capener; the Librarian Alan Breeze and Welfare Officer Eifion Thomas both stood down and in their place Ian Brady was appointed librarian, and Kerri Brady Welfare Officer; band members re-elected on to the committee were Alan Bridge and Adam Jones.

Trustees of the band John Jones, Francis Shirley, Tony Leach and David Pugh were all re-elected. The Newtown Silver Band welcomes all players of any ability and contact can be made via the secretary David Gardner on 07790 940506, or via the band website www.newtownsilverband.co.uk

On Sunday 14th June at the conclusion of Newtown Carnival Week the band will be holding its fourth Newtown (Mid Wales) March and Open Air Contest. As last year this will include a march along High Street commencing at 11.00am by the participating bands followed by a march, hymn tune and one other item in the Town Hall Park. High Street will be closed to traffic during this period. The band committee is pleased to announce that this year there will be a visit from the Royal Corps of Rifles Brass Band Cosford who will give a short concert during the collation of the results. Come along, bring a chair, and enjoy a happy day of music making.



  NEWTOWN SILVER BAND ANNUAL CONCERT - SATURDAY 25TH APRIL 2015

Newtown Silver Band held its Annual Concert and Presentation Evening on Saturday 25th April 2015 at All Saints Church, Newtown. The large audience, which included the Mayor of Newtown Cllr Rina Clarke and Cllr Phil Watkins, Band Trustees John Jones and David Pugh, enjoyed a varied selection of music given by the three bands - the Learners Band, and the Training Band in the first half and the Senior Band who provided the music in the second half of the concert. This year the audience also enjoyed the singing of Soprano Sarah Garrett whose lovely voice entertained the audience with Rusalka's Song to the Moon and Panis Angelicus accompanied by the Newtown Silver Band.

All were under the Musical Direction of Steve Edwards and the compere was Helen Bennett. During the second half of the concert a solo item Benedictus from Karl Jenkins 'The Armed Man – a Mass for Peace' was performed by one of our young euphonium players William Hughes. William will be leaving for University in London in September and the band wish him well in the future.

Emily Simpson receives the Training Band Shield for the Most Improved Training Band Player from Steve Edwards.Amy Head receives The Ron Griffiths Cup for Most Improved Learner from Steve Edwards.Elaine Smith receives the Royal Mail Cup for Training Band Person of the Year from Steve Edwards.Mandy Tomkins receives the Ken Barrett Shield for Most Improved Senior Player from Steve Edwards.Philip Pryce receives the Trefor Evans Memorial Cup Soloist of the Year from Steve Edwards.
Ernie Capener receives the Harry Leach Cup for Senior Bandperson of the Year from Steve Edwards.Neil Vaughan and Adam Jones, Percussion Section, receive the NSB Shield for Best Section in Band by Steve Edwards.The Ian Bainbridge Memorial Cup, due to the sad loss of the President John Bennett, this year presented by the Mayor of Newtown, Cllr Rina Clarke, awarded to Alan and Margaret Breeze for all their work with the 200 Club over many years.Presentation to Rev Nia Morris, All Saints Church, and Neil Vaughan of Wales Air Ambulance of £300.00 each, the proceeds from the St David's Day Concert on March 1st. Presentations made by Helen Bennett of NSB and Eifion Astley of Newtown Male Voice Choir.

During the evening the following awards were made:
Ron Griffiths Cup for the Most Improved Learner was awarded to Amy Head.
Training Band Shield for the Most Improved Member of the Training Band went to Emily Simpson.
The Royal Mail Cup for the Training Bandperson of the Year went to Elaine Smith.

The senior trophies were as follows:
The Ken Barrett Shield for the Most Improved Senior Player was awarded to Mandy Tomkins.
Trevor Evans Memorial Cup for Best Soloist – Philip Pryce.
The NSB Shield for Best Section of Band went to the Percussion Section, Neil Vaughan and Adam Jones.
Harry Leach Cup for Senior Band Person of the Year was awarded to Ernie Capener, the Band Treasurer and Bb Bass player.
Ian Bainbridge Memorial Cup for the Person/Persons who have contributed most to the Band was awarded to Alan and Margaret Breeze for all their work over the years in raising funds with the 200 Club.
A special presentation was made to Rev Nia Morris, All Saints Church and Neil Vaughan representing the Wales Air Ambulance of cheques of £300.00 each by Helen Bennett, representing the late President John Bennett, and Eifion Astley representing Newtown Male Voice Choir, the proceeds of a joint St David's Day Charity Concert.

During the evening the compere mentioned some of the forthcoming events in the band calendar including the Music in the Park Event organised by Newtown Town Council on Saturday May 16th 2015 and the Annual Newtown (Mid Wales) March, Hymn Tune and Open Air Contest to be held in Newtown on Sunday 14th June 2015 at 11.00am organised by Newtown Silver Band. The Annual General Meeting of Newtown Silver Band will take place in the Band Room on Back Lane, Newtown on Thursday 21st May at 7.30pm. All welcome.



  OBITUARY JOHN E W BENNETT PRESIDENT - 23RD NOVEMBER 2014

TRIBUTES PAID TO A 'PERFECT' BANDSMAN
by Dominic Robertson, County Times.

To view the full article please click here.



  NEWTOWN (MID WALES) MARCH AND OPEN AIR CONTEST - SUNDAY 15TH JUNE 2014

The weather was glorious for the third Newtown (Mid Wales) March and Open Air Contest on Sunday 15th June 2014, when a large crowd lined High Street in Newtown and assembled in the Town Hall Park to listen to eight bands competing for the many prizes on offer. Beaumaris Brass having travelled the furthest distance from Anglesey, Yns Mon, swept the board winning First Prize overall, Best March, Best Hymn, and the Soloist Award which went to the band's Principal Euphonium player Calum MacDonald. The band was conducted by its Musical Director Gwyn Evans, narrowly beating off the challenge of the home band Newtown Silver Band conducted by its MD Steve Edwards into Second Place overall, the band having already picked up the 'Open' Deportment Prize as the best band on the march along High Street!

Music Adjudicator was Nigel Seaman who listened to all eight performances in closed adjudication. The Deportment Judge was Mr Robert Morgan MBE, former chairman of the British Federation of Brass Bands (BFBB) now Brass Bands England (BBE). Both the music adjudicator and deportment judge spoke very highly of each bands performance especially in view of the huge age differences within the participating bands and the number of young people taking part in a contest for the first time. Both adjudicators gave very helpful and informative advice before the presentation of the prizes.This event is proving very popular within Mid and North Wales and growing in numbers each year. Once again we were very fortunate in having very good weather.

Another section of the Band at the contest.Newtown Training Band on the march.Newtown Training Band on the march.Newtown Silver Band marches along High Street.
Newtown Silver Band on the March Newtown Contest.Newtown Silver Band on stage 2014.Phil Pryce, Conductor of Newtown Training Band, in full flight.Robert Morgan, MBE Deportment Judge.View from the stage.View of crowds at the Contest.

The overall results were as follows:
1st Prize – Beaumaris Brass Band conducted by Gwyn Evans
2nd Prize - Newtown Silver Band conducted by Steve Edwards
3rd Prize - Holywell Band conducted by Aled Williams
Soloist Award - Calum MacDonald, Euphonium, Beaumaris Brass
Best Contest March - Beaumaris Brass
Best Hymn - Beaumaris Brass
Highest Placed Youth Band (not in main prizes) - Deiniolen Youth conducted by Osian Tomos
Highest Placed Training Band (not in main prizes) - North Powys Training conducted by Philip Pryce
Highest Placed Non Registered Band - Knighton Town conducted by Steve Edwards
Joint Runners-Up - Newtown Training Band conducted by Steve Edwards and Llanrug Training Band conducted by Dyfrig Owen
Deportment (Open) - Newtown Silver Band
Deportment (Youth/Training) - North Powys Training Band

Presentations were made by the Music Adjudicator Nigel Seaman, Deportment Judge Robert Morgan MBE, and contest sponsors the Mayor of Newtown, Cllr Rina Clerk, Neil Lewis of JT Hughes, Honda Cars, Alan Hughes of Rhys Astley Insurance Services, Cllr Phil Watkins and Jen Reynolds of Newtown Carnival Trust, Helen Pryce of Newtown Silver Band and John Bennett, President of Newtown Silver Band.

The whole day was compered by the joint contest controllers John and Helen Bennett of Newtown Silver Band who paid tribute to Newtown Carnival Trust and the members of Newtown Silver Band who worked so hard to make the event run smoothly.

Newtown Silver Band is very grateful for all the sponsorship received from many other individuals.

The contest next year will once again be held the day after Newtown Carnival, on the second Sunday in June on 14th June 2015. Come and join us!!!

Helen Bennett
Chair NSB



  NEWTOWN SILVER BAND ANNUAL CONCERT - 17TH MAY 2014

There was an excellent attendance at the Annual Concert and Presentation Evening of the Newtown Silver Band held on 17th May 2014 at All Saints Church, Newtown which was a resounding success. The compere for the evening was the Band's chairperson Helen Bennett.

The first half of the concert was provided by the Training Band and the Learners Band and the second half was taken over by the Senior Band, all under the direction of the Musical Director Steve Edwards.

It was noted that members of the Learners Band ranged from six years of age to sixty years of age and it was mentioned that it was pleasing to see that adult members were taking up brass instruments and was to be encouraged for the future development of themselves musically and the future of Newtown Silver Band.

During the second half of the concert the Senior Band performed a varied selection of music which opened with the American March Semper Fidelis by Sousa with two side drummers Adam Jones and Charlie Cooke performing the drum feature at the front of the band with Neil Vaughan on kit percussion. The evening soloist's were the band principal tenor horn soloist Clair Foskett who performed from the Wizard of OZ 'Somewhere Over the Rainbow', the second soloist of this part of the concert was the band's principal EEb tuba player Neil Simkin who performed a German Polka entitled Der Fidelis Bassist arranged by Duncan Wilson who is the son of past members of Newtown Silver Band David and Gill Wilson. Duncan is at present Musical Director of the Kidlington Band in Oxfordshire. An old favourite of the audiences at Newtown was resurrected by popular request, from the Musical Hello Dolly, including a singing rendition by members of the band which was greatly appreciated by the audience.

One of the highlights of the evening was the accordian soloist accompanied by brass band. Max Pepito arrived from France, and who is at present on secondment to Control Techniques, Newtown. Max has been with the band since the beginning of the year and has become a popular and versatile member of the band capable of playing several instruments in addition to the accordion. He is a delightful person and will be greatly missed by everyone in the band when he returns to France at the end of June. He was presented with a Newtown Band tie and CD by the band president John Bennett as a small givt to remember appearing in concert with Newtown Silver Band. The evening ended with the ever popular Brass Night and as an encore the ever popular Cry of the Celts.

During the concert presentations were made to those achieving awards during the past 12 months. The Ron Griffiths Cup (most improved player in the Learner Band) went to Thomas Foskett aged 6. From the Training Band, the Training Band Shield(most improved Training Band player) went to David Owen, a young percussionist, and the Royal Mail Cup (Training Band Person of the Year) went to Sue Vaughan who regularly travels into Newtown for rehearsals from Llanidloes.

Alan Bridge receives the Ken Barrett Shield from Steve Edwards, Musical Director.Neil Simkin receives the Trefor Evans Memorial Cup.Dewi Hughes receives the Harry Leach Cup from President John Bennett.Cllr Phil Watkins receives the Ian Bainbridge Memorial Cup from John Bennett.
President John Bennett and Chair Helen Bennett with Max Pepito who as well as being a member of NSB entertained with his accordian playing!Sue Vaughan receives the Royal Mail Cup from Steve Edwards, Musical Director.David Owen receives the Training Band Shield from Steve Edwards, Musical Director.Thomas Foskett receives the Ron Griffiths Cup from Musical Director Steve Edwards.

The Senior Band presentations were as follows: Ken Barrett Shield (Most Improved Senior Player) went to Bass player Alan Bridge; Trefor Evans Memorial Cup (Soloist of the Year) went to the band's principal Eb Bass Neil Simkin; The NSB Shield (Best Section of the Band) went to the Bass section, namely Neil Simkin, Ian Brady, on Eb Bass and Ernie Caperer and Alan Bridge on Bb Bass; – all these presentations were made by the Musical Director Steve Edwards. The Harry Leach Cup for the Senior Band Person of the Year, chosen by the band members themselves went to Dewi Hughes and was presented by the President John Bennett who also presented the President's Trophy, the Ian Bainbridge Memorial Cup to Cllr Phil Watkins, of Newtown Town Council for all his work over the last three years with the Newtown (Mid Wales) March and Open Air Contest.



  NEWTOWN FESTIVAL OF REMEMBRANCE - THURSDAY 7TH NOVEMBER 2013

The Annual Newtown Royal British Legion Festival of Remembrance was at the Monty Club, Broad Street, Newtown (its original home) on Thursday 7th November 2013 commencing at 7.30.p.m. Taking part were the Newtown Silver Band under its musical director Steve Edwards, together with its special guest the well-known Mr Glyn Jones, the Singing Blacksmith, accompanied by Mrs Dilys Hughes.

The Festival began with the Parade of Royal British Legion Standards, followed by items from the Newtown Silver Band and their guest soloist Mr Glyn Jones. There was also the popular Community singing accompanied by the Band which the audience thoroughly enjoyed!

The Act of Worship this year was led by Miss Wendy Gardner; the Last Post and Reveille sounded by members of the NSB and the exhortation was said by Mr Arfon Williams Chairman of Newtown Royal British Legion. The compere for the evening was Helen Bennett.

All proceeds from the evening went towards the Newtown RBL Poppy Appeal!

On Remembrance Sunday the parade formed up in Broad Street at 10.00.a.m. and the March off left at 10.30.a.m. to the Baptist Church led by the Newtown Silver Band. The Festival of Remembrance and the Remembrance Parade were both very well attended events.



  NEWTOWN (MID WALES) MARCH, HYMN AND OPEN AIR CONTEST - SUNDAY 9TH JUNE 2013

The second Newtown (Mid Wales) March, Hymn and Open Air Contest held on Sunday 9th June 2013 proved to be another great success following on from last year’s inaugural event. The sun certainly shone down on all the participants including the bands and the large, appreciative audience assembled along the march route through Newtown's High Street, into the Town Hall Park where an even larger crowd was assembled to hear each band's performance of a Hymn Tune, Contest March and one other item of its own choice.

The Deportment Judge, Warrant Officer 1 Terry Young from Cardiff, gave his verdict on each of the participating bands with some very helpful comments, and the closed music adjudication was judged by the well-known adjudicator Mr Steve Pritchard-Jones from Shrewsbury who, in his pre-results comments praised the standard of all the competing bands.

Results of the contest were as follows:

Deportment Prize (Youth/Training Band) received a Shield and £50.00 cheque - Beaumaris Youth Band.
Deportment Prize (Open) received a Trophy and £70.00 cheque - Holywell Band
These awards were presented by Warrant Officer Young, the Deportment Judge.
Soloist Award - the Terry Phillips Memorial Cup, together with Replica was presented to the Kit percussionists of Newtown Silver Band. Award presented by Mrs June Phillips, wife of Terry who had been a long serving member of Newtown Silver band as a player and latterly as one of the Trustees, and Steve Pritchard -Jones, Music Adjudicator.
First prize - Trophy plus £300.00 - Holywell Band
Second prize - Trophy plus £200.00 - Newtown Silver Band
Third prize - Trophy plus £100.00 - Beaumaris Youth Band
Highest placed Non Registered Band not in main prizes - Plaque plus £70.00 - Knighton Town Band
Highest placed Youth Band not in main prizes - Cup plus cheque £70.00 - North Powys Youth Band
Highest Placed Training Band not in main prizes - Cup plus £70.00 - Newtown Training Band
Runner Up Training Band - Plaque - Llanrug Training Band
Prizes were presented by Russell George AM, Neil Lewis of J T Hughes Honda Cars, Newtown, and the Mayor of Newtown Cllr Rina Clarke, Cllr Phil Watkins, John Whittaker and Mrs Jen Reynolds, Chairman and Vice-Chairperson respectively of Newtown Carnival Trust and the President of Newtown Silver Band John Bennett.

Whilst awaiting the results of the contest, the audience once again enjoyed music performed by the brass group from the West Midlands - Accidental Brass, who also entertained later in the afternoon to a very appreciative audience with many requests for encores!

Comperes for the day were John and Helen Bennett and on behalf of Newtown Silver Band they both expressed grateful thanks to everyone who had contributed in any way to the success of the day with special thanks to all the sponsors, Newtown Carnival Trust for all their help and support and to Newtown Town Council who were the main sponsors and Cllr Phil Watkins whose original idea it was after visiting similar events in Yorkshire.



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