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W.S. Gwynn Williams Award 2013

Abergavenny Borough Band scoop Tŷ Cerdd’s W.S.Gwynn Williams AwardGwyn L. Williams presents award to Andrew Richards

It was a great pleasure to attend the regional finals of the National Brass Band Championship of Great Britain. This event was held at Swansea’s Brangwyn Hall over the weekend of March 16 and 17. I was there to present the Tŷ Cerdd: W.S. Gwynn Williams Award which is presented to the musical organisation which has, in the view of the Tŷ Cerdd Executive, displayed both a strong commitment to Welsh music and made an outstanding contribution to its own community. In the past this annual award has been won by choirs, youth ensembles, musical theatre groups and brass bands.

The journey from Cardiff to the Brangwyn Hall in Swansea was spent yelling at the car radio as Wales stormed to victory in the Millennium Stadium. Never has a car journey gone so quickly, or was it that the exciting match generated motorway speeds that might have been very fast? Once in the Brangwyn Hall there was more yelling as, during the second half of the match, more people were watching the rugby than the competition. However it was a great pleasure, even with the punctuating cheers, to listen to 9 brass bands playing the music of Gareth Wood during the Saturday competition. Gareth Wood and I were in the National Youth Orchestra of Wales together and later in the Royal Academy of Music where, even as a young student, his talents for composition were well established.

With the match won and the public seated once again in the hall, the W.S. Gwynn Williams Award was received by Andrew Richards, chair of Abergavenny Borough Band. To enthusiastic applause from the other competing bands and members of the public he seemed genuinely taken aback but was quick in extending his own congratulations and praise to band members and the conductor Craig Roberts.

Candidates for the award are nominated by members of the public and the winning citation this year paid tribute to the exciting programming that is a feature of the band’s concerts where much emphasis is given to new Welsh music. The splendid community work which the band does, together with its strong commitment to its youth band of 40 members, was a deciding factor in Tŷ Cerdd’s award.

All affiliated societies may be nominated for the Tŷ Cerdd: W.S. Gwynn Williams Award. For a modest affiliation fee any musical organisation and performance ensemble could win the annual prize of £1,000. Give Tŷ Cerdd a call for more information on affiliation.

Gwyn L Williams

Director Tŷ Cerdd- Centre for Welsh Music

Click here for affiliation details