The musical origins of Tredegar Town Band can be traced back to 1849, although it wasn’t until 1876 following victory at the Welsh National Eisteddfod that they became formally constituted.
History shows that early contesting victories were sporadic, although they did compete extensively – from local Welsh valley competitions to the famous Crystal Palace in London.
However, over the last 40 years or more Tredegar has become one of the banding world’s elite performers – as well as multiple winners of major competitions; from numerous Welsh Regional Championships to claiming the British Open title at Symphony Hall in 2010 and again in 2013.
Voted 4Barsest ‘Band of the Year’ with MD Ian Porthouse ‘Conductor of the Year’, in 2010, they continue to represent the town that bears their name with pride.
This was literally so with the 2014 BAFTA Award winning film, ‘Pride’ where they provided a major part of the musical score and made a cameo appearance alongside stars Bill Nighy and Imelda Staunton.
That has been part of a significant series of artistic achievements under the direction of Ian Porthouse, which saw them provide the accompanying score, by composer Gavin Higgins, to the Rambert Ballet’s critically acclaimed Sadler’s Wells production, ‘Dark Arteries’ – the production subsequently shortlisted for a prestigious Royal Philharmonic Society Award.
In contrast, in November 2015 they also became the first band to perform in concert at the world famous Old Vic Theatre in London alongside entertainment stars such as the magician Dynamo and singer songwriter Tim Minchin.
In May this year the band were also invited to perform on the ITV show ‘Britain’s Got Talent’ – winning 4 star approvals from the judges, including Simon Cowell, for their performance.
The band continues to enhance its reputation for innovative artistic collaborations – performing at the prestigious ‘Changing Britain’ retrospective at the Southbank in London.
Their recording of the music to ‘Dark Arteries’ was awarded the accolade of ‘2015 CD of the Year’ from every leading brass band publication – a feat repeated in 2016 with the critically acclaimed ‘War Memorials’ release.
Tredegar has also played in the huge annual ‘Pride’ celebratory march in London, has recently recorded with renowned folk group 3 Bucket Jones and has worked with film producers on an animated release about the 1916 Easter Rising in Dublin.
2016 saw further success – winning both the nationally televised Band Cymru title, and becoming Champion Band of Wales for the eleventh time.
That result saw them represent the nation at the European Championships in Ostend in May this year, where they performed the world premiere of Gavin Higgins’ latest major composition, ‘Prophecies’.
In 2017 the band also made a successful application for a Heritage Lottery Fund award to provide an innovative multi-media resource project to celebrate its significant social, cultural and musical history.