BBC Radio Wales Band of the Year

The Radio Wales Brass Band of the Year competition started in 1979, with its format changing a number of times over the years until the last broadcast contest in 1996.  

The event did not take place in 1985 or again from 1987 – 1989.

The original directive was for competing bands to provide ‘music (that) should be of an entertaining nature, suitable for a peak listening time audience’.

From 1988 onward it formed part of the weekly 'Sounding Brass' BBC radio show presented by the well known conductor and professional tuba player Nigel Seaman on a Sunday morning.  

The programme was axed from the airwaves in February 1998, with the last Radio Wales Band of the Year final taking place in Rhyl in July 1996.

Semi final defeats

The first winner in 1979 was Cory, who retained the title the following year.

Tredegar was knocked out in the semi-final stages in the first five years of the event, and suffered defeat in the second round in 1984 to the Blaina Band who went on to reach the final.

The band came third in 1986, but failed to reach the final when the programme was resurrected in 1990 or again in 1991.

First victory

The first victory came in 1992, conducted by Nigel Weeks (winning £500), a feat repeated the following year. The band was runner-up in 1994, before winning the title again in 1995 and 1996 (winning £500 on each occasion).

In 1997 the band was declared the competition’s ‘Champion of Champions’ and presented with an additional trophy to keep alongside the Radio Wales Band of the Year trophy (above) which had already been won outright.

Both trophies are now on permanent display in the bandroom.

In 1997 the band was declared the competition’s ‘Champion of Champions’ and presented with an additional trophy to keep alongside the Radio Wales Band of the Year trophy (above) which had already been won outright.

Radio Wales Band of the Year:

1996:

1. Tredegar (Nicholas Childs) - 94
2. Northop Silver - 91
3. Parc & Dare (British Fuels) - 89

Winning programme:
Fest Musik der Stadt
Londonderry Air (Soloist: Ian Porthouse)
Postcard from Mexico
Siciliano
Excerpts for Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No 2 (Little Russian)

1995:

1. Tredegar (Nicholas Childs) - 92
2. Northop Silver - 91
3. Parc & Dare (British Fuels) - 88

Winning programme:
Devil’s Galop
Demelza (Soloist: Iwan Fox)
That’s A Plenty
Firebird Suite

1994:

1. British Fuels (Parc & Dare) - 96
2. Tredegar (Nicholas Childs ) - 94
3. BTM - 93

1993:

1. Tredegar (Nigel Weeks) - 94
2. Point of Ayr - 93
3. BTM - 92

Winning programme:
Blenheim Flourishes
I Know Why (Soloist: Robert Nesbitt)
Another Opening, Another Show
Firebird Suite  

1992:

1. Tredegar (Nigel Weeks) - 192
2. Cory - 190
3. Point of Ayr - 188

Winning programme:
Ravenswood
The Way We Were (Soloist: Robert Nesbitt)
Czardas
Romance fro Salute to Youth
March Metamorphosis


1991: BTM
1990: BTM
1989: No contest
1988: No contest
1987: No contest

1986:

1. Point of Ayr
2. Parc & Dare
3. Tredegar (Nigel Weeks)
4. Penclawdd

1985: No contest

1984: Point of Ayr
1983: Point of Ayr
1982: Cory
1981: Parc & Dare
1980: Cory
1979: Cory

In 1979 the band was beaten in the semi-final knockout round by Parc & Dare.
In 1980 the band was beaten in the semi-final knockout round by Cory.
In 1981 the band was beaten in the semi-final knockout round by Parc & Dare.
In 1982 the band was beaten in the semi-final knockout round by Hymac Band.
In 1983 the band was beaten in the semi-final knockout round by Hymac Band.
In 1984 the band was beaten in the second knockout round by Blaina Band.
In 1986 the band was placed third of the four finalists behind Point of Ayr and Parc & Dare. The other finalist was Penclawdd Brass.
In 1990 and 1991 the band failed to qualify for the three-band final.
In 1994 the band was placed runner-up, two points behind Parc & Dare with BTM a point further back in third.