As part of their prize in winning the
1974 Butlins Youth Brass Championships of Great Britain, Tredegar Junior Band was
invited to record an LP on the Decca ‘Sounds of Brass’ label.
It was made at University College in Cardiff in November 1974, just a month
after their triumph under the baton of their inspirational conductor Tudor
Williams, a 29 year old computer engineer, and the principal cornet of the
senior Tredegar Town Band.
Included on the release were the two test-pieces they played at the Royal
Albert on Hall on October 5th to win the title: ‘Patterns for Brass
Band’, which was commissioned for the event from composer Edward Gregson, and ‘Torch
of Freedom’ by Eric Ball, who along with
Edward Gregson and Geoffrey Brand was one of the adjudicators on the day.
There is also a euphonium solo, ‘Watching
the Wheat’ by the then 17 year old Robert Childs, the eldest son of John
Childs, who oversaw the musical development and training of the Junior Band.
Interestingly, no less than 26 of the players that featured on the recording were
already, or went on to become, playing members of the senior Tredegar Town
Band, whilst two; Nigel Weeks and Nicholas Childs (as well as Tudor Williams) later
became its conductors.
Robert Childs (solo euphonium) and Nicholas
Childs (second baritone) also went on to gain international success as
conductors of the Cory Band and Black Dyke Band respectively, whilst Nigel
Weeks won top flight National titles as a conductor of the Dalewool
Auckland Band in New Zealand.
The trophy is now presented to the ‘Most Entertaining Band’ in the Championship
Section at the annual Butlins Mineworkers’ Championships in Skegness, whilst
the bass drum on which it stands is still used by the band for marches and
outdoor concerts. The framed certificate
can be seen hanging in the main rehearsal room of Tredegar’s bandroom.
The image was taken during the recording by local photographer Raymond Hawkins of Abertillery.