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Taff Vale Brass Win Championship After Meeting in a Pub

A local brass band that formed a year ago has swept the competition at a regional Welsh music contest.

Thirty bands competed for prizes at the Autumn Festival Welsh League Brass Band Contest in Cardiff on Saturday, November 24th.

Taff Vale Brass, based in Cardiff, won the regional championships in Section Four & Three at the South East Wales Brass Band competition on Saturday.

The band also took home Best Horn Section, and their cornet player, Duncan Broadley, won Best Instrumentalist.

The near sweep was a welcome surprise to Richard Killen, 44, who plays tuba in the band.

“We’ve only been a band a year, it was founded in a pub,” says Killen. “Quite a few people who are living locally wanted to do something different. Some of us hadn’t played in ten years, and we thought we’d start playing again.”

Richard Killen, centre, and musicians from the Taff Vale Brass Band.

Killen says the band is proud of their mix of young and old, amateur and experienced players. Over half their band are younger than 16, with the youngest instrumentalist only 12 years old.

Matthew James Wood, 19, says he “jumped right in” last March after Taff Vale Brass contacted him to join as a percussionist.

“I’ve always wanted to do brass banding,” says Wood, who is studying jazz drums at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama.

“In this band you’re able to help out other musicians who are still learning. We have two kids signed up who are 12 and 14, and being able to help them learn is one of the best things that I get out of it.”

Matthew James Wood, percussionist, holding the Championship trophy.

Taff Vale Brass attends four or five competitions each year and will be hosting a Christmas concert on December 1st at All Saints’ Church in Cardiff.

Almost 150 guests attended the competition on Saturday, November 24th, to listen to thirty bands from all across South East Wales.