Latest News

  • Happy New Year from Tongwynlais Temperance Band
  •  Date Posted: Mon, 1 Jan 2024
    Happy New Year from Tongwynlais Temperance Band

    MD’s New Year update

    As the calendar turns from 2023 to 24 the band’s MD, Owen Farr shares his update for the year ahead.

    The coming year offers a great opportunity to grow and further develop the Tongwynlais Temperance Band. After a year of laying good foundations it’s important that we build for the future. Our ongoing rebuilding process as a band will always be based on rehearsing and performing great music that inspires players and audiences. 

    Preparing for the Welsh Open, the Area and and the Spring Festival we will have a brand new entertainment programme through our ongoing collaboration with Gareth Trott. As our first ever Composer in Residence Gareth’s contribution as composer and arranger has served us well and I look forward to premiering new works from him with the band in the year ahead. 

    Major works for this year will obviously include, Variations on an Enigma Philip Sparke’s challenging work that sets a high bar for both individual and ensemble playing right across the band. We will be working on Journey to the Centre of the Earth and New Jerusalem and our other major works will come from George Lloyd as we explore his unique repertoire for brass band in rehearsal and later this year in concert. 

    For the concert stage we will be featuring the band’s principal players, some in new compositions as well as established favourites. With such a strong line up of players we’re lining up some often unheard works for duet and ensemble. The band tell me they’re delighted that both Carnival Overture and the fiendish Bartered Bride will be on the stand! 

    Our open rehearsal policy will also continue. We’re always keen to welcome visitors to sit in or listen just let us know and we’ll make sure there’s a seat – if you’ve been to Ton before you’ll know it’s a ‘compact’ band room. While we’re not openly recruiting we are always happy to hear from anyone who would like to contribute to the band as a supporter or as a player. So keep in touch and maybe even think about joining us on the journey?

    I'd like to thank the band and all our supporters for the work undertaken during my first year as Musical Director and I look forward to what 2024 has to bring. See you in the bandroom!
  • Christian Aid Wales Carol Service
  •  Date Posted: Sun, 17 Dec 2023
    Christian Aid Wales Carol Service

    Christmas finale at Llandaff Cathedral

    Band to provide music and carols in support of Christian Aid

    As the Christmas count down continues, the Band’s final performance of the year will be at Llandaff Cathedral on Tuesday 19th December. The band will be performing seasonal; music and accompanying the congregation as they join together in some classic Christmas Carols.

    The event Shine a Light or Goleuo’r Daith promoted by Christian Aid Wales as it seeks to raise vital support for its global humanitarian work.

    Band Chairman Andy Robins said, “We feel privileged to be asked to support this event. Christian Aid is a charity that supports so many people regardless of their personal beliefs and in so many of the world’s areas of most need.” 

    With the organisation based in Whitchurch and the Cathedral on its doorstep, this is also a local event for the band and part of its commitment as a charity to use music to support local causes and community events.

    Details of the event can be found via the Christian Aid Website and registration is required Shine a Light - Christian Aid
    The event begins at 5:30pm and anyone looking to attend is advised to plan ahead for what looks like a busy evening in and around Cardiff and Llandaff in particular. 

    Why not join theband, local school chors and guests in this event?
  • Christmas Countdown
  •  Date Posted: Sun, 3 Dec 2023
    Christmas Countdown

    Christmas countdown commences

    Academy concert kickstarts festive season

    The band’s busy December programme has begun and it commenced with its annual Tongwynlais Music Academy Christmas concert. The band, directed by guest conductor Nigel Seaman, joined the students of the Academy its partnership with Create! Music Education.

    The talented students of the academy performed solos on woodwind, brass and percussion as well as vocal soloists and were joined by the Academy Wind Ensemble. 

    The band performed items from its 2023 programme and festive favourites finishing a memorable evening with Leroy Anderson’s Christmas Overture.

    Band Chairman Andy Robbins said, “The partnership with Create! to establish a music academy in our purpose built rehearsal facilities is now in its seventh year and has seen many young people catch what we hope will be a lifelong love for music. The quality of the tuition students receive can be seen in their individual music grade achievements but best heard in their individual and collective performances.”

    The band will now be commencing its carolling fundraising where the generosity of so many people will help sustain the rehearsal facilities that house the band and the academy.

    To learn more about all the opportunities for one-to-one music tuition in a range of instruments as well as voice and music theory visit Tongwynlais Music Academy for more information.

  • Christmas is coming
  •  Date Posted: Fri, 17 Nov 2023
    Christmas is coming

    christmas Partnership continues!

    After a busy year of contests, parades and concerts the band now turns its thoughts to Christmas. Our seasonal celebrations will include a concert with the Tongwynlais Music Academy, a number of local caroling stands as well as our annual Christmas concert supporting the Newport Philharmonic Choir.

    The concert is been a regular feature of the band’s festive programme and has been enhanced in recent years with the full band performing two concert sets as well as joint items with the choir and audience.

    Band Manager Iestyn Davies said, “We have supported this event for a number of years providing a small ensemble to accompany the congregational carols. Last year, with the choir moving the venue to the wonderful surroundings of Saints Julius and Aaron Church we were pleased to take a full band to contribute our own items to the programme.”

    The concert is held in support of Parkinsons UK Wales and will raise funds for the important cause and its work in Newport.

    Tickets for this event are £12 and can be purchased ahead by contacting the choir via 07851 423264 or through the band. Tickets will also be available on the night.

  • New trustees appointed
  •  Date Posted: Wed, 6 Sep 2023
    New trustees appointed

    New trustees appointed

    Members set out new governence roles

    The Tongwynlais Temperance Band has appointed new trustees and in recognition of their service and support to the band has appointed three new life members.

    As required by the band’s constitution trustees hold office for five years and this year’s AGM required new appointments to be made. Stepping into the role are Shoko Doherty, Darren Thomas, Lee Elliott and Georgie Evans. They will join Andy Robins the current chairman who was re-elected unanimously by the band.

    Andy commented, “With three of the trustees also serving as offices holders and two independent members drawn from the band, we have a firm foundation to secure the good governance of the charity, which underpins the bands artistic and educational mission.”

    Also reappointed to their roles as Band Manager and Musical Director were Iestyn Davies and Owen Farr. Speaking after the meeting and as the band recommenced its rehearsal schedule ahead of a busy autumn Iestyn said, “It’s a genuine privilege as well as a labour of love to be elected as Band Manager and to continue to work in collaboration with Owen as MD.”

    Andy added, “There was never any doubt that we would seek to reappoint Owen given his hard work, enthusiasm and support for the band over the last nine months. We are glad he has agreed to accept, and it is a sign of our ongoing commitment to build an organisation that enables all members to fulfil their potential and together aspire to the highest standards of music making.”

    In recognition of the support the band has received from former trustees, committee menbers and volunteers, the band was also pleased to appoint Jenny Jones, Peter Fitzjohn and Gordon Hann as life members. 

    The band returns to rehearsals for its appearance at the Wychavon Festival of Brass in October and a series of concerts and local engagements during the autumn period.
  • Equipment amnesty
  •  Date Posted: Mon, 7 Aug 2023
    Equipment amnesty

    Equipment amnesty

    Forgotten to return something to the band?

    It happens to the best of us. Sometimes we mean to do the right thing or just simply forget to give something back. Whether it’s a uniform, a mute, a tie or maybe the odd piece of music … even an instrument, if it belongs to the band can you please return it?

    We promise we wont hold it against you and if you pop into one of our rehearsals you might even get a cup of Ange’s northern tea.

    All joking aside, the band has worked hard over the years to provide uniform, equipment and instruments through fundraising and charitable giving. So if you get something that doesn't belong to you, or your band, please can we have it back?

    Please contact and we promise, ‘no questions asked!’
  • Composer in Residence
  •  Date Posted: Wed, 2 Aug 2023
    Composer in Residence

    Composer in Residence

    Gareth Trott joins band for first residency

    As many bands entered their down season composer Gareth Trott has commenced his first introductory residency with the Tongwynlais Temperance Band. Working alongside Musical Director Owen Farr, Gareth has commenced work with the band this summer,  to set the scene for their latest collaboration.

    MD and Composer in Residence had previously worked together on the band’s Gatsby inspired 2023 programme. With Owen contributing a new arrangement of the Louis Prima Sing, Sing, Sing, Gareth’s arrangements of contemporary pop and film music created an homage to the great American novel to feature soloists across the band.

    Owen Farr commented on the initial residency said, “Gareth’s work has been both inventive and engaging. It allowed us to co-create new material, whilst curating existing repertoire into a themed programme.”

    The programme, shared with the Staines Band, where Gareth is their resident conductor, will continue to feature in the band’s repertoire for the remainder of the year. It is the new possibilities that exciting the band and composer however.

    Gareth, a musician with the British Army, shared with the band his inspiration for the work ahead saying. “I’m looking forward to exploring the creative possibilities and getting to know the unique qualities of the band as it develops over time.  This is very much about a collaborative processes and something for the long term.”
  • Welcome to Cardiff
  •  Date Posted: Thu, 27 Jul 2023
    Welcome to Cardiff

    Welcome to Cardiff

    Opportunities for students coming to the capital

    The Tongwynlais Temperance Band has a small number of positions available to students coming to Cardiff this September. Over the years, we've provided a brass banding home from home to students studying at the local universities as well as the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama.

    Band Manager Iestyn Davies said, "Participating in the fiercely contested Welsh Championship section, the Ton Band provides a welcoming environment in which to continue playing or to support ongoing studies in music."

    Rehearsal nights are Monday and Thursday and current vacancies exist in the cornet section and the band would also welcome enquiries from suitably qualified trombone players. The band is based in Llandaf North and within easy reach from the main student areas of the city.

    For more information please email 
  • Notice of 2023 AGM
  •  Date Posted: Wed, 26 Jul 2023
    Notice of 2023 AGM

    Notice of Annual general meeting

    Monday 4th September 7:00pm

    The Trustees and Officers of the charity have agreed the date of the AGM.

    The meeting will elect and appoint new trustees and also its officers and management committee. Members will also be asked to approve the charity's annual report for 2022/23.

    For further information or to attend please email

  • Memories of a fellow musician
  •  Date Posted: Mon, 17 Jul 2023
    Memories of a fellow musician

    Memories of a Fellow Musician

    Band recalls one of the many lives cut short by conflict

    This Sunday the Tongwynlais Temperance Band took its place alongside the residents of Whitchurch as the community gathered together for the rededication of the village war memorial.

    Among the many names carved into the granite on, one stands out and that’s the name of Musician Richard G Fice. Aged only twenty-two, he was one of the eleven musicians murdered in the atrocity at the Royal Marines Deal Barracks at 8.22am on 22nd September 1989.  

    Richard was originally from Whitchurch and played in the South Glamorgan Youth Band a place where many Tongwynlais players learned to play and his name is listed on the memorial alongside those who gave their lives in the conflicts of the twentieth century.  

    Recalling the thirtieth anniversary of the attack, the band’s Euphonium player, and BBC journalist Andrew Gourlay, reflected on Richard’s life, interview his parents who to this day maintain a strong link with brass banding supporting the young players who participate in the South Glamorgan Youth Band.

    You can hear the interview with Andrew Gourlay Soundcloud here and read about the Richard Fice Awarded presented to young players in Cardiff and Vale on ther BBC Website here

    The band is grateful for the invitation to participate in the service and for the opportunity to be part of the life of its local community.
  • Band to Join Rededication Service
  •  Date Posted: Sun, 9 Jul 2023
    Band to Join Rededication Service

    Rededication Service

    Tongwynlais Temperance Band will join local community in rededication

    This coming Sunday, the band will be joining the community of Whitchurch and Llandaf North in a service to rededicate the memorial to all those who served and lost their lives in war and conflict. The band is proud to serve its community during the annual service of remembrance and is pleased to be able to support this important event.

    The band will provide a short programme of music prior to the service and will company the hymns during the rededication.
    Band Chairman Andy Robins said, “Parades, services and event such as this are as much of our banding DNA as competitions and concerts. I many ways I would say they are much more important than a performance.”

    With a history dating back to 1888, the band is very aware that many of its former players would have served in numerous conflicts, in particular the Great War and the Second World War. The band’s choice of music prior to the service will reflect the need to recommit to peace and global harmony whilst reflecting the proud heritage and sacrifice of all those who have served in the armed forces.  
  • Band stand summer
  •  Date Posted: Tue, 27 Jun 2023
    Band stand summer

    Summer bandstand season

    Great reception for the band's park concerts

    The sight and sound of a brass band in the park is synonymous with the British summer. Less familar is the warm and fine weather that has drawn large audiences to sit in the shade and take in the experience of live music performance. 

    The band has been pleased to support the Tredegar Town Council at the Bedwellty Park and most recently the Waterloo Tea Rooms in Newport's Belle Vue Park.

    The series of concerts will continue this week as the band makes its way to the Pershore Summer Festival of Brass performing in the historic surroundings of the Abbey and prior to that at the Angel Hotel. Following which the band will return to Belle Vue Park on Sunday 23rd July.

    Band Manager Iestyn Davies said, "We appreciate the work of so many people to maintaion these important facilities and open spaces. The band is grateful for the opportunity to return once again to Pershore Festival and to perform to so many people over the summer months."
  • Summer of music
  •  Date Posted: Sun, 21 May 2023
    Summer of music

    A season of outdoor concerts and events

    Listen to the sounds of brass band on the summer air

    After a series of contest performances the band's attention now turns to a series of summer concerts and events.
    Performing at local bandstands and at festivals provide an opportunity for the band to take its music to new audiences whilst enjoying the summer weather and some great venues.

    The programme commences on Sunday 11th June at Bedwellty House and Park Tredegar before moving to Belle Vue Park in Newport on Sunday 25th June and Sunday 23rd July.

    The band is also pleased to announce that it will be returning to the ever popular Pershore Midsummer Brass festival. Held in the
    picteresque and quintissential townthat lends its name the band will perform at the Angel Hotel, and then make its way to the nearby Abbey. Performances are at 4:00pm and 6:15pm. 

    Concerts at the parks are free to the enter and an all day ticket to enjoy 20 bands at the Midsummer festival are £10 and available from 
  • Spring Festival
  •  Date Posted: Sun, 14 May 2023
    Spring Festival

    To Blackpool and Back Again

    Spring Festival performance the latest step in the band rebuilding project

    The Tongwynlais Temperance Band has made its way to Blackpool and back again for the 2023 British Open Spring Festival. Competing in the Senior Trophy competition the band finished in fifth place from a field of 21 bands. In a performance of the test piece The Accursed Huntsman, the adjudicators and brass band website 4barsrest, praised the intelligent interpretation of the score to reveal a compelling retelling of the cursed nobleman dammed for daring to hunt on the Sabbath.
    The band’s Musical Director Own Farr, commenting after the performance, praised the band’s work ethic adding, “The band has developed well over the last five months and come a long way in a short space of time.”
    The band was pleased to welcome new players making their debut. Joining the band on back bench cornet was Ianto Williams, a Masters Student and conductor of the Cardiff University Brass Band and George Fearnley on tenor horn who will be joining the band full time in September. Adding to the foundations of the band Paul Baxter has joined on BBb. On Euphonium, the team was pleased to welcome back Ruth Mellor.
  • Wales Area 2023
  •  Date Posted: Mon, 20 Mar 2023
    Wales Area 2023

    Welsh Regional Championship Update

    Band visits the Red Priest in annual battle of Wales’ top bands

    The Tongwynlais Temperance band has ensured its Championship Section status at the hotly contested Welsh Regional Championship. The contest held at Swansea’s Brangwyn Hall presents one of the firmest challenges to any aspiring band with a place at the Royal Albert Hall up for grabs as well as the National honours to represent Wales.
    Performing the set test, Phillip Wilby’s challenging Red Priest, the band continued its rebuilding with growing confidence under the direction of its recently appointed MD and Professional Conductor Owen Farr.
    The band sends its congratulations to the winners, Tredegar Town who will represent Wales at the Royal Albert Hall alongside the Cory Band and also at the 2024 European Brass Band Championships in Palanga. Rehearsals continue on the next challenge and the Spring Festival in Blackpool in early May.
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