Latest News

  • Wales Area 2023
  •  Date Posted: Sun, 19 Mar 2023
    Wales Area 2023

    Contest season continues at Swansea’s iconic Brangwyn hall

    The Tongwynlais Band continued its contest season competing in the Wales Area competition of the UK Brass Band Championships this weekend.

    For many decades the Brangwyn Hall, one of Wales’ premier concert venues, has become the home of competitive brass band performance. This year the test faced by the band in the hotly contested championship section was Phillip Wilby’s equally iconic, Red Priest.

    The work, first used as the test piece for the British Open contest in 2011, is based on the work of the Baroque composer Vivaldi and mixes the solos, cadenzas and challenges of brass banding with the equally virtuosic writing of the Venetian master.

    Principal cornet player Darren Thomas commented saying, “Red Priest is a fantastic challenge that engages the whole band. It has proved a tough test but an enjoyable one that has set us up for the rest of the contesting season and upcoming concerts.”

    Next the band will be in competitive action in the Spring Festival, Blackpool.

  • Tuba vacancy
  •  Date Posted: Sun, 26 Feb 2023
    Tuba vacancy

    Tuba Vacancy

    Come and join the engine room of the band

    The band has a vacancy for a talented and committed tuba specialist. We're looking to appoint a key member of the band as we look forward to a series of concerts, contests and recordings. 

    To apply for this position please contact

    All applications are treated in confidence and the band welcomes interest in other areas and in support roles. The vacancy will become available immediately following the upcoming Wales Area contest. 


  • Welsh Open to Contest Season
  •  Date Posted: Mon, 20 Feb 2023
    Welsh Open to Contest Season

    Band gets in the Mood to start the contesting season

    The band joined a field of 14 contesting bands to compete at the Welsh Open Brass Band Championship on Saturday 18th March. 

    The band took to the stage at Newport's Riverfront Theatre with an American Dream inspired programme to launch the 2023 contesting season. Featuring works composed and arranged for the band by Gareth Trott, the programme included stand out contributions from Darren Thomas, Maya Jones and from Soprano Cornet soloist Lee Elliott with Green Light. Lee’s solo contribution was a new Great Gatsby inspired composition based on the themes of the Hollywood blockbuster and retelling of the classic novel.

    The trombone section, Nils Richards, Greg Dean and Claire Higgins brough the colour and flare of the roaring twenties with a Post Modern Jukebox style account of Gangstas Paradise. With references to In the Mood and a performance of the Phillip Sparke arrangement f Neal Hefti’s Cute along the way, the band delivered a show stopping ending in a new arrangement of the Benny Goodman classic Swing, Swing, Swing by Owen Farr the band’s Musical Director.

  • New Musical Director appointed
  •  Date Posted: Tue, 27 Dec 2022
    New Musical Director appointed

    Tongwynlais Temperance Band announces new MD

    The Tongwynlais Temperance Band has appointed international tenor horn soloist and teacher Owen Farr as it’s resident Musical Director. 

    A Besson Artist engaged in the development of their range of tenor horns, Owen divides his time working at the Royal Northern College of Music, the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama and Cardiff University. He maintains a busy teaching commitment while continuing to be one of the world's leading tenor horn soloists and principal horn with the Brass Band of Battle Creek.

    Owen began his musical career with the Pontypool Brass Band at the age of six and soon joined Gwent County Youth Brass Band and the National Youth Brass Band of Wales. Just 10 years later he was appointed as Solo Horn for the Tredegar Town Band and on entering the Royal Northern College of Music, he soon joined Williams Fairey Band. Returning to Wales he took up the role of Principal Horn in the then Buy as You View, Cory Band. 

    Band Manager Iestyn Davies said, “This is a significant appointment for Ton as we return to working with a resident MD in a professional capacity. The band has appointed Owen to oversee the band’s musical output and to set its new creative and artistic direction.  We look forward to him taking up his role in January and have enjoyed working with him over the Christmas period.”

    Over the last two decades the band  has represented Wales in the British Open, the National Finals and the European Championship. Working with Create Music Education, it hosts the Tongwynlais Music Academy, a partnership with local music tutors to deliver education and tuition and is continuing to expand its range of community events and concerts.

    Owen Farr added, “In taking up the role I am very aware of the long history of the band and recent successes. Their commitment to developing strong links with the community and youth music is great to see as is their commitment and approach to music making.   There is an exciting time ahead and I’m looking forward to working on a schedule concerts, contests, collaborations and recordings with the band.”

    27 December 2022

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