Tredegar Town Band

Tredegar Town Band

The musical origins of Tredegar Town Band can be traced back to 1849 when a local brass band from the Welsh Valley town was reported to have led a procession to celebrate the opening of a new mill for the Tredegar Iron and Coal Company.

Tredegar enjoyed increasing contesting success after the Second World War, under the direction of first, Cornelius Buckley, followed later by John Childs. This resulted in the Second Section Champion Band of Great Britain title in 1973, their first Champion Band of Wales title in 1974 and victory at the Grand Shield in 1976.

Firmly established in the top echelon of brass banding ever since, Tredegar Town Band has been Champion Band of Wales a further eight times. Welsh Regional Champion on eleven occasions, as well as securing multiple Pontins, Welsh National Eisteddfod, Welsh Open, Yeovil, BBC Radio Wales and Wychavon titles.

Twice the band were runners-up at the National Championships of Great Britain, in 1993, and 2003, as well as the British Open in 1996, and claimed podium finishes at the European Brass Band Championships in 1991 and 2011.

The latest contesting renaissance came with the appointment of Ian Porthouse as Musical Director in 2008, immediately regaining the Welsh Area title and subsequently achieving increasingly impressive domestic and national contesting results. 2010 was truly historic, with the band claiming no less than seven major domestic and national titles, culminating with the unique double feat of winning the Grand Shield and the British Open Championship in the same year.

Voted ‘2010 Band of Year’, and Ian Porthouse the ‘Conductor of the Year’ in recognition of their outstanding achievements by the readers of the influential online magazine, Tredegar continue to enjoy top level competitive success, winning the 2011 All England Masters International title, as well as being placed third at the European Championships in Montreux, which saw the band rise to number two in the brass band world rankings.

Porthouse, Ian


Ian Porthouse was born in Cumbria in 1967 into a family of musicians. His father, a cornetist and mother a pianist/singer.

At the age of 5 he began to take an interest in his Dads trumpet and joined Flimby Saxhorn Silver Band on 3rd Cornet where his father was principal cornet, within 5 years he would take over the end chair himself. Also around this time Ian became a founder member of the Cumbria Youth Brass Band under Richard Evans, who was to have a big impact on his career.

At the age of 16, Ian became the leader of the National Youth Brass Band of Great Britain and led the band for three years in total.

Ian took up the baton with Tredegar Town Band in 2008 and has lead the band to the National Finals every year since. Ian is also the only conductor ever to lead a band to victory at the Grand Shield and British Open in the same year with Tredegar’s memorable double in 2010.

Ian is currently head of Brass Band Studies at the Birmingham Conservatoire and is in high demand as a professional conductor, tutor and adjudicator.

Cory Band

Cory Band
Cory Band has been the number one ranked brass band in the world for the past eight years. Based in the Rhondda Valley, Wales, it was founded in 1884. In 2016 the band reclaimed its European Champions title in Lille, France.
Image Credit: 

Phillip Harper


Philip Harper became Musical Director of the world-famous Cory Band in 2012. Within 18 months he had steered the band back to the Number One World Rank by winning three of the four major titles in the brass band calendar: the National, the European, and Brass in Concert (with a runner-up prize in the other, the British Open!) as well as receiving media awards for the band's CD recordings, and plaudits for the concert tour of Australia. Philip won the coveted Conductor of the Year Award for 2013, voted for by 10,000 readers of the website With previous bands, Tongwynlais Temperance Band and Flowers Band, he achieved unprecedented contest success, as well as winning acclaim for his entertaining concert performances. 

A resident of Gloucester, Philip is also the Editor of Brass Band World magazine, the Music Editor of the historic Wright and Round publishing company, and in demand as a freelance conductor, educator and adjudicator with brass bands of all levels.

Image Credit: 
Ian Clowes

Childs, Robert


Dr. Childs’ status as a professional musician encompasses many fields of music making. He is Director of Brass Band Studies at the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama; Musical Director of both the National Youth Brass Band of Wales and the famous Cory Band; a founder and Director of Doyen Recordings Ltd, Performing Arts Education Ltd. and Prima Vista Musikk Ltd.; a Trustee and advisor to the Harry Mortimer Trust; a tutor and council member to the National Youth Brass Band of Great Britain; and a world renowned euphonium soloist.


Robert conducted and performed with the Yorkshire-based Black Dyke Band for almost ten years and before that he played under Elgar Howarth with the Grimethorpe Colliery Band. During this time he also gave numerous solo recitals and made guest appearances as a euphonium soloist with leading orchestras, wind orchestras and brass bands throughout the world. He has performed in the Carnegie Hall, Royal Albert Hall, Grieg Hall; and has given concerto performances in the Royal Festival Hall and Sydney Opera House. In1985 Robert was awarded the coveted title ‘International Euphonium Player of the Year’ and together with his brother Nicholas is regarded as one of the finest euphonium players of his generation.


In May 2000, Robert was delighted to accept an invitation to become the Professional Musical Director of the Cory Band from the Rhondda in South Wales, thus re-uniting him with Wales and associating him with the band he has held in such high esteem since he was a boy. In a short space of time Robert revitalised brass banding in Wales by steering his new band to win the British Open Championship, the National Championship and runner-up at the European Championship in a single season.


Various: War Memorials (Music for Brass Band)

War Memorials (Music for Brass Band)
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Tredegar Town Band
Ian Porthouse
Cory Band
Phillip Harper conductor
Robert Childs conductor

The period between the two world wars was one of the richest in music composed for brass bands. Elgar, Holst, Vaughan Williams, Herbert Howells, Arthur Bliss, John Ireland and others added their voices to a growing repertoire, but little of that paid tribute to the loss of so many young lives, countless brass musicians among them. The musical war memorials receiving their first recorded performances here are of more recent vintage. They are framed by the music of Benjamin Britten (1913-1976), whose pacifist sympathies are enshrined in some of his finest music, the War Requiem being the most well known.



‘Distinguished ... The First World War is remembered in Lucy Pankhurst’s Voices and the roundly tonal essays of Robin Holloway’s War MemorialsSunday Times

'Extraordinary quality music [and] excellent delivery by the two finest bands in Wales ... One of the most important brass band releases ever' British Bandsman

'Solemn and poignant ... the brass tradition is alive and thriving' The Observer

'Superbly produced and excellently performed ... the most apposite memorial' British Bandsman

'The works are spendidly performed with warm, rounded, intimate sound from Wales's Cory Band ... and shinier, punchier playing from Tredegar Town Band' Gramophone

'One of the discs of the decade so far ... A vital and exceptional recording.' Brass Band World

“It really opened my ears to the depth and richness of Brass Band music.” BBC Music Magazine podcast

'This NMC release doesn't have a weak moment ... Highly recommended.' AllMusic

'The sound is uniformly healthy with plenty of pure transients and a well founded bass.' MusicWeb International


With special thanks to RVW Trust, John Golland Trust, Brass Band Heritage Trust, World of Sound, Faber Music Ltd. and PHM Publishing for their support of this recording.


Robin Holloway’s War Memorial Nos. 1 & 2 is published by Boosey & Hawkes. John McCabe’s The Maunsell Forts is published by Novello & Co. Benjamin Britten’s Occasional Overture is published by Faber Music. Diversions after Benjamin Britten and St. Edmundsbury Fanfare is published by PHM Publishing.


Occasional Overture, Voices (In Memoriam), Diversions after Benjamin Britten and St. Edmundsbury Fanfare  were recorded on 23 January 2016 at Ysgol Gyfun Rhydywaun, Aberdare, Wales.

Recording Engineer: Richard Scott (World of Sound)

War Memorials Nos. 1 & 2 were recorded in July 2016, Parc Hall, Cwm-Parc, Wales.

Recording Engineer: Melissa Dee (World of Sound)

The Maunsell Forts were recorded January 2010 by BBC Radio 3 at the Royal Northern College of Music Festival of Brass, Manchester.

Recording Engineer: Tim Archer

Recording Producer: Paul Hindmarsh

Executive Producer for NMC: Colin Matthews

Catalogue number:
NMC D226
Release Date:
21 October 2016