Steve Sykes leads Tongywnlais to Welsh Open Glory

Tongwynlais Temperance warmed up for the defence of their Welsh Regional title in March with a comprehensive victory at the seventeenth Welsh Open Entertainment Championship in Porthcawl last weekend.

Directed by Steve Sykes they provided a packed Pavilion Theatre with a high class programme to claim the magnificent CISWO Challenge Trophy and boost their bank account to the tune of �1000.

Adjudicator Stan Lippeatt was in no doubt about the quality of the new champions. He said, "It was a very good programme, well organised and performed. They were very classy with a great soloist and excellently directed. The margin of victory was clear and well deserved."

Tongwynlais's first victory at Welsh domestic season opener sets them up for a busy contest schedule that will see them defend their Area crown in Llandudno, as well as take part in the televised Band Cymru contest, Grand Shield and European Championships before the end of May.

"It's a great start to the year," a delighted Steve Sykes said. "If every weekend was as good as this I think 2014 will be a pretty memorable year!"

The band opened with the upbeat 'Birdland', before 'Best Instrumentalist' winner Grant Jameson showed why he has just qualified for the Radio 2 Young Brass Musician of the Year final with a stunning rendition of 'Troika Tidy!' from the Karl Jenkins 'Euphonium Concerto' to claim the splendid Secretary's Bowl solo prize.

Contrast was provided by the simple beauty of Elgar Howarth's 'The Bonnie Brier Bush' before Reid Gilje's arrangement of the sprightly 'Wedding Dance' led into Ray Farr's arrangement of themes from Khachaturian's '3rd Symphony' to close.

"It's going to be a very busy, and hopefully successful few months for the band," Steve added. "The players have been working so hard and are looking forward to the challenge of three major test pieces in just one week at the Grand Shield and European Championships. This has given us just the start to build on for the rest of the year."

Full Results:
Adjudicator: Stan Lippeatt
Entertainment Judge: Sarah Harding

1. Tongwynlais Temperance (Steve Sykes) - 194
2. Tylorstown (Gary Davies)�191
3. City of Cardiff (Melingriffith) 1 (Gareth Ritter) - 190
4. Llwydcoed (Chris Turner) - 189
5. Parc & Dare (Andrew Jones) - 188
6. Abergavenny Borough (Craig Roberts) - 187
=7. BTM X Brass (Mark Hutcherson) - 185
=7. Pontardulais Town (Paul Jenkins) - 185

Highest placed First Section band not in prizes: Abergavenny Borough
Most Entertaining Presentation: City of Cardiff (Melingriffith) 1

Best Instrumentalist: Grant Jameson (euphonium) - Tongwynlais Temperance
Best Cornet Player: David Leak City (Cardiff (Melingriffith) 1)

Youngest Instrumentalist: Carys Lewis (Parc & Dare) aged 9
Graham Rees Memorial Bursary 2014: Harvey Rees (Tongwynlais Temperance)
21 Feb 2014 by Brass Band Summer School

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