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Forming in September 2011, Ebbw Valley Brass was born following the merger of Cwm Town Band and Ebbw Vale Town Band.
Both of the former bands experienced low points in recent history following a decline in player numbers and general interest. With the two bands being in close proximity, the Committees openly expressed a desire to work together in order to ensure a sustainable future for brass banding in the Ebbw Valley and ensure that the heritage of music is maintained and developed. Ebbw Valley Brass was born and a new logo commissioned and designed to reflect the band’s new thinking and identity.
Under the leadership of the band’s Musical Director, Gareth Ritter, the band has built strong foundations on which to build a robust organisation that caters for everyone. The primary focus is to work with the community and develop these links in order to deliver a wide range of concerts and increase the image of brass banding.
Gareth is a native of Cwm, Ebbw Vale. In 2003, he graduated with a BMus (Hons) from the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama having studied there for three years under the leadership of Dr Robert Childs. He continued his education at the University of Wales Institute Cardiff, completing a Post Graduate Certificate in Secondary Music Education and he now works as Head of Creative Arts at Willows High School in Cardiff.
His interest in music started at an early age playing the tenor horn in his local village band – one of the legacy bands of Ebbw Valley Brass. From there he progressed to Euphonium and still at a young age, played with many of the top competing bands across Wales, such as Tongwynlais and Tredegar. Gareth is a former member of the Cory Band where he spent 10 years playing Euphonium and Baritone under the baton of Dr Robert Childs. With this band, Gareth tasted victory many times and one of his fondest memories was winning the British Open Championship in 2002 and 2009. Gareth’s music-making has seen him tour America, Australia, New Zealand and many parts of Europe. While studying in Cardiff, Gareth visited Norway many times to play with the Tomra Brass Band and others in concerts and competitions.
Being a member of the Cory Band has gave him the chance to play in some of the finest concert halls in the world, such as The Royal Albert Hall, Grieg Hall and Symphony Hall. From the age of 13, Gareth was a member of the National Youth Brass Band of Wales and the European Youth Brass Band. In both these bands Gareth progressed onto the Principal Euphonium seat working with conductors such as James Watson and Elgar Howarth. He has played for HRH Queen Elizabeth and Nelson Mandela, and has delivered master classes on his instrument throughout the country.
Gareth has worked extensively with Goodwick Brass, Blaenavon Town Brass Band, Abergavenny Borough Band and more recently has played an integral part in the joining together of both his former bands, Cwm and Ebbw Vale, to form Ebbw Valley Brass. Gareth took up the post of Musical Director for Ebbw Valley Brass from September 2011.
Musical ability is one of the most desirable skills that schools, universities and employers seek… and what better way to enhance your future prospects by learning to play an instrument and mixing with like-minded individuals.
Ebbw Valley Brass is an organisation based in South Wales that caters for brass and percussion players of all ages. The association’s training academy is looking for new players (regardless of ability) to join this exciting project.
Why Ebbw Valley Brass Academy?
All abilities welcome in brass and percussion
Opportunities to perform frequently
Improve communication and organisational skills
A hobby for life
Be part of a team
Increase your self-confidence
As with every organisation, a pertinent and large issue is funding. Instruments and uniforms are desperately needed as a lot of the instruments are borrowed and players purchase their own basic uniform.
In order to ensure continued development, the band needs to have a secure financial base. To this end, Ebbw Valley Brass continues its 'Friends' scheme, giving you the opportunity to support the bands work in a practical way.
You are invited to become a ‘Friend’ of Ebbw Valley Brass by donating a minimum of £20.00 a year. In return for this donation, you will receive:
Two newsletters every year, detailing the progress of the organisation
Free access to all concerts the band undertake during the year
Ebbw Valley Brass pin-badge
The band hopes you will agree to be a ‘Friend’ and become an official supporter. To request a registration form, please contact the band using the 'Contact' link at the top of the page.
Includes postage and packaging. We use Paypal to securely take a payment.
What a journey this has been for Ebbw Valley Brass since formation in 2011 - and they've only just begun to celebrate the success of becoming the first Welsh band to win a triple of National Finals titles in three consecutive years, whilst progressing through the sections the band decided to produce the organisations first-ever CD.
And here it is - overflowing with a variety of superb pieces that have impressed audiences throughout the year including a live performance of ‘The Snaring of the Sun' by Stephen Roberts. In addition to this, the CD includes the premier of "Tair Gwaith Gymru', specially written for the band by the band's composer-in-Residence Dave Collins, to commemorate the triple of National Finals titles.
Get in touch or call in at the bandroom.
Mondays 7:30pm – 9:30pm
Every other Thursday 7:30pm – 9:30pm