The Cwmtawe Youth Band was formed by Wayne Pedrick ten years ago with children from local primary schools in the Pontardawe area and comes under the umbrella of the West Glamorgan Music Service and is supported by the Music Service Manager Mr Phillip Emanuel. Wayne works for the West Glamorgan Music Service as a Peripatetic Brass Teacher.
The age group of the Youth Band are between 13 and 18 years of age and all members are from the Upper Swansea Valley area who attend Ystalyfera, Cwmtawe, Bryntawe and Amman Valley Comprehensive Schools. Rehearsals take place on Wednesday evenings at The Pontardawe Welsh Primary School.
The band regularly takes part in Youth Band Competitions and also compete in the Brass Band Association Fourth Section adult competitions and have had some notable success having been awarded second prize at the Ebbw Vale competition in May 2007 and first prize at the Burry Port competition in October 2007. On Saturday 17th May they were again awarded first prize at the East Wales Competition held in Tredegar.
Mr Rhodri Morris from Cwmgors, who’s children Ffion and Carwyn play in the Cwmtawe Training Band, occasionally helps the Youth Band at this time of year when there are school exams and he also won the ‘Best Instrumentalist’ cup in Tredegar. The Band are currently The Fourth Section Champions of South Wales. The Senior Band has fifty members many of whom are also members of the West Glamorgan County Youth Brass Band.
The Cwmtawe Youth Band is also the official band of the Ospreys Rugby Region. Up to fifteen of them play at all the home games at the Liberty Stadium.
The Band has proved so popular with youngsters in the Amman and Upper Swansea Valley area that the Training Band was formed as a feeder band four years ago. This band is also conducted by Wayne and is normally thirty-five to forty strong. The age group of this band is between nine and thirteen years of age. Last year the Training Band took part in the Junior Section of the Great Britain Youth Brass Band Finals in Manchester and gained a Silver Award and a very respectable fourth place out of ten bands competing in the under sixteen age group. They also won first prize in the Junior Section at the Ebbw Vale Brass Band competition last year and at the Gwent Youth Band Festival in January of this year. The band’s drummer Iwan Davies from G-C-G also won the soloist prize for the section. The Training Band also took part in the Junior Section Competition at Tredegar on the 17th May and gained a gold award to make it a clean sweep for the Cwmtawe Bands.
There is now also a twenty strong Cwmtawe Junior Band and a beginner group which are taught in turnby Mr Ian Lewis(Rusty), Mrs Jayne Thomas and Mrs Sharon Pearce. As part of the Tenth Anniversary celebrations The Youth Band have just returned from a very successful five day tour of the Isle Of Man which concluded with a joint concert with The Douglas Town Band.
A 10th Anniversary Concert was held at the Pontardawe Leisure Centre on Saturday 26th April where all the groups performed and that means over a hundred local children took part. The concert was supported by Barclays Bank and the Bank’s representative Mrs Janice Williams announced they were match funding the concert £ for £ up to the sum of £750. The Band members would like to thank Mrs Williams and Barclays Bank for their continued support and plan to buy a drum kit from the proceeds of the concert.