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News and Reviews

Successful Savoy Gig

Except for a pandemic-generated break, the band has been playing an annual winter concert at the Savoy Theatre in Monmouth for several years now. This year's gig, on 9 February, was the first for our new MD Mike Prestage and was a great success. 90% of available tickets were sold and it was a pleasure to play to a virtually full house. Take a look at this review from Nigel Jarrett of Art Scene in Wales. 

"This band gave it everything, reading the written charts with confidence and bravely standing up to take solos, encouraged and inspired no doubt by their leader’s example." 

(Posted 21 February 2024)

Peter Lloyd Retires

We are sad to report that Peter Lloyd has decided to retire from the band after more than 20 years of loyal service. Not only has Peter played trombone for all that time, he was also a long-term committee member and  our sound guru. He arrived early for every gig to get things set up and was usually the last person to leave, along with a car full of gear. The band is tremendously indebted to Peter and will miss him in so many ways. Thank you, Peter. 

(Posted 21 February 2024)

2023 in Review 

On this new page we'll be providing news updates about the band as well as links to any reviews of our gigs. We'll kick things off with a short review of 2023. 

Changes at the Top

Gareth Roberts, our MD of 10-years standing, decided that 2023 was the right time to leave the band, devote more time to his young family and less to driving between Cardiff and Monmouth. Gareth's final gig with the band was an appropriately high-profile gig at Brecon Jazz, where the band accompanied American vocalist LaVon Hardison on Sunday 13 August. The gig was a great success and received a very positive review from the Jazz Mann. The band is hugely grateful to Gareth for all his hard work in developing the band during his tenure and for leaving us a legacy of his own compositions in the library. 

Mike Prestage took over the reins from Gareth in September and the band performed its first gig under his direction for the South Wales Big Band Society in November. Mike's programme was a big hit with the audience there and we're pleased to have been booked for a return visit in March 2024.  

Gigs

The band had a busy programme of gigs throughout the year. In addition to the above-mentioned Brecon Jazz appearance, we also played at festivals in Caerleon and Abergavenny, played our annual concert at the Savoy Theatre, Monmouth, performed three gigs at SWBBS and gave a free bandstand concert in Chepstow in the summer.  Roll on 2024!

 

David Mogford

We were deeply saddened in October by the untimely death of trumpet player David "Dai" Mogford after a short illness. Dai had been a very loyal member of the band for around seven years, having joined us after playing for more than 40 years in brass bands. He will be greatly missed by the band. 

(Posted 07 January 2024) 

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