We caught up with Principal Cornet of the Tredegar Town Band, Dewi Griffiths, ahead of the band's performance at Morley Town Hall on Saturday 16 November as part of the Leeds Best of Brass 2019/20 series.
How long have you played with the Tredegar Town Band?
I've been a member of Tredegar since August 2006 when I moved down to Cardiff from North Wales.
What's the best thing about playing in a brass band?
The best thing is the social aspect of meeting a group of 30 odd musicians who all enjoy what they're doing and striving for the best musical experience they can produce together.
What’s your highlight so far with the Tredegar Town Band?
Winning both the Grand Shield and the British Open in the same year in 2010, and also being awarded the Stanley Wainwright Memorial Trophy as the ‘Best Instrumentalist’ at the British Open in 2013 which we also won.
How did you get involved with playing a brass instrument?
I got involved from the age of seven because my older brother played the euphonium for the local village band so I wanted to do the same as he did.
What was your earliest musical experience?
One of my earliest musical experiences was playing Christmas carols in primary school as part of a concert in front of loads of my proud family. It was nerve wracking!
Who has been your biggest influence?
There are a lot of people that I have to thank as being a big part of my musical career, from my teachers when younger (Dennis Williams and Wynne Williams) to the more recent conductors that I've worked with on a regular basis such as David King and Ian Porthouse). Each one has given me the opportunity and the tools to help me play at the highest level I can.
Do you enjoy practising or find it a chore?
I find practising a bit of a chore, however I do play regularly as part of my job as a peripatetic teacher, so that makes it a bit easier.
Were your parents musical?
My mum was a classroom music teacher and played (and taught) piano and violin, and my Dad was part of the local male voice choir.
What piece of music do you most enjoy playing?
I do love to play all kinds of music, from major test-pieces to concert items, but I particularly enjoy playing film music, especially ones that are heavy on the brass such as John Williams music.
What’s the best and worst thing about performing?
The best thing is the thrill and the excitement of it, and in a weird way that can also be the worst...especially when the thrill and excitement gets too much and ultimately turns into nerves and the feeling of nausea!
What can the audience expect from a performance by the Tredegar Town Band?
The band is currently in good form and we're enjoying playing a variety of styles. We will definitely give the audience a great evening and hopefully it'll be a night to remember.
View the Leeds Best of Brass 2019/20 brochure online
Leeds Best of Brass Series 2019/20:
Saturday 19 October 2019 - Carlton Main Frickley Colliery Band
Saturday 16 November 2019 - Tredegar Town Band
Saturday 7 December 2019 - Leyland Band
Saturday 18 January 2020 - Black Dyke Band
Saturday 8 February 2020 - Grimethorpe Colliery Band
Saturday 7 March 2020 - Foden's Band
Saturday 4 April 2020 - Brighouse & Rastrick Band
Saturday 25 April 2020 - Rothwell Temperance Band