Champion Band of Wales topic on 4BR


I found it interesting that 4BR have written an article on the Champion Band of Wales Competition, in my view basically complaining that the Bands who won this title can no longer be called the Champions of Wales. :?

About time I think! :)

In Wales, as far as I know there are three band associations, the North Wales, West and South East.

The North Wales Assoc. organise one competition in November and the winner is called the North Wales Champion. Simple!

The South East and West combine together and the overall winner from the 3 competitions gets called the Champion Band of Wales with Tredegar being the current holders. Bit more complicated!

After a recent meeting, the Welsh Regional Committee have decided that the only band that can be called "Champion Band of Wales" is the one that wins the Welsh Regional Championships. A very fair decision I think as this competition is, after all, open to EVERY band in Wales, not just those who are members of the West and South Wales associations or compete in the 3 competitons run by these associations.

So now the overall winners of the West and South East Band competitions should be called the Champion Band of West and South East Wales? :?
Yes, a bit less prestigious but not bad nonetheless!

I'm glad that it is about time it has become sorted and that there is one undisputed champion of Wales - the Winner of the Welsh Regional Championship. :D

I dont want to be drawn into the argument between the Welsh associations about the venue of the Welsh area or funding they receive etc. as I think too much has been said about it previously in other forums and it personally doesn't interest me.

I think this topic now begs the question, Are 4BR losing their impartiality? :cry:

The questions that the site raised seem to be more complaints than questions! Is this because a player from Tredegar runs the site and that this band can no longer call themselves Champion of Wales (and possibly more galling for them is that they have lost this to fierce rivals BAYV Cory?

I hope not!

Surely the Welsh regional committee have made this decision to make it fair to all. After all, being called Champions of Wales when you rule out one third the country's bands is a bit unequal. A bit like calling a football team National Champions of Great Britain with only clubs from England and Wales competiting. Scotland and Northern Ireland would be the first to complain!:shock: :idea:

If it is, I think it is unfortunate. Maybe they should put the rattle back in the pram, be more grown up about it and carry on with what they are good at: providing the people with an interest in bands quick and fairly reliable information about the goings on in the brass band movement!



Staff member
stopher said:
I think this topic now begs the question, Are 4BR losing their impartiality? :cry:

If it was there in the first place.
4BR is a great site, but it *is* pointed squarely at the top section bands, and it seems to me (my opinion only) that any lower section bands are in there as an afterthought.
I know that I've been on the end of more than one scatheing, and dare I say it, patronising article

It's their site, they can say what they like. Don't ask me to take it too seriously all the time though.

Tuba Girl

I can see what Stopher is saying but it would be nice to be told what the situation was as it seems alot of people were not aware of the change. The problem is now what is going to happen to the three contests Ebbw Vale, Burry Port/ Ammanford and Treorchy. These contests are already starting to dwindle in size and now some bands might think what is the point. The prize money is not very good so the reward was becoming champions in each section. It is funny though the Champion Band of Wales at the moment never attended these three contests on a regular basis!


Active Member
The problem is now what is going to happen to the three contests Ebbw Vale, Burry Port/ Ammanford and Treorchy

I've played at all of these contests and agree that they can be fun and it would be a shame to see them finish.

On the other hand, many bands in south wales focus only on the contests. Perhaps a reduction in the number of contests per year would force a few bands more in the direction of music for fun with more time and effort put into concerts. Many bands put so much rehearsal time into competing that they've been dragging out the same summer concert programmes for years.

Tuba Girl

These three contests are not really alot in a year. I can see what is being said about the concert repertoire but surely we all need some competition to maintain and improve on the current standard of your band.


Active Member
You wanna blow my what? said:
Those contests don't pay enough prize money anyway. It costs more to hire the coach for the day!

Which is precisely why it makes sense to use the Welsh Regional to determine the Welsh Champions.

The Area contest has much more prestige and therefore provides a better incentive for North Walian bands to travel all the way down for a contest - even though the cost to take part is huge (coach hire for two days, accommodation etc.)

At least at the Area you have bands from all over Wales competing, which, surely, gives more credibility to any band that wish to call themselves 'Champion Band of Wales'.

IMO it's about time this decision was made, and I congratulate them for making it.

Tuba Girl

Well than maybe we should have contests moved around Wales and then decide who is the Champion Band of Wales from that. I have already said this but alot of people are agreeing with this that the fact the rules have changed to support a certain band. Maybe if we held one in South Wales, one in Mid Wales and one in North Wales you might find it more fair!!!!!!!!!!!!! What is the state of tyhe lower sections going to be like now?


Active Member
What is wrong with just using one contest to determine the Champion? It's like the Champions League in football - where you get teams who didn't even win their countries' own leagues becoming Champions of Europe.

The thing with using more than one contest is you might get a Champion Band who didn't even win one of the three contests involved in determining the title? What sort of prestige would that title hold?


Tuba Girl said:
Well than maybe we should have contests moved around Wales and then decide who is the Champion Band of Wales from that. I have already said this but alot of people are agreeing with this that the fact the rules have changed to support a certain band. Maybe if we held one in South Wales, one in Mid Wales and one in North Wales you might find it more fair!!!!!!!!!!!!! What is the state of tyhe lower sections going to be like now?

Good idea but the cost for bands would be huge - the band I conduct paid around £1500 - £2000 to get to Swansea and won £75 in return for coming 3rd! The Bus driver got a tip nealry that big!!! The cost of a hotel and bus for 30 people just isn't worth it

Yes, the rules have changed. Yes, it could be because of one band but I doubt it! IIts like Dyl said, being called the champion band of Wales wasn;t credible because of the 18 or so bands in North Wales were not competing.

Some people are upset about not finding out about this earlier - I had heard something after going to a North Wales meeting in January because the Comp. Sec couldn;t make it. I could be wrong but this decision was made before Christmas I think.

As for worrying about the 3 competitions. If concert progs are getting boring, why not have them as an own choice, set piece and an entertainments and switch them round each year.

Maybe a one off competition each year to decide the title would be welcome - Aberystwyth was popular and relatively easy access for everyone, Wrexham, Bangor Swansea and Cardiff have good venues if we wanted to move it around. Maybe use the Eisteddfod as the competition to decide?!?!?! Who knows.

IMO, I would call the winner of the Welsh Area the Champion Band of Wales as that is the competition open to everyone. It gives it credibility and an extra reason for bands to enter. Next, move it 100 miles north and I think you would find more bands. I think more bands competed when it was in Aber than in Swansea but I could be wrong!

Tuba Girl

It was just an idea but probably an expensive one! I have spoken to a number of people on the subject about the way it was decided. One person I spoke to attends all of the meetings in the South and was not aware of this decision. Regardless of the outcome surely this should have been made more public sooner. The fact nothing was said the area competiton makes things seem abit suspicious. Why did the organisers not say who the champion band of Wales was there and then?????????
I am up for change if it will further the band movement but when bands are not even told what is going what is the point!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Roger Thorne

Active Member
Just spotted an update on this issue on 4BarsRest which might be of interest to the Welsh Bands.

Welsh “Championship” officially scrapped.

"Tense" atmosphere as South Wales bands told of decision to scrap Welsh Championship.

As we reported a short while ago, the traditional format for deciding the Champion Band of Wales title has been scrapped.

News has reached 4BR that the decision was confirmed to band representatives of the South East Wales Association this week at a meeting where the atmosphere was said to have been “tense” to say the least. We have been informed that members were told that the decision to scrap the Championship was in fact taken some months ago at a joint meeting of representatives of the three Associations of Wales following a proposal put forward by the North Wales Association - although this had not been subsequently communicated to bands in either of the three Associations in Wales.

It was this failure to even inform members that such a proposal had been put forward that has caused such furore in the Principality. The outcome however appears to be that from this year (2003) the Champion Band of Wales title will be awarded to the bands that win their appropriate sections at the Regional Championships held in Swansea. The traditional format which has been used for many decades and was decided in 2002 by the results from contests held in Ebbw Vale, Treorchy and Burry Port/Ammanford will no longer count.

Although there has been no official press release from the Associations involved, band representatives who we have spoken to have been saddened by the way in which the decision was initiated without recourse to the bands themselves. Many remarked that although they could see the reasoning behind the decision, they were deeply disappointed at the way in which it was undertaken and many informed 4BR that they would now be seriously considering whether it was worthwhile entering the remaining two contests of the year as there was now no “ Welsh Championship” to play for in any of the sections.


Tuba Girl

The choice has been made but even now bands have still been left in the dark!!!!!!!!!!!!!! When 4 bars rest reported that there was a meeting and that the Welsh Championship had been scrapped I went to band the next night only to be told that our band had never been invited and did not know that there was a meeting. I am sorry but what a way to treat bands. It looks like there is going to be poor enteries for the next contests :( :( :(


The worrying thing is why has this decision been made halfway through the contest season? I for one am concerned about the effect it might have on the entries for the 2 remaining contests this year.

There is no doubt that it can only be fair that a National Championship is only decided when all that particular country's bands is eligible but how we get around the logistics and cost is another question. The answer must lie somewhere in Mid Wales and I do agree Aber in it's 3 year life worked well.

The Eisteddfod can't really be seen as a viable solution because apart from alternating between North and South the timing (Usually first Sat in Aug) is ludicrous.

Personally if we can sort something out I am in favour of a league as it rewards consistency and doesn't penalise a one off bad performance (well not to such an extent anyway). When I started competing ,early 70's,this was judged over 6/7 contests so the 3 now are nothing in comparision.

Let's hope something happens quickly and Welsh banding as a whole benefits.


New Member
Welsh Champs!!!

Hi Selwyn,

I agree with you, years ago it was a pleasure to do at least 5/6 contests a year. It made banding enjoyable and the prize money was worth it then, but now it doen't cover the cost of the petrol/deisel.

I am wondering if the association got scared by not announcing the new format for fearing the dwindling numbers at the 3 remaing contests. Who know?

Frankly, this must be a wake up call to the associations involved to maintain the stands and interests of all bands in Wales. Better adjudicators/Results given BY the Adjudicators, not passed behind the curtain so that the results can be doctored, which has you know have happened in the past.

Personnally, most of this is a way of sticking two fingers up in air towards the people who work hard in maintaining the lower section bands, who are finding it hard to survive. Lets look after the premier boys only - the rest will follow. (NOT)


Active Member
Sorry to go digging up such an old thread, but I couldn't help noticing that Ammanford (in their write up for the Porthcawl programme) to have been crowned 1st Section Champion Band of Wales 2003.
Since this title was, with effect from 2003, to be decided by the results of the Welsh areas in Swansea, surely the rightful holders are Treherbert?


New Member
Champion Band!

In reply to JessopSmythe comments:

Treherbert Band was crowned by stealth, rules changed mid season to suit a certain band. Surely, the organisation should have waited until 2003 season had finished and implemented the new system in 2004.

Ammanford was crowned 1st Div Champions at TREORCHY by the the association. SO, who is WRONG and who is RIGHT?

Personally, I just want to play good music and enjoy my banding and ensure that youngster are given the chance to compete in as many contests as possible. Without the influx of new blood, bands like Abergavenny and Ammanford would not survive.


Active Member
That's my point, Phil. There seems to be no consistency at the moment. When will the association make up their minds?


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