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Bedwas Trethomas & Machen (BTM) Band
Most brass bands have histories going back to the middle of the 19th century and in Wales are often associated with collieries or slate quarries. Indeed, there is history of a Bedwas band dating back to the early 1900's. The present band was formed in 1972, when Cynan Jones, a native of Blaenau Ffestiniog in North Wales came to work as a brass teacher in the Caerphilly area, and decided to try and form a band. Some of the instruments had been inherited from the old Windsor Colliery band in Abertridwr and in some cases had to be shared by players. The B.T.M Band decided to start competing in 1975 in the Welsh Regional Championships, where they achieved a credible 5th plece.
The band steadily progressed through the various leagues, gaining championship status (premiership) in 1985. Since then, B.T.M has established itself as one of the foremost bands in the country. In 1994, the band became the Champion Band of Wales, winning 3 out of the 4 regional contests. With this title came an invitation to represent Wales in the European Championships held in Montreux, Switzerland, this being the second such occasion that the band has competed in the European Championships. The band has represented Wales at the National Championships of Great Britain a total of 10 times!
The band has also made many radio broadcasts, the highlight being awarded the title of Radio Wales Champion Band for 2 consecutive years. In addition to radio broadcasts, the band has also appeared many times on TV, being the subject of 3 "fly on the wall" documentaries.
As well as it's contesting work, the band also undertakes a wide range of concerts in various parts of the country. It also supports national and local charities suck as Leukaemia Research Fund, the British Heart Foundation, The Charity for Sick Children, The Joshua Foundation and Rhymney Valley Children's Centre.
The band is Very proud of it's many talented soloists. Mark Hutcherson (principal Euphonium and Band Master) was the first brass player to win the covoted instrumental blue riband at the National Eisteddfod of 1987, a feat which he repeated in 1988 and 1993. He became the British Open Solo Champion in 1990, going on to represent Great Britain in the Brass International Musician of the Year Contest held in Auckland, New Zealand, achieving 2nd place. Mark was also a founder memmber of the National Youth Brass Band of Wales along with 4 other members of B.T.M. Since that time, approximately 30 members of the band (past and present) heve been selected for the Youth Band of Wales.
The B.T.M Band realises the importance of youth, and have established a thriving junior band, a number of members have progressed to the senior band, competing at the Royal Albert Hall.
The band have established an enviable reputation for competing in entertainment contests, including the infamous performances of the Full Monty by five fearless members of the band's cornet section, which has gained international recognition!!!