This page is part of an archive of historical details from existing or defunct brass band websites. This is being maintained to provide a record of this information in the event of a band folding, its website disappearing or other loss of the historical record. Where possible, and appropriate, the information cached will be updated from time to time - and any corrections or updates are welcome.
Newport Borough Brass
Newport Borough Brass Band was formed in 1971 and was helped by the interest shown by several people including Newport Borough Council's music advisor, Ron Cleake. Although receiving only minimal support from bodies such as Newport Council, the band grew and developed over the following years.
The band started in the contesting field in 1985 under the leadership of Ivor Barnett, the then musical director. It reached the second section (having started in the fourth) in 1998. The high points were wins in the Welsh area qualifying contest twice. These wins were tickets to the finals of the National Brass Band Championships in London. Other successes included wins in several other contests in both England & Wales.
During 1997 & 1998, Newport Borough Brass Band became international performers, having played in France's Falaise Cathedral.
Like many town bands, Newport Borough Brass has practised in different venues over the years, starting off in the Newport Central Y.M.C.A. building. Another site was the St. Michael's church hall; but in 1998, the new Y.M.C.A. building was opened in Mendalgief Road and with the band being affiliated to the Y.M.C.A., a purpose designed bandroom was included - now Newport Borough Brass Band's home and the best ever.
All organisations (including the band) have times when all of a sudden, a large portion of the membership leaves. In the year 2000, on top of the usual numbers leaving through 'natural wastage' (moving away etc.) several members whose playing had improved to such a degree that they transferred to bands rated higher in the contesting stakes. So in an 18 month period, 20 members left the band. The remaining numbers formed a foundation upon which the new musical director, Mike Davies, began to re-build the band by introducing new musicians, both teenagers and adults. As he still does today, Clive Giles ran a session for juniors prior to band practise on Monday evening in order to train them for full band membership. This, and an active policy of adult recruitment, resulted in a membership of 31 in the summer of 2003.
With less than a full band, contesting was put on hold. However October 2003 saw it renewed; Mike Davies having considered the band had reached a high enough standard to continue where it had left off. Autumn 2003 saw Newport Borough Brass Band back on the road to success and fame.