Musicians line up for youth show
One of the highest turnouts of young musicians from Wales will take part in the TES-sponsored Music for Youth festival next week. The land of song will be represented with 1,100 young musicians at the six-day event in Birmingham, which starts on Monday.
Included is an award-winning brass band, which will perform the story of Welsh princess Branwen who fell in love with an Irish king, with a score that the musicians arranged themselves. Gwyn Evans, the band's musical director, said the players had great pride in their musical heritage.
"They are proud of being able to speak Welsh," he said. "It will be different from other bands, but I think people will relate to it because of the Celtic influences."
Peter James, senior assistant head of service of the Gwent Music Support Service, has taken local youth bands to the festival for the past 14 years and runs the regional event in Cwmbran.
This year he is taking 12 groups to play at the prestigious Birmingham Symphony Hall.
"For a comprehensive pupil to play in such a venue is phenomenal," he said. "It builds their confidence tremendously."
Mr James said the festival, run by the Music For Youth charity, is one if the biggest events of its kind in the world. Other bands will include a folk duo from Ysgol Sir Thomas Picton School in Pembrokeshire and a choir from Penglais School in Ceredigion.