THE Vale of Glamorgan Brass Band on Saturday, May 17, took part in the South East Wales Brass Band Association (4th Section) Competition in Merthyr.

The Band, who celebrate 40 years of music making in the Vale, are fairly new to the world of competing having only entered two competitions last year. Musical Director David Short chose to play 'The Dark Side of the Moon' by Paul Lovatt-Cooper, a piece the band were able to play through with the Composer at a workshop last year.

The band have been rehearsing the piece for over three months and were confident of giving a good performance. They were boosted by the news that there were only two other bands competing in their section, Newport Borough and Usk so a prize was guaranteed.

An early start was required for a rehearsal slot in Merthyr at 8am during which the band was drawn last to play. This turned out to be a good draw for the band as the other two bands encountered problems with the air conditioning at the venue which caused some music to be blown around, so the band could be prepared for that eventuality.

The performance was all over in 12 minutes which flew by. Overall, MD, Dave Short felt the band had given a good account of themselves and thanked the members for their hard work and effort over the past months.

Mr Gary Davies, the 4th section adjudicator complimented the bands for their choice of test pieces which he thought showed up the bands' different qualities but also some deficiencies which needed to be looked at.

He gave third place to the Vale band, just two points behind Usk with the winners being Newport Borough. Both these bands are established competitors having been on the circuit for a number of years so there was no disgrace in coming third. Band secretary Rachel Thomson accepted the third place certificate from Gary Davies.

It is now straight back into rehearsal for a concert in Rhoose Community Centre on June 7 with Cornet Soloist Robert Westacott. The concert features the members of the training band playing pre concert music taken from their first ever CD.