Principal Cornet – Richard Davies
Richard started playing at the age of 7 with the Aberaman Original Silver Band and then at the age of 9 moved to Llwydcoed Silver Band. In 1985 he joined the Cory Band and in 1990 he left to join Cwmaman Institute Silver Band and became their Principal Cornetist. During his period with Cwmaman Band he was the main driving force behind their successful rise from the 4th Section to the Championship Section. During his early years he was also Principal Cornet of the Mid Glamorgan Youth Brass Band and also a member of the National Youth Brass Band of Wales. In 2003 he returned to the Cory Band on Solo Cornet, he moved to Repiano 2005 where he has remained until a switch to the Flugel Horn seat.
During his time with Cory he has greatly contributed to the Band’s many contest successes and he has been involved in: 4 European titles, 3 British Opens, 1 Nationals, 1 World Championship, 3 Brass in Concert Championship.
Richard left school at the age of 16 and went to work in Local Government where he is currently a Principal Officer in the Corporate Finance section. He is a professionally qualified Accounting Technician and also holds a professional Trainers qualification.
His most memorable performance Cory was winning the British Open playing Titan’s Progress where his solo contribution played a significant part in securing the title that day.
Richard’s boyhood hero and most inspirational person in banding is James Shepherd. “I adored his technique and sound, each time I practiced I tried to emulate him. I also enjoy listening to the playing of Wynton Marsalis, Miles Davis and Louis Armstrong. Other influential people in my career have to be my parents, my very sympathetic wife Clare, Dr Robert Childs and also the late Cynan Jones who was an amazing teacher and confidant during my years at Cwmaman.”
Richard is a phenomenal player and a great role model to many, including players within the band. This makes him a great leader, and the best man to be in charge of our cornet section. His mellow cornet tone is distinctive and capturing and Richard is a great asset to Llwydcoed Band, not only as a player but also as a person – his humour really does put a smile on our faces!
When Richard isn’t in the band room he is working on his tan while chasing a little white ball around.
Principal Cornet – Andy Smith
Andrew grew up as a Salvation Army bandsman, under the tuition of his father – a fine cornet player and bandmaster at Cardiff Grangetown Corps. He has had a strong friendship with Llwydcoed Brass Band for many years, and joined the band on Principal Cornet prior to the band’s appearance at the National Finals in the Royal Albert Hall in 2021. In the past, Andrew has held the Principal Cornet seat in the Flowers Band for 10 years during one of their most successful periods. He has also enjoyed success in the Welsh Banding sphere prior to that with the Newbridge Celynen band for a number of years. As well as this, Andrew has enjoyed performing across the UK and abroad with various bands and as a soloist. Recently, he has also taken on the role of Llwydcoed Band Manager, and is looking forward to taking the band’s success to another level in the coming years.
Soprano Cornet – Tom King
Tom began playing Bb cornet at the age of 9 when his local band, Tewkesbury Town, advertised an open day. After a few flirtations with soprano in his mid teens, he finally switched to playing soprano almost exclusively from 18 years old. Joining Llwydcoed band in early 2022 on the back of a successful spell on soprano with Filton concert brass, including wins at Wychavon and the Welsh open, Tom hopes to contribute to the band’s enviable upward trajectory. Tom is proud to have been involved with the development of the Eclipse Soprano Cornet.
Bumper-Up – Grace Thomas
Grace was introduced to banding from an early age and started playing the cornet at the age of 4. She has played for many local senior and youth bands around Cornwall and joined St Dennis Senior Band on Principal Cornet in 2019. She is also a member of the Cornwall
Youth Brass Band, where she has been playing for 8 years.
Grace started studying at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in September 2020 under the teaching of Chris Turner, and hopes to develop and grow as a brass musician.
Front Row Cornet – Elisabeth Rogers
From a very early age, Elisabeth was introduced to brass banding with her late grandfather, Eifion Rogers, buying her a cornet when she was born. She began playing at the age of 7, being inspired by her family’s involvement in brass banding.
At the age of 8, Liz joined her family’s local brass band, Ammanford Town Silver Band, playing both cornet and flugelhorn. Working her way through the ranks, she gained the principal seat as the youngest ever principal cornet of the band, aged 14, which she held for 3 years.
To develop herself further as a musician, Liz currently plays front row cornet for Llwydcoed Band. She is also a current member of the National Youth Brass Band of Wales, and has been a member since the age of 11. She is also the current principal trumpet/cornet of Carmarthenshire Senior Ensembles and the 6 Counties ensembles.
Throughout the years she has developed her playing by helping out in various bands and being expertly tutored by Tony Small and Chris Turner. She is complemented for her distinctive tone and has recently been made a Young Ambassador for Geneva Instruments.
Elisabeth is currently in her first year of studying the cornet at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, where she will continue to develop her talent and grow as a brass musician.
Front Row Cornet – Dewi Kinsey
Dewi began playing at the age of 10 with Upper Rhondda Brass Band where he played flugelhorn for 8 years. He enjoyed playing for a number of local youth Brass Bands during this time.
In 2019 Dewi embarked on a career as a musician in the British Army. He served on Cornet for British Army Band Tidworth and is now the Principal Cornet for The Band of the Prince of Wales.
Dewi enjoyed some success whilst playing for Brunel Brass in 2020. He later played for Parc and Dare Brass Band after moving back to Wales.
Repiano – Erin Maloney
Erin first began playing the cornet at the age of 7, and has since played with Beaumaris Brass Band for 10 years – working her way up to Principal Cornet of the Youth and Senior Band. Erin enjoyed a trip to the Youth European Championships in Utrecht 2018, where Beaumaris Youth Band achieved 3rd place in the Development Section.
She is fortunate enough to be a member of the National Youth Brass Band of Wales since 2017. Erin started studying at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in September 2020 under the teaching of Tom Hutchinson, where she hopes to further grow as a musician over the next 4 years.
2nd Cornet – William Jones
Will (aged 19) grew up in Stroud, Gloucestershire and started learning to play the cornet with the Chalford Youth Band where he went on to become Principal Cornet. He also had a brief spell with Wotton Silver Band before moving on to A W Parker Drybrook Band, playing on the front row.
Will is currently studying at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama and is taught by Chris Turner.
2nd Cornet – Ian Johnson
Ian began playing cornet at the age of 7 in the Salvation Army in Merthyr with Howard Roberts. Then started having lessons in school with Howard Jones where he worked up to Grade 6 with merit. He has also played for Merthyr Tydfil Youth Orchestra and Big Band. He joined Llwydcoed band in 2005 on cornet and in 2010 he moved onto Soprano Cornet enjoying the successes of the past years as Llwydcoed progressed through the sections into the championship section. Ian’s tone and ability to play soft is second to none and has developed into a fine Soprano Cornet Player. Qualifying for the National Finals in 2020 is a dream come true and makes all the hard work worthwhile. Recently, Ian has made the move onto 2nd cornet, and is looking forward to undertaking a different challenge.
3rd Cornet – Coming soon…
3rd Cornet – Terry Duckstein
Terry learnt to play the cornet at the age of 6 in the junior band of Cardiff Cathays Salvation Army. He then progressed into the senior band. Terry attended numerous South Wales Divisional music schools and joined the Treharris Salvation Army band in 1990.
After approx 10 years out of banding, Terry joined us at Llwydcoed Band in 2009. His first contest was the SEWBBA contest held in Ebbw Vale Lesiure Centre. The band played Variations on Laudate Dominum by Gregson, under the direction of Carl Saunders.
Terry is a kind soul who does a lot of work for the band behind the scenes. He’s a great bandsman with great commitment and holds the best property for playing in a band – a passion for music. He enjoys being a member of Llwydcoed, and we enjoy having him.