Solo Trombone – Ioan Jones
Ioan grew up in Cwmgors, a small village in South Wales. He started playing the trombone aged 7 in his primary school under the tuition of Wayne Pedrick. Ioan was a member in a successful ensemble with his primary school coming 1st, 2nd and 3rd in different years at the Eisteddfod yr Urdd. He then starting attending the West Glamorgan Youth Brass Band where he had the opportunity to play in many venues such as the Birmingham Symphony Hall, Menin Gate in Belgium and Lake Garda in Italy. Ioan began having lessons with Jeff Pearce who taught him from age 12-18. Aged 14, Ioan joined Cwmtawe Brass, playing at many contests and attended the National Finals with the band, achieving 3rd place in 2018.
During this time, Ioan achieved a distinction at Grade 8 Trombone; became the principal trombone of the Six Counties Brass Band and played in the National Youth Brass Band of Wales of which he is still a member. Ioan has accepted an offer to study the trombone at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama and is now taught by Donal Bannister, where he will develop as a musician over the next 4 years of his degree.
2nd Trombone – Adam George
Adam started playing the Euphonium under the tuition of Tony Small whilst attending Penlan Comprehensive School, achieving the level of Grade 6. He then attended Swansea College where he took up the task of learning to play the Trombone, under the tuition of Andrew George (no relation) and Keith Rees, successfully passing his Grade 7 with Merit on Trombone.
His banding career started with Pontardulais Town Band under the baton of Mr Brian Buckley, where he played 2nd Trombone. He then moved onto Penclawdd Brass Band under Tony Small, also playing 2nd Trombone.
He then took a sabbatical from competitive banding but was an ever present member of the West Glamorgan Youth Musical services playing in their successful Brass Band, Wind Band, Big Band and Symphony Orchestra ensembles. At this time, Adam was successful in gaining a place on trombone with the National Youth Brass Band of Wales and National Youth Big Band of Wales where he undertook two courses.
After a friends 21st birthday at the Pontardulais Bandroom he was asked to re-join on Solo Baritone, where he attended the National Finals in Harrogate and Leeds.
After 8 years with Pontardulais, he left to play Solo Trombone with Briton Ferry Silver Band. After 4 years with Briton Ferry and numerous successful lower section titles, in 2016 he qualified for the National Finals and achieved the 2nd section Welsh League title for 2016.
He joined Llwydcoed Brass Band in December 2016 and is enjoying playing at a challenging level and competing in the Grand Shield and English Masters.
Favourite Test Piece – Year of the Dragon (but Triumph of Time is up there).
Bass Trombone – Claire Higgins
Originally from Prestatyn, at 11 years old, Claire started learning to play the trombone in Rhyl Silver Youth Band. Her first senior band contest was the 3rd Section National Finals in Cardiff in 1996. Due to being in five other ensembles and doing her A-levels, Claire left the band after the National Finals in Nottingham in 1999. Claire was receiving tuition from Paul Hughes during this time, and achieved her Grade 8 Bass Trombone with a distinction.
Claire was in her final year at Cardiff University when her tutor Nye James gave her the phone number of Alan Bourne for something to do after uni. In 2003 Claire joined the RAF St Athan voluntary band initially as a utility player playing Baritone, Eb Bass then shuffling up and down the trombone line, settling where she belongs, on Bass Trombone. Over the next 15 years, Claire performed at two National Finals, did a couple of tours, hundreds of engagements and even a March down the Mall, culminating in a champagne reception in Buckingham Palace.
As a true bandsperson, Claire is willing to help out other bands on occasions, but this left her feeling musically frustrated. Needing to scratch that itch, Claire joined BTM brass band in September 2018 having a successful (COVID interrupted) period, once again performing at the National Finals in Cheltenham. Claire left BTM due to a change in personal circumstance and is looking forward to joining Llwydcoed on its musical journey.