Parc & Dare Band
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The Parc & Dare Band has worked with a host of famous names over the last one hundred and ten years. Below is a brief outline of some of the most notable conductors which the band is proud to have been associated with.


Martyn Ford

Martyn Ford is a conductor with an international reputation, having conducted major symphony orchestras on three continents. He is as much at home conducting the symphonic repertoire, as he is popular classics, "Last Night Of The Proms", Viennese Concerts, Opera, Light or Grand and Classic Rock. He is as likely to be found working in a concert hall as outdoors, in a theatre conducting musicals as in the studios, where he records music for advertising, film and television sound-tracks as a conductor of London's premier commercial session orchestras.

As an arranger, conductor and record producer, Martyn has worked with some of the World's greatest rock artists including The Rolling Stones, Sir Elton John, Sir Paul McCartney, Phil Collins, Bryan Ferry, Sir Cliff Richard, The Who, Lou Reed, Marc Bolan, Bob Marley, Kate Bush, Led Zeppelin, Toto, Harry Nilsson, The Grateful Dead, Johnny Nash, Barclay James Harvest, and with Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber and Sir Tim Rice on the original "Jesus Christ Superstar" album.


Gareth Pritchard

Gareth Pritchard was born in the mining village of Ynyshir in the Rhondda Valley, South Wales. Began playing Cornet in the local Colliery Band in 1964 and by 1966 was the "under 12" Solo Champion of Wales. He studied Cornet with David Thomas (ex Principal Cornet of the Stanshawe [Sun Life] Band) and Ieuan Morgan MBE, OBE (ex Conductor of Parc & Dare and Upper Rhondda School Bands).

He entered Trinity College of Music, London in 1974 to study Trumpet with Norman Burgess (Principal Trumpet of the BBC Concert Orchestra), Composition with Vera Ayton and Conducting with Bernard Keefe attaining LTCL (Teacher's Diploma) by the 3rd year and being admitted a Fellow of the College FTCL at the end of the 4th year.

Gareth has played Principal Cornet for Parc & Dare, Fairey Engineering, Brodsworth Colliery and GUS/Rigid Containers Bands winning Granada Band of the Year in 1979 and the British Open in 1979 and 1988. He has come under the influence of many eminent Conductors such as Dennis Carr, Walter Hargreaves, Harry Mortimer, Roy Newsome, Major Peter Parkes and Bram Tovey. Gareth was Cornet Solo Champion of Great Britain in both 1977 and 1979, and has performed regularly as a soloist all over the world and on many radio broadcasts and Recordings.

In 1991 Gareth moved to Norway as a "full time" Freelance Musician, and has conducted a band to 1st prize at the National Finals there on an unprecedented 4 occasions in 3 different divisions (including the Championship Section with Sandefjord Brass Symposium in 1998) in only 7 attempts. He also won SIDDIS Brass (the Norwegian "Brass in Concert") with Sandefjord using 3 of his pieces in their programme.

He is also regularly invited to conduct other Norwegian Championship Section Brass Bands and Professional Military Bands. He has also been Musical Advisor and Conductor of the Telemark Wind Orchestra and Telemark Summer School since 1996, and regularly visits Norway as a Guest Conductor.

His arrangements and compositions are extensively played in the UK, Norway and New Zealand and have also been recorded by Brass and Military Bands in the UK and Norway.

Since returning to the UK, in addition to Guest Conducting bands such as YBS and Grimethorpe, he has been Professional Conductor for Besses o' th' Barn, Bodmin Town and BTM Bands and also Musical Director for East Yorkshire Motor Services Band.

Since 2006, he has been the Musical Director of both Tongwynlais Temperance and Lewis Merthyr Bands. In 2008, Gareth left Tongwynlais and accepted the position of Principal Conductor & Musical Advisor of the St. Austell Band, in Cornwall. In addition, later that year, he also agreed to help with the rebuilding of his old band Parc & Dare by becoming their Musical Director.

Gareth is in regular demand as an adjudicator at home and abroad and is a member of the Association of Brass Band Adjudicators.


Craig Roberts BA(Hons) MA(Music)

Craig, a former baritone player with the band,studied at the University of Salford. Craig has conducted at a wide variety of major international events including the Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo (Halifax, Canada), the Virginia International Tattoo (Norfolk, Virginia, USA), Breda Nationale Taptoe (Netherlands) and the Hamburg Polizei Show (Germany). Craig, had been musical director of the Parc and Dare band for around ten years during which time the band perdormed in numerous competitions including an appearance at the Royal Albert Hall in 2006.


Richard Evans

Richard Evans is one of the most colourful and flamboyant conductors in the brass band world. The undisputed King of the Entertainments Contest, Richard has won the prestigious Brass In Concert title no less than eight times (1989, 1991, 1992, 1997 with Leyland, 2004, 2005 with Grimethorpe and 2006, 2007 with Brighouse & Rastrick), a record unsurpassed by any other conductor.

Richard conducted Parc & Dare at the recent South Wales Miners Eisteddfod Entertainments Contest at the Grand Pavilion, Porthcawl on Saturday February 17th 2007 where the band took home to the Rhondda Second Prize and the prestigious Tower Colliery Cup.

Parc & Dare look forward to working closely with Richard again throughout the coming year and beyond.



Major Peter Parkes LRAM, ARCM, PSM (HONS)

Peter Parkes is one of the most successful band conductors of all time. Former Director of Music of the Band of Her Majesty's Grenadier Guards, Major Parkes has been associated with numerous top Championship Section bands including Grimethorpe, Williams Fairey, Desford and of course Black Dyke. He made his debut appearance at the National Finals in 1975 with a victory directing the John Foster Black Dyke Mills Band, who went on to achieve a hat trick of wins in the contest under his baton in successive years - the first two victories by a three point margin, and the third by a clear five points.

Since that time the Major has won the title a further six times, the last being with Williams Fairey in 1993. In his 26 appearances to date he has notched up 7 wins, 7 runners up, 2 third prizes and 4 sixth prizes.

Major Parkes directed Parc & Dare in their performance of the Berlioz overture Les Franc Juges (Judges of the Secret Court) at the Finals of the 2006 National Championships of Great Britain, held at the Royal Albert Hall, London.



Dr. Roy Newsome PhD BMus FRCO ARCM

Dr Roy Newsome is very well known throughout the Brass Band world as a conductor, adjudicator, teacher, and ex presenter of BBC Radio 2’s Listen to the Band. He has adjudicated at virtually every major brass band contest throughout the world, and frequently travels abroad conducting and lecturing on all subjects relating to the brass band movement.

With almost 100 published compositions and arrangements to his credit, Dr Newsome is also a prolific writer. His Concerto for Piano and Band received its first performance at the Royal Albert Hall.

Dr Newsome was the Musical Director of the National Youth Band of Great Britain from 1984 – 2000, and for a number of years Head of Brass Studies on the BA and Graduate Diploma courses in Band Musicianship at the University of Salford. In 1989 he was the recipient of the University’s Honorary Graduate Diploma. Dr. Newsome was awarded the Silver Medal of the Worshipful Company of Musicians in 1976, for his ‘services to the brass band movement.

In July 1999 he graduated as a Doctor of Philosophy, becoming the first person to receive a doctorate for research into brass band history at Salford University, and in May 2000 Dr Newsome received the coveted ‘Masters Dedicated Service Award.'

Also President of the N.A.B.B.C. (National Association of Brass Band Conductors) Dr. Newsome conducted Parc & Dare at the first Welsh Brass Arts Festival in 2001, the premiere performance of his own arrangement of the "Witches Sabbath" from Berlioz' "Symphonie Fantastique". Dr. Newsome went on to direct the massed bands of Parc & Dare and Leyland in a second premiere performance, his "Highlights from Carmina Burana" which was also commissioned for the 2001 Welsh Brass Arts Festival by the Parc & Dare Band


Nigel Seaman, ARMCM ARNCM

Nigel Seaman was born in Denbigh, North Wales. He studied at the Royal Manchester and Royal Northern Colleges of Music, and in 1975 moved to South Wales to join the Orchestra of the Welsh National Opera as principal tuba. In 1977 he moved to his present post as principal tuba with the B.B.C. National Orchestra of Wales based in Cardiff. Nigel is also pursuing a teaching career as tutor of euphonium and tuba at the Welsh College of Music and Drama, and also as private tutor for specialists in brass studies.

In the brass band world he has been associated with many bands in and around the South Wales area including Tredegar Town, Cory, Lewis Merthyr and Flowers.

Nigel last conducted Parc & Dare at the Welsh Regional Championships in 2003 but has been involved with the band for many years, conducting them at numerous Spring Belle Vue contests and the many local competitions that make up the Welsh league.


James Watson and Trevor Herbert

James Watson with Trevor Herbert in the Parc & Dare Bandroom (1983)


                         James Watson

James at the York Gate Collections of the Royal Academy of Music where is now Head of Brass

James Watson FRAM

Born into an all musical Leicestershire family, James Watson began playing the cornet with the Desford Colliery Band. By the time he was eleven years old he had become principal cornet at Desford. For three years in succession in the late 1960's he was the Junior Solo Champion of Great Britain and in 1966 he achieved the unique double by winning the senior title in the same year at only fourteen years of age!

After studying at the Royal Academy of Music, he was appointed Principal Trumpet of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra by Rudolf Kempe. James later held the same position with the London Sinfonietta and the Nash Ensemble. After five years with the R.P.O. he left to concentrate on playing solo and chamber music, most notably leading the legendary Philip Jones Brass Ensemble. From 1983 to 1990 James was the Principal Trumpet at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden.

He is currently Professor of Trumpet and Head of Brass at the Royal Academy of Music and in 1989 the Academy honoured him with a fellowship. He is particularly active in film and television and has recorded with pop legends Elton John, Paul McCartney and Peter Gabriel.

James Watson was until recently the Artistic Director of Black Dyke Band (1992-2000) and Principal Conductor of the National Youth Brass Band of Wales for six years. He is currently Artistic Director of the National Youth Symphonic Brass Wales and Vice-President of the National Youth Wind Orchestra of Great Britain. In 1996 he was awarded the Iles Medal by the Worshipful Company of Musicians for services to brass music.

James has had a long and fruitful association with the Parc & Dare Band. The band were the first band to be conducted by James at the National Brass Band Championships in the Royal Albert Hall. James last directed the band in 1993 at the centenary concert in the Park + Dare Theatre, but returned to the theatre in 2001 to perform with the Parc & Dare Band as the first guest soloist of the Welsh Brass Arts Festival in the premiere performance of Andrew Powell's 'Concerto Melyncoch'.


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Nigel Taken

Nigel studied trumpet at the Coventry school of music and later at the London College of Music under trumpet professor Dennis Eagan. Before moving to London, Nigel's banding experience began with the City Of Coventry Band as their flugel horn soloist at the age of 15, playing regularly with Harry Mortimer's 'Men of Brass' and 'All Star Brass'.

He has worked extensively with many brass bands in a professional capacity and is currently professional conductor of both the Aveley and Newham band and the City of Oxford Band.

Nigel works as a music teacher and head of brass at Goffs school in Hertfordshire. He is in great demand as a band trainer and conductor and has achieved success at the very highest level. Nigel last worked with the band in 1997.


Derek Broadbent

Derek Broadbent

A professional conductor and arranger Derek conducted Parc & Dare at the Grand Shield contest at the Bolton Albert Halls in 1998. Derek has conducted bands all over the globe with much of is time now being devoted to youth.

Derek was perhaps most famously conductor of Brighouse and Rastrick spending ten years with the band in the seventies and early eighties. With Brighouse he enjoyed enormous success conducting them to a premier place in the National Championships in 1980 and was also responsible for their chart topping success of "The Floral Dance".

Derek was also conductor of the Black Dyke Mills Band, playing an integral part in their 1985 'Grand Slam', and Associate Professional Conductor with the Williams Fairey Band who also won every major title in the years 1993/1994.

In addition to all this Derek is also Music Editor for Wright & Round Ltd. In the same year he conducted Parc & Dare Derek was awarded the prestigious Iles Medal from the Worshipful Company of Musicians for his services to brass music and youth education.



Richard Adams

Born in 1962 in Derbyshire, Richard began playing the cornet with local brass bands at the age of seven. He took up the trumpet as a student at the Birmingham School of Music.

At the BSM, he won several competitions and awards, including the Alfred Corfield Trumpet Prize and the Birmingham & Midland Institute Brass Prize, he was also awarded the Silver Medal of the Worshipful Company of Musicians. Richard is currently Head of Music at the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts in Singapore.

Contact Richard Adams


           Jeremy Wise

Jeremy Wise

Former Musical Director of a number of bands including First City, Hendon, Just Rentals (Cory) and resident conductor of the Brighouse & Rastrick Band, Jeremy conducted Parc & Dare at the Welsh Regional Championships, Grand Shield and BBC Radio Wales Band of the Year contests in 1996.


P&D with Ian Holmes

Ian Holmes

Born in Bristol Ian began his musical education at the age of 5, studying piano at the Garjulo School of Music. He later took up the tuba and received tuition from many of the country's finest tuba players including John Fletcher, Patrick Harrild and John Jenkins. He attended the University of York and graduated with an honours degree in music in 1983. Ian was subsequently offered scholarships to attend the Banff Center of Fine Arts in Canada and the Royal College of Music, London, for a two year postgraduate course to study tuba, conducting and piano accompaniment.

Since leaving full-time education, Ian has pursued a varied musical career as a conductor, performer and teacher. He was the Professional Conductor of Parc and Dare in 1995, the year in which the band won the BBC Radio Wales Band of the Year contest.

Ian has also Musical Director of the City of Hull Youth Symphony Orchestra, appeared as guest conductor with the Sun Life Band and was former Resident Conductor of Buy As You View Cory Band.

He has played tuba with the London Brass Virtuosi, Wilbraham Brass Soloists, Sun Life Band and many freelance orchestras; he has also appeared as piano accompanist to the Childs Brothers and been an examiner for the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.

Ian worked at Clifton College as Assistant Director of Music and Head of Brass and was Director of Music at Colston's Collegiate School in Bristol. In addition to freelancing as a conductor and pianist, Ian is currently a Lecturer in Music at the University of the West of England.


                               John Hinckley

John Hinkley

Formerly flugel horn player with the Brighouse & Rastrick Band, John is now a successful conductor working with a number of bands both in the U.K. and in Europe. Currently Musical Director of the Carlton Main Frickley Colliery Band based in Yorkshire, John conducted Parc & Dare at the Grand Shield contest held at the Free Trade Hall, Manchester in 1995.


                           Bryan Hurdley

Brian Hurdley

Born in Ironbridge, Shropshire, Brian won a scholarship to the Birmingham Conservatoire where he studied Trombone and Euphonium with Dennis Wick and Conducting with Adrian Leaper. A founder member of the English Tuba Consort, Bryan has travelled widely including most of Europe, Scandinavia, New Zealand and the USA.

He has an impressive list of recordings for Radio & Television, numerous CDs to his credit and as a Tenor Tuba player has worked with most of the countries finest orchestras including The Philharmonia, The Royal Philharmonic and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra.

Over recent years, Bryan has enjoyed an increasing reputation as one of the finest conductors and band trainers of his generation with particular speciality in the contemporary repertoire. He has conducted many  famous bands including Black Dyke, Grimethorpe, Desford and Parc & Dare.

In January 1989, Bryan was appointed Musical Director to the Sunlife Band, a position he held with distinction until his appointment in June 1995 as Resident Conductor of the Williams Fairey Band. 1998 took him to Cornwall with the appointment as Music Director to the Mount Charles. In 2000 Brian moved took up the appointment of Resident Conductor with Fodens Courtois Band.


                     Nick Hudson and Nigel Weeks

Nigel Weeks

Formerly associated, very successfully, with a number of Welsh bands including Northop, Tredegar and Parc & Dare Nigel emigrated to the southern hemisphere in the mid nineties and is currently Musical Director of Auckland Brass and the National Youth Brass Band of New Zealand.

Nigel is pictured here in Auckland with trombone soloist Nick Hudson


Rob Wiffin


Rob Wiffin

Wing Commander Rob Wiffin began his musical career as a trombonist, playing with the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain before entering the Royal College of Music. On leaving college he joined the Royal Air Force Music Services. Rob has now recently retired as Principal Director of Music of Royal Air Force Music Services.


Lawrence Harries and the Band

Lawrence Harries BA (Hons)

Paul Cosh


Paul started playing the cornet in the local brass band in Sherborne, Dorset and from there went on to study the trumpet at the Royal Academy of Music with William Overton. Upon leaving the Royal Academy, Paul developed a highly successful freelance career that took him into every field of musical activity, most notably numerous recordings with some of our foremost rock and pop artists, music for television and films and regular appearances with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Philharmonia and London Symphony Orchestra. Since 1987 Paul has been a member of the BBC Symphony Orchestra.

As well as his work as a professional trumpet player, Paul is a Professor at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama where he also directs the Guildhall Brass Band. The Brass Band world has always been one in which Paul has been closely involved throughout his musical life. He has conducted in preparation for contests, broadcasts and recordings many bands including Desford Colliery, Parc and Dare, Kirkintillock, Sun Life and Wingates.


Mjr Arthur Kenny and Cory

Major Arthur Kenny

Seen here on the stage of the Albert Hall in front of the Cory band, Major Kenny was one of the great Welsh brass band conductors of all time. In the 1970's the Major led Cory to their infamous "hat-trick" of National Championship wins at the Royal Albert Hall, London.

             David 'Dai' James

David James

A professional trumpet player and well known and much loved brass band personality, David conducted the band on Diversions (or 'Dai's versions' as it became known) at the National Brass Band Championships at the Royal Albert Hall, London. David has conducted many of the country's top bands including the famous Grimethorpe Colliery Band.

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Denzil Stephens

Denzil started his musical career in Black Dyke Mills band in 1944 playing solo euphonium until National Service in 1950 found him playing solo euphonium in the Central Band of the Royal Air Force. It was not long before he was selected for the Bandmaster's course, and after three years of studies, which included obtaining diplomas at the Royal College and Royal Academy of Music for bandmastership, there followed several years with RAF bands as a Director of Music. Denzil left the RAF in 1978 to return to brass bands, and in that year he was successful with Carlton Main Band in winning the Granada Band of the Year contest. In 1982 he lead the Cory band to the European Brass Band championship title.

(Link to Denzil Stephens / Sarnia Music)

Best Of Brass

Bram Gay

This photograph of Bram and the band was taken on the set of the BBC2 "Best of Brass" television programme. Formerly a very fine trumpet player and manager of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, Bram is now general editor of Novello music publishing.


Ray Farr

Pictured below with the band and Ieuan Morgan, Ray was educated at the Birmingham School of Music and the Royal Academy of Music. Following ten years as a professional musician with the BBC Radio Orchestra he began his career as a conductor. Ray has appeared in hundreds of concerts around the world in some of the finest concert venues including Sydney Opera House and the Royal Albert Hall and has gained a reputation as a stylish conductor and planner of interesting concert programmes.

(Link to Ray Farr Homepage)


Ray Farr, Ieun Morgan and the Band


Ieuan Morgan MBE

Long time conductor / teacher / mentor of the Parc & Dare Band, Ieuan is pictured above with the band and Ray Farr. This photograph was taken outside the Usher Hall in Edinburgh, just after the band had played at the European Brass Band Championships in 1984.

Ieuan started as an instrumentalist with the Parc & Dare Junior Band, and then joined the senior band where at seventeen he became principal euphonium player. He attended the Cardiff College of Music and Drama and studied euphonium under the renowned Aaron Trotman. He formed the famous Treorchy Secondary School Band in 1953 which later became the Treorchy Comprehensive School Band and which came to be regarded in band circles as one of the most successful school bands in Britain. This emphasis on young players had been the focal point of Ieuan's career in both the School Band and in Parc & Dare. When he started as conductor of Parc & Dare in 1965 he incorporated many of the school band into the senior band. The result was that the Parc & Dare Band was the youngest band competing in Section A.

During his twenty years as Musical Director the band won every major competition in Wales. They won the National Eisteddfod on many occasions, including a hat-trick of wins, 1976, 1977, and 1978, being the only band in Wales ever to have achieve this. Ieuan also conducted the band in hundreds of concerts, over 150 broadcasts, and many television appearances. In 1984 he was awarded the Iles Medal, presented by the worshipful Company of Musicians of the City of London. This medal is awarded annually to outstanding brass band musicians. Ieuan was only the second Welshman ever to be so honoured but his greatest honour came the following year when he attended a ceremony in Buckingham Palace to receive an M.B.E. for his services to brass music and youth education.



Walter Hargreaves

The 'wee professor' was perhaps the finest band trainer of his day working with bands such as Brighouse & Rastrick, Williams Fairey, Sun Life and of course Parc & Dare. Hargreaves will be remembered perhaps as much for his sense of fun as his skill as a conductor. Describing him as "a creative conductor with a nearly infallible instinct for the right thing in music; the right turn of phrase, the right balance, and above all perfect intonation", Bram Gay recalls that 'W.B.' "bubbled all the time".

"It was quite impossible to keep him in order. I remember the day at the Granada Festival when I reminded him, as I did all the competing conductors, that there was to be no applause before the band began to play. "Laddie," he said cheerfully, "wait and see!". Sun Life began it's programme without a conductor, on a seven-pace drum roll; and with the march in marched Walter, beaming widely. Applaud? The old Kings Hall nearly fell down!"

Harry Nutall

Harry Nuttall

In 1957 Harry Nuttall, a Cardiff man, repeated the unique result achieved by Parc & Dare in 1944 as he led them to victory in every contest they entered that year, including every competitive event open to Class A bands in Wales. Harry conducted the band until 1965 during which time the band were kept busy with numerous eisteddfodau, competitions, B.B.C. television appearances and concert engagements.


Fred Mortimer

Patriarch of the famous Mortimer family which dominated the halcyon days of brass bands, Fred was father to Alex, Rex and of course the legendary Harry Mortimer. Then Musical Director of the famous Fodens Motor Works Brass Band, Parc & Dare dare were fortunate to secure the services of the great man to work with the band in the early forties.

Haydn Bebb

Haydn Bebb

Haydn Bebb first conducted Parc & Dare in March 1931 where they were awarded second place at the Tonypandy Band Festival. He was then appointed full-time conductor of the band in 1935 and under his direction the band flourished, winning numerous prizes at various competitions throughout the country. The band's repertoire increased rapidly under Hayden's leadership and the band's record in the fifteen years he was conducting was a remarkable one. They appeared regularly in the Champion Band of Great Britain contest (sponsored by the Daily Herald) in which only the top twenty bands in the country competed, and in 1944 they won every contest entered which included every competition open to Class A bands in Wales.

Mr. Williams

A "Mr Williams of Clydach" is recorded as being the first bandmaster of the Parc & Dare Band and one of the first pieces they ever learned was an arrangement of a march by the bandmaster himself

For further information on the origins and complete history of the band see the History section of this website. If you have any further information or photographs concerning the Parc & Dare Band please contact Website Manager Mike Pickin

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