26. Cory Band
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The Cory Band were formed in 1884 and originally bore the name ‘Ton Temperance’. In 1895 Sir Clifford Cory, Chairman of Cory Brothers heard the band and offered to provide financial assistance for them resulting in the band’s change of name to ‘Cory’.
In 1920 the band gained championship status and three years later achieved the distinction of performing what is believed to have been the first radio broadcast by a brass band. A significant honour was bestowed on the band in 1976 when they were chosen to represent Wales and the Brass Band Movement on a tour of the USA as part of their bicentennial celebrations.
In 1998 Just Rentals, a locally based company, agreed to support the band, resulting in it being known as the 'Just Rentals' Cory Band. Just Rentals changed their name to Buy As You View to reflect developments in their business and with this the band became known as the 'Buy As You View' Cory Band. In 2007, the band once again became known as The Cory Band. In 1980 the band became European Champions and in1984, their centenary year, they won the third in a hat-trick of National titles at the Royal Albert Hall, London.
The culmination of their contest successes came in 2000 following the appointment of Dr. Robert Childs as their Musical Director. During that millennium year they won both the British Open and the National Championships and made history in taking the British Open Shield home to Wales for the first time in the contest’s 148-year history. This triumph was repeated in 2002 and again in 2007 when the band won their third British Open title. In 2008, the band won the European Brass Band Championships in Stavanger, Norway.
The Cory Band has also developed musically outside of the contest field. In 2001, together with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales they were appointed as resident ensemble to the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, and in the same year appointed Dr John Pickard as their 'Composer in Residence'. John Pickard’s tenure with the band ended in July 2005 when the band made history giving the première performance of his Gaia Symphony at the prestigious Cheltenham International Festival. The Symphony was broadcast live on Radio 3, and lasting over an hour in duration, it is currently the largest scale original work in the repertory.
The band is dedicated to new music, raising the profile of the brass band genre and keeping music alive in Wales. They have an active commissioning policy and have performed works by my many of Britain’s leading composers; John McCabe, Judith Bingham, Elgar Howarth, Edward Gregson, Alun Hoddinott, Karl Jenkins, Gareth Wood, David Bedford, as well as John Pickard to name but a few. The band’s current ‘Composer in Residence’ is Welshman Gareth Wood.
In 2002 the band were selected to play for the Queen’s Jubilee celebrations and have since performed in many of the world’s finest concert venues including the Grieg Hall, Stravinsky Hall, the Royal Albert Hall and Birmingham’s Symphony Hall. In 2003 they performed with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra at the Last Night of the Welsh Proms and were more recently featured during the opening celebrations of the new Welsh Millennium Centre.
The Cory Band are recognised as one the Principality’s finest and most innovative music ensembles. Their numerous CD recordings and live concert performances have received worldwide acclaim.
To find out more about the Cory Band and about their concert schedule visit www.coryband.com
Blue Plaque Unveiling
The Blue Plaque is placed on the rear of the Post office in Ton Pentre, where the band currently practice.
It was unveiled at a concert in St Peter's Church, Pentre on 28 November 2009 by Mayor of Rhondda Cynon Taf, Cllr. Robert Smith. The Band were able to show the plaque next day at a gala concert in Brangwyn hall, Swansea to celebrate their 125th anniversary.