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The Loughor Excelsior Brass Band was formed under the baton of William Dennis in 1873. Very little is known of those early years but the Band would have featured prominently in the entertainment of the villagers and at ceremonial function, funerals, parades and concerts.
A balance sheet dated 31st December 1902 mentions the purchase of new silver plated instruments for £318 from Messrs. Boosey and Co. of Regent Street, London. The amount had to be paid in full within three years. In the Summer of 1903 under the Baton of Mr Bleddyn Dennis, the Band earned the title of ‘Silver Band Prize Winners’, competing at Llanelli. The Loughor players were winners of the prestigious Challenge Shield of the West Wales Association. This shield still exists today and is housed at the Burry Post Town Hall.
Each Summer at the Loughor regatta, much as today, the Band was always present to provide suitable music.
With the outbreak of the war in Europe in 1914 Bleddyn Dennis saw most of his band volunteer to serve in Welsh Regiments, whilst he became the conductor of the Swansea Police Band, later leaving for New Zealand. By 1918 so few of the Band’s young men had survived the trenches that enthusiasm waned and the Band ceased to exist. On 31st May 2010 ‘Loughor Town Band’ played at the Menin Gate ‘Last Post’ ceremony in Ypres, Belgium and laid a wreath in memory of Loughor’s original, prize-winning band.
The modern, Loughor Town Band was formed in 1995 under the leadership of Mr Haydn Evans. The link to William Dennis who formed the original band however still remained with our President, Mr Gordon Dennis, William’s grandson. - who, sadly passed away in 2017. However, Gordon's daughters are still in touch with Loughor Town Band and have donated a Shield, to be presented in his memory.
The baton was taken over in 2011 by Mr. Brian Cousins JP. Who, following a period of great success and a memorable tour to Paris, stepped aside and the stick was passed on to Mr Ivan Butcher who has spent most of his life in brass band circles. Ivan remained in charge until October 2016 when Ruth Bennett took over the lead role. Ruth has been a member of the Band since she was 9 years old. She left briefly to study music at Bangor University and on her return she rejoined as our principal cornet player. Ruth was instrumental in forming our training band then took over as Musical Director after last years annual concert. Ruth is now a qualified Teacher and has moved on. However, we are very fortunate to have Mr John Butler who was acting MD but since the autumn of 2017 has taken on the full Musical Directorship. John is a retired Music Teacher and has recently stepped down from his role as Musical Director of the South Wales Police Band, where he served for 8 years. He remains a Volunteer with the Police as a player and valuable support to the new MD. Loughor Town Band continues to have strong links with the South Wales Police Band and currently 10 of our players are Police Volunteers.
The Band does not compete on a regular basis but it has from time to time, entered the National Eisteddfod where it has had relative success, with three third and a forth place being recorded.
Over it’s 24 years the Band has taken part in many fund raising events and has helped raise many thousands of pounds for various charities including Children in Need, Cancer Care, the Salvation Army, the Neo Natal Unit at Singleton, Magies, Alzimers charities, the Autistic Society and the Welsh Air Ambulance.
Recent highlights have been playing at the ‘Olympic Torch’ concert at Castle Gardens, Swansea. A parade through Swansea, with Father Christmas and of course, the recent tour to Paris where we played concerts at the Luxemburg Gardens and at the Notre Dame Cathedral.