- Cory Band
The Cory Band, formerly the Buy As You View Band, is one of the oldest and best known brass bands in the world.
History and origins
The Cory Band hails from the Rhondda Valley in Wales. They were formed in 1884 and originally bore the name ‘Ton Temperance’ a reference to the Temperance movement in the South Wales Valleys of the time. 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 bi-centennial 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 2004 Cory was removed from the band's name in appreciation of the continued support from their current sponsor and for a period the band was known simply as the Buy As You View Band.
Titles and honours
In 1980, the band became European Champions and in 1984, their centenary year, they won the third in a hat-trick of National titles at the Royal Albert Hall. 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, 2007,2009 and 2011 when the band won their second, third, fourth and fifth British Open titles. In 2008 the Cory Band also won the European Championships in Stavanger, retained their title in 2009 in Oostende and completed a hat-trick in 2010 in Linz, Austria. In 2009 the Cory band won the World Championships in Kerkrade a title they will hold for 4 years.
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 BBC Radio 3. 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 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. The band’s current Composer in Residence is Welshman, Gareth Wood.
In 2002 the band were selected to play for the Queen’s Golden 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 Symphony Hall, Birmingham. In 2003, they performed with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra at the Last Night of the Welsh Proms and were more featured during the opening celebrations of the new Wales Millennium Centre.
The Cory Band are recognised as one of Wales’ finest and most innovative music ensembles. Their numerous CD recordings and live concert performances have received worldwide acclaim. Having dominated in Wales for the last five years, 2005 saw the Cory Band officially ranked number 1 in the World (according to 4barsrest World rankings ).
In 2007, following the end of the term of sponsorship from the Buy As You View company, the name of the band reverted to Cory Band.
In September 2007, the band became British Open champions for the third time and returned to no 1 in the World rankings.
In May 2008, the band became European Brass Band Champions following two days of competition in Stavanger, Norway.
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