THE FIRST concert band in Wales made up of armed forces veterans and serving personnel is to begin rehearsals on Sunday.
So far veterans from the Welsh Guards and other infantry regiments as well the RAF and the Marines have joined Veterans Concert Band Wales. They aim to raise funds for Welsh veterans’ charities and hope to perform at Armed Forces Day in Cardiff in June.
“We need to get a veterans’ band up and running in Wales so we can help out our veterans, our boys need some support. The aim is to produce good music, get lots of people involved and help our veterans,” said band secretary Philip Loveday, 62, formerly of the Royal Highland Fusiliers.
The idea for a Welsh veterans’ band came when Mr Loveday was asked to play with the Fusiliers veterans’ band during a regimental reunion in Glasgow and he realised that Wales didn’t have one of its own.
Mr Loveday, who served in Northern Ireland and Iraq, plays trombone and euphonium. “I’m chuffed to say that enough people have shown interest to make this viable. The real proof of the pudding will be our first rehearsal when we‘ll see how many come along,” he said.
The band was formed at a meeting last October with veterans Philip Loveday, Malcom Jones, Howard Wayne Loveday and Craig Roberts. They put a call out for members to join them in November.
Mr Howard Wayne Loveday said: “The response we have had so far has been truly fantastic. Not only from veteran musicians in Wales, but also from those in England and other parts of the country. We have had offers of music from ex-military bands that have been disbanded in Australia, Canada. We have also had interest shown and well wishes from members of the public.”