A PREMIERE performance of a new piece of music by an award-winning Welsh composer will feature in a concert by Abergavenny Symphony Orchestra this week.

The Orchestra, first formed 1886, is one of the oldest amateur orchestras in the UK. Principal trombonist, Iestyn Harding is also an accomplished composer and his latest work, the RS Thomas-inspired Song at the Year’s Turning, will be receiving its première at

Our Lady & St Michael’s RC Church, Abergavenny, on Sunday, November 20.

The orchestra has appointed Michael Bell MBE as music director; he is also conductor of the Cardiff Philharmonic Orchestra, Brecknock Sinfonia and Hereford Symphony Orchestra. During the pandemic, the orchestra managed to keep active, first of all by recording individual parts at home which were assembled into a complete piece, then when outdoor gatherings were permitted by meeting in the Pen-y-Pound football stadium to play through full-scale symphonic works.

Librettist and past president, David Fraser told the Chronicle, ‘This year marks the 150th anniversary of the birth of Ralph Vaughan Williams, so our next concert will include two of his works, the ever-popular Lark Ascending, with Gillian Bradley as violin soloist, and the wonderfully serene and other-worldly Fifth Symphony, written in the darkest days of World War II. Speaking of the new work, David stated, ‘Iestyn’s music is tremendous fun, and a tremendous challenge for us to play - he knows our strengths, and our weaknesses only too well and enjoys stretching our technique to the limits.

The performance begins at 2.30pm and tickets are available online via https://abergavennysymph.org.uk/.