On 14 March, members of Cory Band attended the prestigious ceremony to award the Freedom of the Borough of Rhondda to the band – the highest honour which the local community can bestow. Following Cory’s record-breaking year in 2016 during which it won an unprecedented brass band quadruple, the band was nominated and accepted for this award, which is only rarely presented. At a ceremony which also recognised many local champions, as well as Rhondda-born Paralympic Swimmer David Roberts OBE, nine members of Cory Band appeared on stage to accept the award, as well as play some pieces which added a distinct flavour to the event, held at the Coliseum Theatre in Aberdare and presented by the BBC’s Beverley Humphries.
At the culmination of the ceremony, Musical Director Philip Harper was presented with a casket containing an official scroll, and Gwyn and Helen Thomas, who have been associated with Cory Band for five decades, received a framed certificate and a bunch of Flowers from The Mayor of Rhondda Cynon Taf, Cllr Rhys Lewis. After Philip Harper made a brief acceptance speech there was just time for a quick trot through the Finale of the William Tell Overture before proceedings were completed.
The band is extremely honoured to have received this award and will display the casket and certificate very prominently in its Cwmparc rehearsal base. We would all like to thank everyone at Rhondda Cynon Taf Council for this marvellous recognition for what Cory Band has achieved over its long history in the Rhondda.