There has been yet another different musical accent heard during Tredegar rehearsals over the last week or so - with the band enjoying the company and playing of Gauthier Sottas from Switzerland.
The 20 year old plays solo baritone with Brass Band Fribourg, one of Switzerland’s finest top flight bands, and has been in Wales enjoying a two month stay to help with his English language studies.
He has been living with family in Llandaff in Cardiff and thanks to Dr Robert Childs at the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama, he has also been able to enjoy a wide variety of brass band performance opportunities – including playing with Woodfalls led by Dr Childs, at the Grand Shield contest in Blackpool, and rehearsals with the likes of Flowers, Tongwynlais, City of Cardiff and Newport.
And with Tredegar’s baritone player Jon Bound currently working in Hong Kong, Gauthier, who has played with his own band for the past four years, has enjoyed the opportunity to make the trip up the Sirhowy Valley for rehearsals and concerts.
I came over to improve my English - although the players told me I’ve started to sound a bit Welsh! I’ve had a great time and hope to come back again in the future. I am a big fan of the band now! - Gauthier Sottas
“It has been great,” he said. “Everyone in Wales is very friendly and thanks to Dr Childs I’ve had a great time meeting new friends and playing in different bands. Tredegar is fantastic - and I’ve really enjoyed the concerts and rehearsals.”
He added: “I came over to improve my English - although the players told me I’ve started to sound a bit Welsh! I’ve had a great time and hope to come back again in the future. I am a big fan of the band now!”
MD Ian Porthouse added: “We have a well known ‘open door’ policy at Tredegar - one that welcomes visitors and players at any time. We are very lucky to have been able to link up with Gauthier, and I have to thank Bob Childs for pointing him in our direction.
He is a very fine young player and someone everyone has enjoyed linking up with. I’m told his Welsh accent is getting stronger too, so he has fitted in perfectly!”