The Weekly Mail reported on the contest, which it said, ‘...excited widespread interest and a large attendance’.
The test piece was a ‘Grand Selection’ from ‘Il Giuramento’ by the Italian composer Saverio Mercadante arranged by Charles Godfrey, with a first prize of £40, consisting of £15 in cash and a patent compensating solo euphonium, worth £25, made and presented by Messrs Boosey & Co. The adjudicator was Mr. R. Stead of Manchester.
Tredegar was initially listed as being the 2nd V.B.S.W. Band (Tredegar), conducted by Mr T. Hardy, although a letter the following week in the same newspaper by a player from the band rectified this by stating that the band was in fact Tredegar Workmens.
The set work had previously been used at the British Open in 1883 and was a selection of highlights from a three act opera ‘Il Giuramento’ (The Oath) written by Mercadante and first performed at La Scala in Milan in 1837. After its initial success it faded in popularity but was revived in the 1950s. Its last full scale performance came 2002 at the Wexford Festival Opera.
The bands were drawn as follows:
1. Ystalyfera Temperance Band (Mr. C. A. Morgan)
2. Dowlais Town Band
3. 2nd V.B.S.W. Hand, Tredegar (Mr. T. Hardy)
4. 1st G.A.V. Band, Moriston (Mr. G. Hanney)
5. Blaina (Lancaster) Town Band (Mr. W. Lewis)
6. Abercanaid Brass Band (Mr. I. Jones)
7. Mountain Ash Volunteer (Mr. J. Jackson)
8. Fochriw Brass Band (Mr. W. Berry)
9. Llanelly Town Band (Mr. J. Samuel)
10. Bethany Temperance Band, Blaenavon (Mr. T. Grimes)
11. Ferndale Brass Band (Mr. R. Howe)
12. Treherbert Volunteer Band, 3d V.B.W. Regiment (Mr. J. G. Smith)
13. Merthyr Volunteer Baud (Mr. R. Jones)
14. Ysguborwen Temperance Band (Mr. J. Manley)
Not the biggest noise
The report went on to state: ‘The adjudicator, who had occupied a closed tent during the progress of the contest, emerged shortly after the last band had played and ascended the platform, around which the whole of the people gathered.
Having stated that he did not judge a band by the solo players, but by the whole number, and that he did not go in for a band which made the biggest noise, but whose playing was the most delicate, he awarded the first prize to No. 14 ('Sguborwen), the second to No. 9 (Llanelly), the third to. No. 5 (Blaina), and the fourth to No. 4 (Morriston).
Silver medals were given by the association to the solo cornet and solo euphonium players who would best render their respective parts, were both awarded to Llanelly.
The report ended by saying; ‘The adjudication created some surprise, but it was received without any manifestation of dissent.’