A few months ago university commitments, relocation and retirements meant that the band was in a very unfortunate position to have lost a number of cornet players all at once. But following our successful third-placed performance in the Championship Section at the Bolsover Entertainment Contest back in October, we had a big recruitment drive and are now back up to full strength, with quite possibly, our strongest team yet.

andyNew principal cornet

Following a long hard search we have also found ourselves a fantastic principal cornet player. Andy Novell has been a friend of the band now for many years and agreed to join the team following his departure from the York Railway Institute Band this autumn. Alongside being an excellent player Andy also brings conducting experience to the table from his time with the Otley Brass Band and we are looking forward to getting him involved with training some of our younger players.

 

cornets 2Meet the new players

In total we have acquired 6 new cornet players, all of whom are great local players:

  • Principal cornet – Andy Novell (top right)
  • Front row – Andy Grace (middle right) and Rob and Lynne Illsley (middle and bottom left)
  • Back row – Peter Andrews (top left) and Julia Sanders (bottom right)

Whilst the players have now all been performing with the band over the festive period they will all be competing with the band at the Areas in March on Land of the Long White Cloud and for the bands debut performance at the Spring Festival in May.

MD Richard Wilton Commented:

Honestly, I’m so thrilled at how well it’s all come together. Back in August when we had players leaving to go to university and I found out we were losing a couple more due to new jobs, I won’t lie, I was really pretty panicked! But our new recruits take our cornet team to completely new levels and I can’t wait to start work on the Area test piece with them. I’m particularly delighted at the signing of Mr Novell, who has now done a couple of concerts with us and brings such classy playing to the cornet section, he really is a pleasure to work with. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Simon Dawson, who has been filling in for me on principal cornet. He has done a fantastic job and I honestly don’t know how we would have coped without him, really top bandsman!

Organisation on the up

Outside of the Senior Band, the Shepherd Group Brass Band Organisation continues to be on the rise, making up one of the largest brass band communities in Europe with over 150 players and 5 bands, and due to heavy demand we are looking at expanding even further in 2017.