On Friday 21/12 and Saturday 22/12 all the bands in the Shepherd Group Brass Band family came together to round off 2018 in fine style with our Christmas concerts at Joseph Rowntree Theatre.
Both nights were completely sold out and the enthusiastic audiences were treated to some marvellous, festive music and fine playing from all our musicians.
Brass Roots, under the expert tutelage of Sally Mansell, entertained the audiences as they took their seats on both evenings and proved just how well they are progressing with some lovely playing that drew loud applause.
The Academy Band then wowed the audiences with great performances and it was so noticeable that, under the baton of Richard Wilton, their band sound and approach to the music is maturing at an impressive rate.
Then it was the turn of the prizewinning Youth Band and they certainly did not disappoint. Craig Brown has guided his band to a very high standard and the playing again showed so much maturity and in the horn soloist, Daniel Wilton, they surely have a star for the future.
The first half was then concluded by the Concert Brass Band and they gave the audience their usual highly entertaining programme, full of energy and also featuring a guest appearance on vocals from Eric Daines. They also featured stunning soloists in Jenny Mansell and Louis McLaren and, on the Saturday night, the band took part in the Jingle Bell challenge for charity, shown live on the band’s Facebook page. The audience absolutely loved that and joined in enthusiastically.
In the second half it was the turn of the Senior Band, under Richard Wilton, and they certainly didn’t disappoint. From the opening Fanfare and Flourishes to the finale of Dies Natalis, this was playing of the highest standard. The possible highlight of the set being the moving Mary, did you know? played with subdued lighting and creating an ethereal atmosphere.
But, of course, all SGBB Jo Ro shows are not complete without the massed bands encore and WOW, was this one spectacular!
The setting of Christmas Eve, Sarajevo, complete with Cello, Electric guitar, smoke and light show had to be seen and heard to be believed and on both nights rounded off a fantastic evenings entertainment.
Huge thanks to everyone who made all this possible.
Looking forward to 2019.