The Easingwold march contest in 2018 went down as one of the wettest on record and saw the senior band just miss out on the overall prize to Fishburn Band from the North East. 2019 was a drier day and all the Shepherd Group Bands turned out to take part in the contest and to offer support to each other on the stage.
The format of the contest is that each competing band plays a road march as they head for the contest square and are marked on their deportment as the go. On the stand they then play a march and a hymn tune. The contest is growing in popularity and 2019 saw 14 bands competing including some strong competition from Marsden Band, a regular prize winning band in the Saddleworth Whit Friday competitions.
The day was going to be a busy one for the Youth Band as they had played earlier in the day at the Ripon Entertainments contest. What nobody knew at the time was that they had come third at Ripon and had beaten the current Yorkshire Third Section champion band and National Finalists into fourth place.
The Concert Band and Youth Bands both produced very creditable performance and the very last band to play on the night was the senior band. It was quite blustery as the band took to the stage and played their hymn and march. The hymn tune was the lovely Prelude on Lavenham, a piece that has been played out by many bands this year and a very popular if challenging choice. The march was the classic contest march Knight Templar. As the players came off the general feeling was we had played as well as we could have on the night, and the results were in the hands of the adjudicator.
After their earlier successes in Ripon (and the unexpected cheers from them as their Ripon results came through), the Youth Band took the unregistered prize and a very creditable 8th overall, just beating the Concert Band into 9th and beating a few of our local 3rd section friends as well. The senior band had a great night winning the Best Basses prize, Best Championship Section Band and Best band overall on the night. The adjudicator, Martin Heartfield commented as the Basses prize was being collected that he had really enjoyed the performance from the band.
We are looking forward to 2020 and to see which other bands come along to this contest. It is very well run and is a great evening out. Congratulations to the organisers and thanks to all the players in the Shepherd Group family for making this a great day for all our players.