Sep 16, 2014
National Finals Cheltenham

Author: <span class="vcard">Peter Scott</span>

Easingwold Proms Tickets available.


Tickets are available for the annual Proms evening on September 28th at the Galtres Centre in Easingwold. The concert will feature our very own Richard Wilton in his trademark Union Flag jacket and once again we will be joined by Easingwold’s own Jessa Liversedge to lead the singing.

Tickets are available direct from the Galtres Centre. Tel. 01347 822472

Proms Concert

Out of this world!


All the Shepherd Group of Bands came together for our annual Spring Concert and the Joseph Rowntree Theatre in York.

The concert was titled Enter the Galaxies and was space music themed, the inspiration for which came for the 50thanniversary of the first moon landing. The conductors had come up with quite an imaginary programme incorporating as many space tunes and titles as they could.

Brass Roots set the evening off with music title twinkle, twinkle little star, fly me to the Moon to the theme from the clangers, they played a number of other space music entertaining the audience as they arrived.

The curtain went up and Katie Wannop made her debut as the Academy Band conductor, the Academy Band thrilled us with a number of pieces including the Dr Who theme and the march starchaser.

A quick changeover as Craig Brown brought on the amazing Youth Band reprising their Ripon Entertainment programme which had gained them 3rdplace overall  out of  a field of 14 Bands. Their programme included pieces like the Final Countdown, Jupiter’s theme and the concert finisher Dark Side of the Moon.

The curtain fell before opening again to reveal the hugely entertaining Concert Band, Mike Pratt was at his best ably support by the band playing pieces such as Rusalka’s  Song to the Moon, Moon river. They ended the first half with their usual panache and style playing David Bowie’s Starman.

The second half opened with the Senior band playing the concert’s title music Enter the Galaxies with antiphonal players spread around the stage. Rob Illsley played the beautiful cornet solo  Song of the Night Sky.  The mood was lightened by the theme for the Cantina Band from Star Wars. The senior band like to finish with a “biggy” and you can’t get much bigger that Holst’s Mars from his planet suite.

A short break and whilst the Senior Band were joined on stage by players from the Concert and Youth bands, well over a 100 players on stage all joined together to play Eve of War from War of the Worlds with lighting and sound effects rounding off a fantastic evening of space themed music.

Success all round at Easingwold


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.

Best Basses. A happy bunch aren’t they.

The prize haul

The trophy collection

Contest successes


The past few months have seen the bands doing very well in the contesting world. While we pride ourselves in putting on exiting and entertaining concert programmes, contesting is the sporting side of our music making and it is great to get a good result in any contest. This year has been particularly satisfying.

The successes started off with a trip over to Blackpool in May when the Senior Band took part in the 99th Spring Festival. This was the third appearance of the band in this contest but with a draw in the morning half of the contest and the winners traditionally coming from the second half there was a hill to climb. The test piece was Triumphant Rhapsody by Gilbert Vinter and this is a piece that rewards control and delicate approaches from bands rather than an all out attack.

The overall result saw the band take 4th place behind VBS Poynton, City of Bradford and Verwood Concert Brass. The band had been leading the contest right up until the 2/3 mark in the contest and 4barsrest described the performance as a “quality marker” in their write up. The adjudicators said “the best bands brought out the colour, detail flow and wit of the music, making it flow.” This result sees the band promoted from the Senior Trophy to the Senior Cup for the centenary contest in 2020.

We must congratulate VBS Poynton on their win and especially congratulate their MD, Ryan Watkins the principal trombone player at Brighouse and Rastrick Band who began his playing career with Shepherd Group Band.

Members of the band with the 4th place trophy after the results.