Sep 16, 2014
National Finals Cheltenham

Author: <span class="vcard">Trevor Waltersthompson</span>

Youth Band Tour 2018


Founded in 2011, the Shepherd Group Youth Brass Band is an absolute joy to be a part of. It’s wonderful to see how much the band has grown in recent years, winning our first competition in 2016 and continuing to take on new challenges and experiences since. This year is no exception, having just returned from our first tour.

Devizes was the destination for our four days away. We were lucky enough to be hosted by Jemima’s Gift, an incredible charity which provides opportunities for young people to reach their full potential in a range of fields. Set up in memory of Jemima Prees, this charity has allowed many young people to pursue their passions – from providing sporting equipment to funding study in prestigious music schools. Thus it was a real honour to work alongside them, helping to raise money so that they can continue to offer their support.

Of course, we would not have been able to raise this money without the generous people of Wiltshire who watched us playing in Devizes marketplace and, later, came to the joint concert we put on with Strings Incognito. Whilst the combination of a brass band and a string group is not something you see often, it was great to listen to a different type of ensemble and to play alongside them.

We also hosted a workshop, inviting members of the public to play with us as we tried out some new music. This was an excellent opportunity to meet other players – many of whom do not usually play brass instruments – and benefit from the wisdom of other conductors. Whilst somewhat tiring, as we played for much longer than most of us are used to, it was also thoroughly enjoyable.

For our last night in Wiltshire, we enjoyed a ceilidh. It seemed a fitting end to the tour as it reflected the fun that we’d had and, as we all took to the dancefloor, the new friendships we’d made.

This brilliant experience could not have taken place without the support of Craig Brown, our conductor, Richard Wilton, conductor of Shepherd Senior and Academy bands (and honorary youth for the weekend), Bronwyn Tuffen and Mandy Mosses – all of whom gave up their time to accompany us on the tour.

(by Charlotte Forman)

Joseph Rowntree Threatre Christmas 2017


Joseph Rowntree’s 22nd / 23rd December

After a year away from the Joseph Rowntree Theatre, the bands were thrilled to be back for another sell out gala concert this Christmas.

Once again Brass Roots, the most recent addition to the bands’ family, entertained the audience before the ever-growing Academy band opened the show. The Academy band have gone from strength to strength, taking on new and more challenging repertoire whilst also developing all round banding technique and this was evident in their impressive start to the show.

The Youth band followed with a set of new music including ‘Blessings in Christmas’, a stunning setting of a Korean carol. This year the Youth band have worked hard to raise funds for various competitions and projects, including their upcoming tour to Wiltshire to support the charity Jemima’s Gift.

Mike Pratt and the Concert band delivered a high energy set which opened with a festive ‘Christmas Calypso’ and included audience participation in ‘Ding Dong Merrily on High’, tenor horn soloist Jenny Mansell, and a tribute to the late Greg Lake ‘I Believe in Father Christmas’.

Following the interval, the Senior band started their set with ‘Gøta’, a brand new piece of Norwegian music played by memory as the band entered the stage. Another set full of new music included tuba soloist Joe Steede, Canadian ‘Huron Carol’, and a mammoth ‘Gaudete’ arranged by Kevin Norbury. The band are becoming familiar with the work of Norbury in his ‘Odyssey’, which has been selected as the 2018 Championship Section Area test piece.

A special encore of Alan Fernie’s ‘Do They Know It’s Christmas’ featured images of donated instruments being played by the Mbale band from East Africa. This was an opportunity for the band to show how far instruments and funds donated throughout 2017 had gone. The Mbale band work tirelessly to provide instruments and tuition to communities throughout Uganda and East Africa.

In traditional Shepherd style, the massed band final featured players from all bands being involved in music, choreography and entertainment! The monks of the brethren of Tang Hall returned once more this time armed with hand chimes! A bespoke arrangement by Simon Dawson featured hand chimes, massed band, and guest percussion in ‘The Little Drummer Boy’

2017 has been a hugely successful year for all the bands at Shepherds and we would like to thank all of our supporters and wish all a happy and brass-filled New Year! 



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Children in Need Evening in York


The lovely Mike Pratt along with Jericho Keys from BBC Radio York and members of the Shepherd Group Concert Brass Band at Holy Trinity Church Micklegate York. The band played carols to welcome the audience to a special evening of entertainment in aid of Cildren In Need


Come and Join Brass Roots!


Brass Roots is the Shepherd Group’s 5th band, which rehearses on a Monday evening at 6.30 pm and has been designed for absolute beginners, for anyone to learn the basics of playing and reading music. 

We have a large number of instruments to learn on which are available for loan.

Our rehearsal facilities are second to none and are situated on New Lane in Huntington, York 

Even though we have over 150 players in our organisation we are always looking for new talent, so if you know anyone that would like to join any of our ensembles or learn to play a brass instrument with us then please email us at

We welcome players of all abilities and ages so please share with anyone you think may be interested!

In September several players moved up to the Academy Band and we welcomed new beginners to the ranks.

All the youngsters and adults are looking forward to the Christmas concerts at Jo Ro theatre on Dec 22nd and 23rd


Last Night of The Proms


With strong winds and beautiful Autumnal skies, the Shepherd Group Brass Band and local girl, vocalist Jessa Liversidge came together at Easingwold’s Galtres Centre for what has now become their annual ‘Last night of the Proms’ concert.
The capacity audience, who were brave enough to face the elements, enjoyed a fantastic evening of music, which kicked off with the the band’s recent award winning Bolsover set and included Andrew Lloyd Webber’s beautiful “I don’t know how to love him” sung with such class by Jessa Liversidge, accompanied by the band. After the interval the Band and Jessa came together to perform the ever-popular ‘Prom Finale’ of Sir Hubert Parry’s Jerusalem, Sir Henry Wood’s ‘Fantasia On British Seasongs’ and bringing the concert to a close for another year, Sir Edward Elgar’s ‘Pomp And Circumstance’.

Bolsover Success

Bolsover Success


Shepherd Group Band were very pleased to take third place at the recent Bolsover Festival of Brass. This is an incredibly popular entertainment contest which is streamed live over the internet, reaching audiences in thirty-two countries and over three-hundred and sixty towns and cities.

Competing in the Championship Section, the band’s programme followed a Folk Song inspired set, starting with the beautifully choreographed Norwegian Folk song, Gøta, before bursting into a energetically charged romp through a Russian folk festival. The band’s soloist for the day was principal Cornetist, Andy Novell, who impressed with his lyrical treatment of Pater Noster. The energetic Molly’s Wake was next, before the band’s vocal talents were at the forefront of the wonderful Knut Liten Og Sylvelin finale.

Adjudicator Steven Mead summed up his comments on the performance as, “I like the way your programme has a connected theme, it’s a strong approach to programme building. Thank you for this enjoyable and well conceived programme, your audiences will love it!”

IMG_2792 - Pogson Bray 2017 (7)

Busy Start

Our Youth band have had a great start back after the summer break. On Saturday 7th October the band were delighted to perform at All Saints Church in Wistow in aid of their new roof fund. They helped raise a whopping £400 for the cause whilst entertaining a large and supportive audience who have already invited them back!
The band then went on to compete at the Pogson Bray Entertainment Contest where they were very pleased to be awarded the ‘Best Youth Band 2017’ prize. They competed against tough competition and were commended for both their deportment and stage presence by adjudicator David Ashworth.


The Sun Always Shines on CB

Imagine the scene, a cloudless sky, the sun shining and hundreds o people being royally entertained by our Concert Band. Sounds great doesn’t it? And it certainly was!
Last Sunday, July 16th, saw the Concert band return to Filey bandstand for one of our favourite concerts of the year and as we like to say, “ we didn’t fail to disappoint ”.
The Concert Band were on cracking form and entertained the huge crowd with our selection of singalong, wavealong and even dancealong numbers. We featured 3 stand up soloists in Louis McClaren on cornet, Adrian Fox on trombone and Jenny Mansell on tenor horn. Isobel Thomson on flugelhorn also gave her always faultless performance at the beginning of Angels, by Robbie William, a piece that the band dedicated to the victims of the Manchester Arena bombing in May.
David Bull, the flamboyant Master of Ceremonies at Filey, was again thrilled with the Band and the Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress made a special point of saying how much they and the audience had enjoyed the concert.
All in all, a great afternoon and great playing from the Concert Band.
Already looking forward to Wetherby bandstand on August 20th.