Sep 16, 2014
National Finals Cheltenham

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

Trophy

Area Championship

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The band had been working hard for this year’s Area Championship as a good result would see them bounce straight back into the Championship section for 2018.

Richard had worked the band hard with extra sectional and full band rehearsals. The band had a lot to prove. Before going onto stage we knew that we were playing the piece well however, like all contests it’s about the performance on stage and the thoughts of the adjudicators. There was a sense of expectation building amongst the players as the we walked onto stage and settled ourselves. Any nerves gave way to excitement as we gave a truly awesome performance. All the soloists gave their all more than ably supported by the rest of the band, the performance became the benchmark for the contest. Unfortunately on the day this benchmark was set to high for all the other bands. The band was crowned 1St section North of England Champions and with that came an invitation to the National finals in Cheltenham.

Credit and huge thanks must go to Richard for his tireless dedication to the band but also the soloists and all the band members, whilst individuals shone it was a collective team effort which brought home the silverware.

The band won the 1st Section Trophy, Richard received a trophy for the winning Conductor and as an added bonus Alister Brown our Bass Trombone won the best Trombone trophy, so overall a very good day at the office.

Spring Festival 2017

Success at the British Open Spring Festival

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The band had a successful weekend playing at the British Open Spring Festival Contest in the wonderful venue of The Spanish Hall at The Blackpool Winter Gardens. The entry into the competition is by invitation only and the organisers take the only the top bands in the country. The band was placed 12th out of 19 competing bands in the Senior Trophy , and we are delighted to announce that this means we will reappear at the contest again next year. Ian Porthouse and Tom Hutchinson made lots of positive comments about our performance in their adjudicator’s remarks – we should all be very proud of the way the band’s soloists performed on stage – a huge congratulations to all! Particular thanks must go to our MD, Mr Richard Wilton, for his endless hard work during sectionals and rehearsal in preparing us for this contest. This was a particularly momentous weekend from the band – never before have The Shepherd Group Band been a part of this prestigious contest, but it has recently come to light that the Rowntree Cocoa Works Band were present at the 1959 contest.

Shepherd Brass Area 2016

North of England Area Championships

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As many of you will now be aware the band competed at the North of England Area contest this March in Durham. The band had an absolutely excellent day out in Durham and our end performance of Cambridge Variations is something that we are hugely proud of.

On the bus to the competition

Band en-route to the competition

Unfortunately, despite the band working hard and playing really well the result didn’t go in our favour. Naturally everyone in the band is really disappointed, but we’re all feeling positive and are very much looking forward to competing at the All English International Masters competition in May! We would like to thank all of our lovely supporters and all of those who wished us luck. In particular we owe a huge thanks to our Musical Director Mr Richard Wilton, whose tireless commitment and enthusiasm is the backbone of the band – we really couldn’t do it without him. Onwards and upwards!

We would also like to offer a huge congratulations to the Reg Vardy Band and EYMS and wish luck to both bands at the Royal Albert Hall! Also massive congratulations to all our friends at the Railway Institute Band – a fantastic and well deserved result!

Concert Band 2016

Holding back the river

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Photos from the concert

Photos from the concert

On 6th March our Concert Band had the great privilege of playing at the York Barbican in a special gala concert to help raise money for flood victims. The concert, which was named “Hold Back the River” featured artists from all over York and all proceeds went directly to those affected by the terrible floods over Christmas.

Concert Band MD Michael Pratt said:

“The Band felt so honoured to be asked to play tonight, the atmosphere has been amazing the whole band played brilliantly, I’m so proud!”


So far the York Disaster Fund has raised over £1,300,000 for flood victims and concerts such as this one are vital to keep the momentum on the appeal going so here at Shepherds we are delighted to have been able to help out.

Bandroom recording studio

All Four One – CD Recording

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Ever since Richard Wilton joined the organisation back in 2010 it has been his aim to do a big CD recording featuring all of the bands. Well, almost six years on his wish has been granted, when all four of the Shepherd Group Brass Bands took to the recording studio at the end of January for a weekend of CD recording!

 

Senior Band Front Row Cornets

Senior Band Front Row Cornets

Senior Band Back Row Cornets

Senior Band Back Row Cornets

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Each band recorded a few tracks each, which for many was a totally new experience. This is the first time that the Concert Band, Youth Band and Academy Brass have ever been in a recording environment and everyone handled the pressure brilliantly.

 

Jess working with Academy Brass

Jess working with Academy Brass

The CD was recorded by KMJ recordings, who go around the country recording some of the best bands in the country including the Brighouse and Rastrick Band, Black Dyke Band and the Grimethorpe Colliery Band. The bandroom literally became transformed into a fully fledged recording studio and the fabulous Jess Tredrea guided everyone through the recording process with the upmost professionalism and musicality. She really was an absolute pleasure to work with.

Concert Band recording

Concert Band recording

Richard says:
“This has been something that I have always wanted to do, I’m absolutely over the moon at how well it has gone and I literally can’t wait to listen to it!”

The CD, which has been aptly named “All Four One” is due to launch at our upcoming concert at the Joseph Rowntree theatre in York on 4th June. This evening is always hugely popular and always sells out – so call Nicola now on 01904 655076 and get your tickets reserved.

Christmas Party 2015

Oh what a night – our first Christmas Party!

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A true first for Shepherds! This year marked the bands first ever Christmas party – and what a party it turned out to be…

Last survivors!

Christmas Party – last survivors!


The party itself was hosted after Christmas in January to allow all our lovely members a well deserved few weeks off and really got new year off to a cracking start. Held at the York Sports Club on Shipton Road over 100 members of the Shepherd Brass family turned out to celebrate the successful Christmas concert season. There was a full buffet, dancing, party games and a very cheap bar, so naturally the night was a huge success – even the elusive Mr Wilton was spotted on the dance floor!!

A highlight had to be when our wonderful Youth Band MD Mr Craig Brown showcased the skills he gained during his time working for Royal Caribbean and ran cruise ship party games! Everyone got involved and it added so much fun to the night – so thanks a lot Craig. 

Party, senior band

They scrub up well, who knew?!


The evening was so successful that we’re already looking at booking the same venue for this years Christmas Party – so watch this space!

Jo-Ro Christmas 2015 Flashmob

Another Christmas Sell-Out!

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Every year the four bands of the Shepherd Group put on a Gala Christmas Concert at the Joseph Rowntree Theatre in York, and every year the concert is a huge success! 

This year the event reached new highs as both concerts that were completely sold out months before they even took place!

This year audiences were treated to some beautiful festive music played by musicians of all ages, they experienced Mike Pratt’s dancing and even witnessed a flashmob! But it’s safe to say it all went down a treat.

Our sponsor Mr Patrick Shepherd had this to say:

“Each year each of the bands gets better but this year we were struck by how good the Academy band is now, but the Brass Band was exceptional, particularly its playing of ‘Fire in the Blood’ that was really moving. It is a great pleasure that the group is associated with such a successful enterprise, it has achieved so much over the last 10 or so years.”

Our Christmas concerts at Joseph Rowntree are proving to be so successful that we are even in talks with the theatre about putting on a third night next year – so keep an eye out!

Tickets for our summer concert, which is taking place on 4th June at the Joseph Rowntree Theatre are now on sale and are selling fast! So please contact Nicola on 01904 655076 and make sure you get your tickets reserved.

Coppergate Carolling - Dec 2015

Coppergate Carolling Success

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Every year the bands of the Shepherd Group club together and spend a weekend in December carolling to raise funds for the band.



This year was no exception and on the weekend of the 12th and 13th December members of all the Shepherds bands braved the winter elements for a weekend of carolling and managed to raise a whopping £1,000 and even the weather turned out to be in our favour!

This is a great total and will be put towards new instruments for our future generation of players! 

Massive thank you to all those who turned out and it was great to see so many of our young players giving up their weekend to help the band.