Sep 16, 2014
National Finals Cheltenham

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


A Piggin’ ( No G) Great Night Out

Hot on the heels (or should that be trotters! ) of our marvellous Parliament Street performances on the afternoon of July 1st , the Band organisation held a pig racing evening at Acomb Conservative Club to raise money for the many contesting ventures that we are undertaking 2017. And what a great evening it was!
The club was packed with band members, band supporters and club members all keen to have a little flutter on the piggies.
Dave Cussons, The Pig Man, was our genial host for the evening and he made sure that everyone understood how the betting and racing worked and ensured that everyone had a really good time.
I think the sight of Richard Wilton jumping up and down, cheering on the piggies he had backed will live long in our memories.
A special mention must go to Kim and Shane for the lovely pie and pea supper they provided.
All in all a fantastic evening!
If you weren’t there you missed a treat and we managed to raise a whopping £732 for band funds.
Thank you all who sponsored races, bought pigs and turned up on the evening. We are certainly looking to organise a similar evening for next year.

Easingwold March and Hymn Tune Competition


Senior band photo

The Shepherd Group of Bands were out in force at the recently held Easingwold March and Hymn Tune competition. The competition centres around the Market Place in Easingwold and this year the competition attracted no less than 13 bands from as far as Newcastle to Dobcross to Barnsley .

This was a first for our group as three of our bands took part in the competition, this is the first time this has ever happened in the history of the bands. The Senior Band , Concert Band and the Youth Band all competed so we had in excess of 100 players out on the night.

The evening saw a mix of fortunes but on the whole a very successful night all round

The Senior band came away with Best Band on the March , Best Hymn Tune overall , Best 1st Section Band and 2nd overall in the competition. To achieve this we had to beat a number of championship graded bands so a very commendable nights work, the Senior Band played the Hymn tune Love Unknown followed by the March Knight Templar

The Concert Band were very pleased with winning the best Hymn tune for unregistered bands, they played the Hymn Eventide followed by the march Punchinello

The Youth Band didn’t fare so well however, it was a fantastic experience for the youngsters to get out a play in a competition such as this against all section bands. They played the hymn tune Aurelia followed by the March Old Comrades.

A fantastic night was had by all and we are hoping to be able to compete in the contest again next year and who’s knows we might have four bands out ?

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Solo Contest 2017


Shepherd Group Brass Bands Solo Contest 2017

Once again players from all five bands came together to compete in the annual solo competition. Members demonstrated their individual talents with slow melodies, air variations, and technical works. The judge for the evening was Black Dyke solo cornet player David Smith, who had the difficult job of selecting the top two positions in each category. There was such a fantastic array of talent on show and an impressive demonstration of the standard of players across the bands.

Brass Roots

1st Place – Zach Hindle
2nd Place – Elysia Sanderson-Aylett

Academy Band

1st Place – Henry Bate
2nd Place – James Konefal

Youth Band

1st Place – Tasha Collins
2nd Place – Imogen Fewster

Concert Band

1st Place – Louis McLaren
2nd Place – Millie Brough-Jones

Senior Band

1st Place – Isaac Bousfield
2nd Place – Jenny Mansell


Donation to Mbale Brass Band Uganda


The Mbale Brass Band of Uganda, founded by Phillip Monk, a retired Brass Band Player, who thought that giving the members a meal along with the opportunity of learning to play an instrument might help to improve the life chances of some of the young people of this impoverished country.

We at Shepherd Group Brass Bands were so inspired by his story we wanted to help in some way so we decided that at our Christmas Concerts we would arrange a leaving collection to which our audiences contributed very generously. We, ourselves also contributed from the Bands funds and donated some instruments from our members which were surplus to requirements.

We are sure that the members of our audiences at the Rowntree Theatre last Christmas will be pleased to see that their very kind generosity is having very positive results.


Back to the Top Flight


The Band is delighted to announce that we have promoted back into the Championship section from 1st January 2018. After spending just one year in the first section the band is thrilled to be back in the top flight, again.

Richard Wilton the Band’s Musical Director said “ it is a great feeling to be straight back into the championship section , everybody has worked so hard recently and we have built a real team in the last few months, we need now to focus on the National finals in Cheltenham and then prepare ourselves for the area Championship s in 2018.”


Area Championship


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


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


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

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


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.