The Brass Academy
The Brass Academy, conducted by the superb Mr Richard Wilton is the real bedrock of our organisation, where players start off their learning curve. Without the work that goes on here we would not see the successes that we do in our Youth Band, Concert and Senior Bands. We’re particularly proud of the Brass Academy, which has over 40 players and we’re always astounded by the level of talent coming from the band.
If you’d like to be involved – and you don’t have to be young – please get in touch. The Brass Academy is run to teach young (and not so young) players about the basics of playing brass instruments, playing as an ensemble, learning and appreciating the world of brass band music, and developing their skills and playing abilities to the level where they can join either the youth band or concert band.
Along with the tuition we also provide every new player who wants to learn with us with an instrument and music to take home and practice – so there really is no excuse not to come along and learn a brass instrument.
The Brass Academy meets on Monday evenings from 6:30pm to 7:30pm at the HiBay Theatre on the Portakabin™ site in York.
To find out more about joining and learning with us please view our VACANCIES page.
The Musical Director: Richard Wilton
Richard started learning to play the tuba at the tender age of 8 under the tutelage of cornet virtuoso Graham Walker, quickly progressing to the ranks of the then Hambleton Brass Band in 1983. After 10 happy years with the band, Richard inevitably moved into the world of championship section banding with the world famous Carlton Main Frickley Colliery Band as Principal tuba. The band had many successes culminating in becoming Yorkshire champions in 1999.
After a short spell with the Sellers International Band under the directorship of cornet legend Phillip McCann, Richard fulfilled his childhood ambition of joining the bass section of the world famous Grimethorpe Colliery Band, travelling extensively around Australasia, the United States and Europe. During his time with the band, Richard enjoyed many successes including back to back area championships, an unprecedented five in a row Brass in Concert titles and, the highlight surely, becoming National Champion Band of Great Britain in 2006.
Richard returned to his banding roots at South Milford Brass (formerly Hambleton Brass) in 2005, this time as Musical Director. After a very happy and successful period with the band, culminating in becoming North of England Champions in 2008 and 2009 Richard decided it was time to move on. Richard has now been with Shepherds for six years and his enthusiasm, passion and drive have taken the band to unprecedented new highs. Furthermore his full time job as a Peripatetic Music Teacher means he is an expert in all things brass – the perfect all-rounder for our future generation of players!