Sep 16, 2014
National Finals Cheltenham


Covid-19 rehearsals and concerts postponed for the foreseeable future


Our Chairman David Gregg has released a statement on behalf of the band committee stating…

“Due to the current and rapidly changing situation regarding Covid-19, and following government advice to suspend any non-essential social interactions to mitigate any unnecessary risk, it is therefore with regret that we are forced to postpone rehearsals and concerts for the foreseeable future.

We will be in touch to reschedule these when we know more.

We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause but thank you for your understanding in these difficult and uncertain times.

Please take care and in the meantime if you have any queries please do email us and we will do our best to help.

Kind Regards,

The Shepherd Group Brass Band Committee.”

Our Concerts at the Railway Museum on March 26th and Bishopthorpe St Andrews Church on May 16th have both been postponed. The Easingwold March Contest has also been cancelled.

The 70s/80s Concert has been rescheduled for Saturday 19th September 2020

70s/80s Concert at The Hive Postponed


Hi everyone, it is with regret that I need to inform you that the 70’s and 80’s gig scheduled for a week on Saturday has now been postponed.

Following meetings and discussions, we had initially made the decision to monitor the ongoing situation but events over the last couple of days have prompted us to make the unfortunate decision to postpone.

I’m sure you will appreciate that this decision has not been taken lightly but it is imperative that the health of our players and our loyal audience is paramount.

This concert will now take place on September 19th or 26th (to be advised soonest) and tickets already purchased will be valid. Alternatively, refunds will be available.

To say I’m absolutely gutted for the band and audience is an understatement but, as previously mentioned, everyone’s health is our primary consideration.

All I can say to you all, as players, is thanks so much for all your efforts and although we are all disappointed, we can look forward to September.

Obviously, it is so important that everyone who bought tickets is made aware of this postponement so, if you arranged tickets for family, friends etc, could you please contact them soonest to advise them and find out if they intend to attend on the rescheduled dates or require reimbursement.

If you could advise this through either David or myself, we can liaise with Richard and Nic to assess what needs to be done.

Again, I’m really sorry that I have had to send out this post but I’m sure you will all understand given the circumstances.

Thanks and much love


Brass Day


On Sunday 26th January the Shepherd Group opened the bandroom doors to budding brass players, supporters, friends and family in a day full of musical activity. Members of the Shepherd Group Senior band were on hand throughout the morning offering drop-in come and try sessions. There were over thirty families who attended this session, giving everyone the opportunity to try a brass instrument for the first time.

The sessions which followed were focused on ensemble playing, starting out with a group of younger players who had potentially never played as a group before. Players worked on listening skills, as well as several pieces before presenting results to an audience of family members. Within later sessions players worked on larger scale pieces include Max Stannard’s ‘Into the Future’, National Youth Brass Band Championship set work ‘Saint-Saens Variations’ by Philip Sparke, as well as Christopher Bond’s ‘Neverland’.

The Shepherd Group organisation, which now boast six separate ensembles, was awarded Brass Band England’s ‘Social Impact Award’, and last week’s series of workshops demonstrated the community following that the band has nurtured.

We have already had loads of new recruits to our Monday night Brass Academy and are looking forward to more inclusion events in the future.

For photos see:-


Brass Bands England’s inaugural ‘Social Impact Award’


The Shepherd Group Brass Bands have been presented with Brass Bands England’s inaugural ‘Social Impact Award’. The award, which recognised the national contributions brass bands make to communities, was presented at the Brass Bands England annual conference on Saturday 28th September. 

Richard Wilton, Musical Director says “We have built such a rich and well established banding community at Shepherds, platforming 6 bands and providing opportunities for all brass players”. 

“A major part of our contribution is via our Brass Academy – where we educate and facilitate brass playing from scratch. Our award-winning Youth Band provide a top flight outlet for young members of society to fulfil their musical potential, with many players aspiring to join our senior, flagship ensemble”

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.


Tickets Now on Sale!!


The Cory Band is arguably the best brass band in the world and they will perform at Central Hall, University of York, alongside the Shepherd Group Brass Band, on Saturday 16th November, entertaining in their own unique style.The Cory Band were the first band ever to be quadruple champions, simultaneously holding in 2016 the UK National, British Open, European and Brass in Concert titles. They have maintained their status as the number one brass band in the world consistently for the last 12 years.
Don’t miss a fantastic opportunity to discover the brass band that is breaking new ground! The concert will showcase each band and then culminate in a fantastic massed band finale.
To book your tickets go to