Sep 16, 2014
National Finals Cheltenham


Band Chair recovering Well


SGBB are thrilled to be able to share with you news about our band Chairman, Mr David Gregg.

David has, for quite some time, been waiting for a kidney transplant and last Friday this took place at St James hospital in Leeds.

A search for a suitable donor was finally ended when, by a remarkable coincidence, David’s partner, Pauline was found to be the perfect match to be a donor.

We are so pleased to be able to report that the operations were a complete success and both David and Pauline are recovering well.

Pauline came home from hospital the day after the operation and David is due home today.

The whole band organisation send love and best wishes to both of them and hope to see them very soon.

David cannot wait to get back to rehearsing with his band and planning for the year ahead.

Passing of former percussionist Martin Harvey


The band was saddened to learn of the passing of former percussionist Martin Harvey, a nicer gentleman could not be found and our thoughts go out to Martin’s family. Members past and present who played in the band with Martin have shared memories and joined in sending condolences for such a genuine and lovely bandsman. Our thoughts and prayers at this time are with Martin’s family and friends.

Shepherds Open Door to Virtual Flock


The Shepherd Group Brass Band recently opened their virtual door to the local banding community. Having returned to rehearsals in the new year three evenings per week via Zoom, the organisation have now invited local bands and friends to join their online rehearsals. MD Richard Wilton said, “Having started Zoom rehearsals for four of our bands, I had the idea to invite our friends from local bands in and around our community. Now more than ever, our local band families must pull together; our survival is counting on it. Over 50 musicians have taken the opportunity to join us on a Wednesday evening during our Concert band rehearsal, where we have been enjoying working on Christopher Bond’s ‘Neverland’. We look forward to many more local brass players joining us in the near future, keeping North Yorkshire’s thriving banding scene motivated”. Anyone wishing to join our virtual rehearsals should get in touch with the band as soon as possible.

Masterclass Inspiration for Members of the Shepherd Group Youth Band



Two talented youngsters from the Shepherd Group Youth Band recently topped up their skills when they attended a virtual brass day run by the Cory Band from South Wales, the world’s best brass band.
The expert coaching was delivered by the principal players from Cory and the day was delivered by Maestro Philip Harper, Cory band’s enigmatic musical director. Here’s what our young stars thought of the experience.

Adam Peters (Eb bass)

‘It was a really long day on Zoom with some interesting backgrounds on display. Philip Harper recognised that mine was of Birmingham Symphony Hall from when the Youth Band played there a couple of years ago. This was a great chance to see and hear how some of the best band in the world get to that level. They were all very friendly and helpful, sharing their experience with anyone who wanted to know. The only downside was that we couldn’t be in the same place and play all together. Maybe next time.’

Imogen Fewster (Solo Baritone)

On Saturday 16th January, I attended the Cory Band Virtual Brass & Percussion Day. The day began with a warmup led by principal cornetist Tom Hutchinson, who took us through the exercises he uses to start his practices – an essential part of any brass player’s life. Philip Harper then took the first of three full band rehearsals, which were focused on the two pieces of the course: Sousa’s march Washington Post and Philip Sparke’s A Malvern Suite. In these sessions, he guided us not only through the physical techniques of the pieces, but also how to play them in a way which would set you apart from any other band. The interpretation skills we learnt will be invaluable when we all return to band in person.

As well as the full band rehearsals, there also two virtual sectionals, led by principal players from Cory. In mine, led by 1st Baritone Steve Kane, we went through the details of the baritone and euphonium parts, with a focus on how our individual parts fitted into the rest of the band. We also learnt the best way to play a march. For all participants, it was an inspiration to be tutored by some of the best players in the world, and we learnt so much to then apply to the full band rehearsals. Throughout the day, several Cory principals also gave us mini concerts, with beautiful and breath-taking solos they’d recorded beforehand. Simply listening to these world-class players was a once in a lifetime opportunity which I am so glad to have been offered.

Overall, this was a truly incredible day. We were given tips from the best band in the world, learned skills which will be invaluable for the future, and played some beautiful music. It was an extremely welcome reminder in our strange new normal of what banding is about, and how much the Cory Band does for the banding world. In the breaks, we had the chance to meet players from all over the world, and who could forget the fantastic finishing quiz (in which, unfortunately, the bari/euph team came an ignominious last)? This day was a fantastic opportunity, and one I’m very glad to have taken. Would I go again? Absolutely.

There’s Brass on the Mind at Shepherds


We are very proud to announce that our musical director Richard Wilton and youth band MD Craig Brown recently completed Mental Health England’s First Aid course. 

Richard and Craig are passionate to bring the importance of mental health to the fore  through research into mental health in brass bands and their training as a Mental Health First Aiders. It’s now important to act on all the valuable information we have to actively promote better mental health and support for all our musicians in the bandroom. With more awareness, understanding, support and structures in place in our bandroom, together we can help create a safer and more supportive environment for our musicians that need it.