Sep 16, 2014
National Finals Cheltenham

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Band Chair recovering Well

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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

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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

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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

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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.

Covid-19 rehearsals and concerts postponed for the foreseeable future

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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

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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

Mike

Brass Day

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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:- https://drive.google.com/open?id=1CcSuiW5sLJCbDUhY_SPGAsqiBxB9MMXg

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Brass Bands England’s inaugural ‘Social Impact Award’

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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”