Helping save lives in Acomb

After lockdown, the bands were only able to hold small rehearsals in our normal site and had to look for venues where they could hold more players. The Church of the Holy Redeemer on Boroughbridge Road stepped in and allowed us to use their church and church hall. When we discovered that they were looking to purchase a Community Public Access Defibrillator, the band returned the favour and put on a concert in the church as part of the fundraising efforts.

We are pleased to see that the Church has now been able to fund the deployment of the defibrillator and it is now available for use. It can be seen from the busy Boroughbridge Road and has been registered with Yorkshire Ambulance Service (YAS), meaning that any member of the public can access it, by calling 999 for instructions. The dispatcher will direct you to the defibrillator and will give you the key code for the cabinet. These are simple devices to operate and have voice instructions guiding you through how to use them. They are designed to be used by anyone and require no specialist medical training to use.

The fundraising efforts behind this defibrillator included our Senior Band and the Spirit of Harmony Men’s Barbershop Chorus. There was also help from the Pavers Foundation and Yorkshire Ambulance Service Charity.

Rev. Simon Biddlestone, Vicar of The Church of the Holy Redeemer expressed his thanks to all those who had helped with the purchase and installation of the defibrillator, saying : “I’m delighted that there is now a defibrillator here. It’s good news for the whole community as anybody can use it. We hope that it never needs to be used, but if it does it could save someone’s life.”

The other sponsors for the defibrillator are:

Have you ever thought what you would do if you came across someone who had a cardiac arrest? Yorkshire Ambulance Service have produced a video that tells you exactly what to do.

Christmas Concert Tickets on sale

Tickets for the Christmas Gala Concerts at the Joseph Rowntree Theatre will be on sale from the Joseph Rowntree Theatre box office from August 8th.

Don’t miss out on your chance to see this annual treat. We see every band in the organisation presenting their contributions for Christmas. How will the concert be rounded off this year? You are going to have to wait and see.

https://www.josephrowntreetheatre.co.uk/whats-on/concert/christmas-concert/1542/#schedules

Platimum Jubilee Concert Success!

Jubilee Success!

What a fantastic night we had at the The Joseph Rowntree Theatre on June 18th. A packed out audience were treated to brilliant music, and super commitment from all 5 of the Shepherd Group Bands. It’s hard to pick out the highlights of the evening, but surely we have to mention the superb sounds we heard from the Youth Band who go from strength to strength. There was also the frankly mesmerising sound and spectacle of Scott Dawson demonstraing his exceptional skills on the Euphonium while managing to wave a flag. It was a performance that moved Mike Pratt to tears!

Speaking of Mike and the Concert Band, they never fail to entertain and after the concert there was a comment madeby a regular follower who comes all the way from Chesterfield for our concerts. He said “A great concert, but Mike Pratt’s jokes are getting worse.” Theres a challenge if we ever heard one. Next stop for the Concert Band is going to be Regents Park on July 3rd. Do the folk of London know what’s going to hit them?

The next outing for the Senior Band will be up in Durham for the Big Meet where they will lead the Silksworth Banner through the city.

Platinum Jubilee Concert

Join five of the Shepherd Group Brass Bands as we celebrate HM Queen Elizabeth’s Platinum Jubilee. 🇬🇧 
The concert will take at the Joseph Rowntree Theatre York, Saturday June 18th 7pm.
Grab your tickets now and don’t miss out 🎫 
👑🇬🇧🎺👑

https://www.josephrowntreetheatre.co.uk/whats-on/concert/platinum-brass/1517#

Band Chair Recovering Well

25th February 2021

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

19th February 2021

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

24th January 2021

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.

Our British Bandsman Photoshoot

Our British Bandsman photoshoot

13th April 2016

Big things are happening here at Shepherds, and we are delighted that the rest of the brass band community is catching on! A few weeks ago the band was lucky enough to welcome down an editor from the internationally published magazine British Bandsman to come write a feature on our organisation.

Negotiations for us having a feature originally started when the Senior Band played at the Bolsover Contest back in October. During the contest a series of interviews took place and the band’s conductor Richard got into a conversation with the magazines editor about all that we do at Shepherds. The editor was simply amazed at the sheer number of players that we have in the organisation and at the sound of our facilities and set up, and he suggested that we would make a perfect feature for the magazine.

So one Monday night we called all five bands together and Paul Hindmarsh from the magazine came down and our sponsors were even kind enough to provide us with a photographer. Whilst down he carried out a series of interviews with Richard Wilton, Craig Brown, Mike Pratt, David Gregg, Samantha Woodman and Imogen Brown to gain a feel of the organisation. Meanwhile each of the five bands carried out a short rehearsal and at the end we gathered everyone together for a big group shot.

It was a great evening all round and we were absolutely delighted when the magazine came out and our own Audrey Brown, former conductor of the Brass Academy, was on the cover.

British Bandsman front cover
Audrey featured on the front cover

Oh what a night! Our First Band Christmas Party

Oh what a night – our first Christmas Party!

12th April 2016

A true first for Shepherds! This year marked the bands first ever Christmas party – and what a party it turned out to be…

The final survivors of the night


The party itself was hosted after Christmas in January to allow all our lovely members a well deserved few weeks off and really got new year off to a cracking start. Held at the York Sports Club on Shipton Road over 100 members of the Shepherd Brass family turned out to celebrate the successful Christmas concert season. There was a full buffet, dancing, party games and a very cheap bar, so naturally the night was a huge success – even the elusive Mr Wilton was spotted on the dance floor!!

A highlight had to be when our wonderful Youth Band MD Mr Craig Brown showcased the skills he gained during his time working for Royal Caribbean and ran cruise ship party games! Everyone got involved and it added so much fun to the night – so thanks a lot Craig. 

Don’t they scrub up well?


The evening was so successful that we’re already looking at booking the same venue for this years Christmas Party – so watch this space! 

Coppergate Carolling Success

12th April 2016

Every year the bands of the Shepherd Group club together and spend a weekend in December carolling to raise funds for the band.

Sweet chiming bells.


This year was no exception and on the weekend of the 12th and 13th December members of all the Shepherds bands braved the winter elements for a weekend of carolling and managed to raise a whopping £1,000 and even the weather turned out to be in our favour! 

This is a great total and will be put towards new instruments for our future generation of players!

Massive thank you to all those who turned out and it was great to see so many of our young players giving up their weekend to help the band.