Something special is coming…

2024 sees the 20th anniversary of our relationship with Shepherd Group as our sponsors. Over that time we have benefitted from first class rehearsal facilities and have grown the band organisation to something we are all justifiably proud of. So we are going to be celebrating.

We have commissioned Liz Lane to compose a piece of celebratory music that represents the bands and the company who support us. We have had several workshops where Liz has worked with each band storyboarding our feelings about the band, what we get from it as players and as a band family as a whole. Liz has also been allowed to visit the Portakabin production site where she drew inspiration from the machinery used in the production of the Portakabin product lines.

On May 21st, players from each of the bands in the organisation got together in the band room for the first full run through of the piece. Liz was there to hear the work and has gone away with a couple of ideas for final tweaks. It was great to hear this come together and there are a few real surprises in store for the audience.

An image of players from all the bands looking back and waving to the camera.

This new composition will receive its premiere at the celebration concert the bands are holding at York Theatre Royal on June 29th 2024. Tickets are selling fast for this concert so you will need to head to the box office if you want to hear the performance. Tickets can be obtained via the link below.

York Theatre Royal

Liz has worked with many bands and is composer in association with Grimethorpe Colliery Band, writing music for their recent Brass in Concert set performed at the Glasshouse in Gateshead. You can find out more about Liz and her approach to composition at her website.

https://www.lizlane.co.uk

Christmas Concert Success

Once again, all the bands came together over 2 nights to entertain packed audiences in the Joseph Rowntree Theatre. Both evenings were started off by Brass Roots who once again impressed everyone with their playing and showed the audience how well they are coming along as new players.

The Academy Band were next perform followed by the Youth Band. Both performances demonstrate that the future of the band is safe and that there is a wealth of musical talent coming along through our ranks.

Next up were the Concert Band, although Mike was not at the helm this time. Everyone will know Mike had a heart attack earlier this year and had to go up to Middlesborough for bypass surgery. He is now well on the road to recovery and we are assured his jokes will be be back and will be as bad as ever. One of the highlights of the Concert Band set had to be the superb solo played by Emerson Hampshire, they really did nail their version of Peter Grahams Away in A Manger.

The second half of the concert was over to the Senior Band and they provided an upbeat version of Christmas with a a funky big band take of God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen. Our new Principal Cornet, Sean Chandler, gave a brilliant rendition of Santa Claus is Coming to Town and the set was concluded with a finale recounting the story of the Christmas 1914 truce where Mike Pratt starred as the narrator, he really can’t stay away.

The finale saw all bands back on stage where we invoked the spirit of Christmas and Pantomime with “If I were not in Shepherds Band” arranged by the Concert Band Soprano Cornet player James McFadyen. I’m sure everyone who saw the finale will have loved the dancers who performed.

The Christmas concert is one of the highlights of the year and it was so good to have all bands back on stage together. We now look forward to 2023 and what it brings for us all. The band would like to wish all our friends and followers a Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year.

Carolling and answering an appeal.

On December 21st, members of all our bands got together to play Christmas Carols for the residents of Amarna Care home in Macomb and Rowntree Lodge care home in New Earswick. This has become an annual event over the past few years and our players love giving something back to our local community. Of course, the mulled wine and mince pies are always make a welcome appearance.

This year we had another venue to add to our tour of York after we received an appeal to play for 99 year old Rowley from Heworth. Rowley has been a long standing fan of a Brass Band and of course we were happy to drop round on our way back to the band room. His neighbours were treated to an unexpected impromptu concert and came out to listen, his next door neighbour was very surprised on returning from her dog walk!

Merry Christmas everyone!

Happy Birthday Richard!

The Shepherd Group Bands came together to surprise the Senior Band MD Richard Wilton for his 50th birthday this week. On one of the few nights Richard was not in the band room, he was at home relaxing only to hear a band playing Slaidburn; not something you expect to hear in a corner of York just after tea.

Imagine these guys marching along your street!

Players from the Academy Band, Youth Band and Concert Band joined players from the Senior band to march down Richard’s street and then serenade him with Happy Birthday and Congratulations. neighbours all came out to watch and Nicola had prepared cupcakes which all the player enjoyed.

When Richard came to the band originally, he had a 5 year plan in mind, now over 12 years later the plan has grown, we have seen the introduction of the Youth band and the Senior Band have progressed to the Championship Section and are competing in the Senior Cup. All the players really appreciate the efforts Richard has put into the band and I’m sure the turnout for his birthday demonstrates that.

Happy Birthday Boss.

Happy Birthday Richard!

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.