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.

Concert Band sparkles at Knaresborogh Christmas Market

This was the first Xmas outing for the Concert Band but unfortunately without Mike Pratt conducting due to a medical problem. However our Soprano player, James McFadden, very ably took the stick at the front and did an excellent job leading the CB through 2 hours of festive music in front of a packed Market audience. The local temperature of 5 deg didn’t help greatly though.

The first half was predominantly carols with the audience being asked for their requests. Mass singing by our listeners was hugely appreciated and really set the tone for the second half after a welcome break for the players to get their breath back.

The second half was mainly Xmas music that has been in the charts and has proven very popular. This included Let It Snow, Rocking around the Christmas Tree, Last Christmas etc mixed with the odd carol or two. Jingle Bells, as always, proved very popular with our audience. 500 Miles was somehow worked into the programme, complete with audience antiphonal singing. Great! The final number was announced as a slow middle ages Christmas tune that needed to be played with due care and solemnity. That’s when the Band wholeheartedly launched into Mr Holder and Mr Lea’s Merry Christmas Everybody with wholehearted and lung busting effort. 

Gloves certainly helped with the weather!

A cold but great Christmas Concert. Organisers pleased. Audience pleased. A good collection. What could be better? Before we left we were asked to do the same job next year.

Many thanks to our senior band Baritone Player Jen for the photos.

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.

A welcome in the City!

We can confirm the news that our good friends at Cory Band will be joining us again in York on November 19th. This is a great opportunity to see the Cory Brass In Concert set on the same day as their performance at the Sage in Gateshead. This will of course be followed by a roof lifting joint performance from Cory and the Shepherd Group Senior Band. Keep an eye out for details of the venue and tickets.