Christmas in June!

It is a few years since the Senior Band released their last Christmas CD and we are asked at every concert when the next one is coming out. We can answer that now and our new Christmas CD will be out in time for Christmas 2023. What that means for the band is that we need to record the music and this weekend saw us head down to All Saints RC School to lay down the tracks.

We welcomed Sharon Greenfield back for the recording, Sharon was our Flugelhorn player for many years and when we asked for a horn player to cover a seat, Sharon stepped in and made the 7 hour journey up from her home in Devon to help us out. That’s dedication!

Sharon Greenfield sharing a joke with Sean Chandler.

It does feel odd recording Christmas music while most of the band are sitting in shorts and T shirts, but some players really got into he spirit of the session and got out their Christmas shirts.

Karl Scarborough rocking the Christmas t-shirt

The first days recording went well and the work rate was extremely high.

The percussion crew figured out there was a time lapse running and set about choreographing their own little stop motion video. Such ingenuity!

Keep a look out for the details of the CD release date and also look out for the band’s earlier CD content being made available for streaming over a range of streaming platforms in the near future. In the meantime, here’s an outtake from the recording session and a short teaser of what’s coming up.

The tour continues…

Last night (15th February) the Youth Band went out from their hotel for a look round Disneyland Paris before heading back for food.

The band in front of their hotel.
The band at their Hotel.

After a long overnight drive down from York and an early morning ferry ride, the order of the day was Pizza and an early night. You do wonder how much sleep they got though!

Pizzas for the band
That’s the basses sorted for their tea then…

Today saw our Youth Band heading into Paris where they first went to explore Sacré Coeur before heading over to play in the Jardin du Luxembourg which is on the edge of the Latin Quarter. The park boats a spectacular bandstand which sees a variety of musical performances through the year. This time round, the sounds of Yorkshire Brass added to the atmosphere.

Check out these links to see the band performing in the Jardin du Luxembourg.

Youth Band head for France

Youth Band Ready or the Off
Youth Band all ready to set off.

The Shepherd Group Youth Brass Band are off on tour again. They all congregated at the bandroom at midnight on Valentines Day and boarded a coach heading for France. They arrived in Dover in the early hours of February 15th and then headed off to Calais.

When The Boat Comes In?
When the boat comes in…

The band will spend the 15th recovering from he overnight journey before heading off to play in two amazing locations. They will play in Le Jardin du Luxembourg on February 16th before heading to play on the main stage at Disneyland Paris on the 17th. Following that is the long journey back before the member os of the Senior Band accompanying them take the stage with Black Dyke Band on the 19th.

Keep an eye on the website for more updates on the concerts and what the players get up ti in their downtime!

Youth band players watch a clown
Is Craig still working on the boats?
Players stand on deck with the White Cliffs behind them.
Au revoir Dover!
Players on deck en route for Calais.
We’re on our way!
Players brave the cold for a selfie.
Bit cool for selfies!
Richard and some of the players looking at a model of the ferry.
I wonder if I could dock that at Naburn?

This trip is a highlight of the Youth Band calendar. We try to head out on a concert tour every year, it gives the players the chance of performing on prestigious stages and broadens their horizons. If you have children who would like to learn to play a brass instrument, then please reach out to us; contact details are available in the links above.

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!

Youth Band “Lights Up” Selby Abbey

Light Up A Life is an event our bands have been proud to be part of for many years in York. This year is no different and Sunday saw our Youth Band heading off to Selby Abbey where they performed to a packed audience in aid of St Leonards Hospice. This really is one of the most important performances of the year for the Youth Band and they were superb as they always are.

A chilly success!

On December 10th, the Senior Band took on a new Christmas Challenge at St Andrews Church in Bishopthorpe when they performed the live soundtrack to a showing Raymond Briggs’ animated film “The Snowman”. This was a new experience for the band, playing film music is a very different performance to a concert performance and the build up to this has been quite intense.

The band was joined by Buffy Breakwell who played keyboards with us and Sophie Sylvester who provided the vocals for the iconic song “Walking in the Air”. Everyone in the band was really impressed with the professionalism and superb musical ability of both our guests for the day. We can only hope this will not be our last collaboration.

We could have sold the tickets for this ten times over so next year we will be back to do it all over again. Watch this space!

That wasn’t the only thing we did on the day though!

In the interval between performances, the band went along to Bishopthorpe Sports and Social Club to play Christmas Carols for the Lollipop children’s Christmas party. Lollipop is a charity for D/deaf children and their families in York and the band’s Principal Cornet player Sean Chandler is involved in making music with the children the charity works with.

When Sean asked if a few players could go, the whole band said yes. Playing “Away in a Manger” with a choir signing the words was such a powerful moment.

If you want to know more about Lollipop and want to support their work, check out their website.

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.

Vacancies – BBb Bass

Following a number of signings over the past months, the band now welcomes applications for a BB Bass player to join our strong Bass Section.

We have a number of excellent Concerts planned for 2024 and beyond including another live performance of The Snowman.

What we have to offer:

  • Championship level banding 
  • Great concert-contest balance 
  • Fun contemporary music and the latest arrangements
  • Some of the best rehearsal facilities in the country
  • One of the largest banding organisations around, as recently featured in the British Bandsman 
  • A busy and lively social scene
  • Spring Festival Senior Cup, Blackpool 

The band practices on Tuesday and Friday evenings in York – however, our members travel from all over Yorkshire so lifts could most likely be arranged. 

For anymore information or an informal, confidential chat about the position, please contact Our MD Richard Wilton on 07973442249, richardwilton@nesyork.org 

Alternatively, feel free to message us directly through the bands Facebook page. 🎺🎼🎺

Please get in touch with Richard Wilton for further details.

Sponsor a mile to Disneyland

Next year, we are taking the Youth Band over to Disneyland Paris where they will represent us on the mains stage there in concert. This is a unique opportunity for our young players but is something we need your help in raising funds for.

It is 507 miles from the band room to the park, this makes a round trip of 1014 miles. Could you help the band out by sponsoring a mile? If you can help, then please click on the donate button below.