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Shepherd's seasonal delight

The Shepherd Building Group Brass Band played to a packed house for their Annual Christmas concert last Friday at the Rowntree theatre in York.


The Shepherd Building Group Brass Band played to a packed house for their Annual Christmas concert recently at the Rowntree Theatre in York.

The concert has become the start of Christmas for many people and not only features the senior band, who are currently Championship section but also their Concert and Beginners bands.


The evening was started by a few festive carols played by the Beginners Band, which is made up of players who range from absolute beginners to about a year’s playing, there was a short break before the Shepherd Building Group Concert Band took the stage, this is made up of players old and young who either have been there and now just want to play without pressure or learners on the way up to the senior band. They played a number of pieces to the delight and rapturous applause of the packed theatre.

After a short interval during which the stage was reset the senior band took the stand. The band played a mixture of Christmas and concert pieces ranging from ”Santa-claustrophobia” through to ”The Way We Were”, which was performed as a solo by Mike Pratt, the band’s principal euphonium player.

Mark Durham, the band’s recently signed principal cornet played the cornet solo “Virtuosity” with consummate ease and dexterity and showed why he is regarded as one of the top cornet players in the North East.

New CD

The band also used the event to launch it’s new CD, “Aces High”. The CD features a number of soloists and is based upon movie themes, the initial reaction has been little short of breathtaking and they are on sale now.

The Christmas concert has rounded off a momentous year for the band. The band struggled in the early stages of the year, but under the guidance of their MD Tim Oldroyd the year has simply just got better and better. The band had a second place at Hardraw Scar in September followed by a win at Malton in November. A number of key players have signed or re-signed for the band recently such as Mark Durham, Kevin Moxon, Cath Tobbit, Robert Hill to name a few.

The band is looking forward to 2007 and would like to take this opportuinity to wish all its friends of the band and its sponsors, the Shepherd Building Group, a Happy Christmas and prosperous New Year.

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Craig Roberts

BA (Hons), MA
Conductor / Adjudicator