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Last notes ring out for JSVB

43 years of fantastic music making comes to an end for the James Shepherd Versatile Brass group and its iconic founder.

James Shepherd


43 years of ground breaking music making played its final bars in Delph this week as the renowned James Shepherd Versatile Brass gave their last concert in the heart of Saddleworth.

The Millgate Arts Centre was packed to capacity as former colleagues, friends and brass enthusiasts listened to the ensemble in concert for a final time under the baton of MD, Martyn Evans.


Formed in 1972 by the legendary cornet player James Shepherd, the event provided a fitting finale for over four decades of innovative music making by some of the banding world's finest exponents.

Fittingly, the evening was completed with a wonderful presentation made to its iconic founder as the former Black Dyke principal cornet received a personal portrait (pictured above) by bass player, Colin Aspinall — the only ever present throughout the group's existence.


Having been humbled by Colin's emotive speech, Jim thanked everyone who had been involved with the ensemble over the years — adding that its success was not just down to an insatiable pursuit of musical excellence, but also of friendship and more than a touch of fun wherever they performed in the world.


It was also announced that the JSVB name will be commemorated through an annual player award to the National Children's Brass Band of Great Britain, which on the night was gratefully received by Black Dyke tuba player Phil Godwin.

Formed in 1972 by the legendary cornet player James Shepherd, the event provided a fitting finale for over four decades of innovative music making by some of the banding world's finest exponents4BR


Proceeds from the a highly enjoyable evening that also featured world whistling champion, Dave Morris, will also go the NCBBGB as will monies from the sale of commemorative DVD recordings of the evening.

Costing £5 the DVDs can be purchased by sending a cheque with your postal address from:

Versatile Brass
c/o 62 Wakefield Road


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Andrew White

MA(Ed Man), B Ed (Hons), BBCM, ADNCB, PGCE, Cert Ed
Conductor, Arranger, Adjudicator & Educationist