Bob Pitts

Grace Coates

John Smith

Rebecca Coates, Anne Mercer,

Paul Spalding

Paolo Pezzangora

Karen Wears, Duncan Smith

Anne White, Steve Easton

Darran Wheeler

Liz Smith

Mary Cox

Karen Pitts

David Birch

Adrian White

Eugene Gratwohl

Position Vacant

Tom Evans

Position Vacant

Position Vacant

Ken Smith, Position Vacant

Ben Lewis-Skeath, Position Vacant

Alec Banner

Eleanor Smith










1st Eb HORN:

2nd Eb HORN:












Conductor Howard Gibbs joined Shipston Band in 2006, having already conducted the band the previous year.  No stranger to the band joining as Principal Trombone in 1979 under Richard Nash’s time for four years. He began in the Salvation Army, the National Midland and Birmingham Youth Orchestras. After a spell in the Army he played in the Championship Section. A competent conductor,  he led the band successfully from a first place win at the 2010 Area Finals to compete at the National Finals.

Shipston Town Band is the original town band and is a contesting band which in the past has enjoyed a string of successes in the contesting field. Recently promoted to the Third Section, the band enjoys a full engagement book and welomes players who enjoy their contests and bandstands alike.

a new year and a new start

     With the Midland Area Finals on the horizon, Shipston Band shape up to take on the challenge set by this annual event.

     A New Year naturally brings with it new challenges and change, like it or love it, these two are always present, it was this in mind that the band have made the decision to hold just one regular performance a week and Wednesday evening is the regular rehearsal evening that was chosen. Naturally with the Areas so close two rehearsals a week may still be required.

     This situation has presented itself before over the years and then too it was decided that throughout the year, with the exception of the run-up to contests, one rehearsal per week was most practical.

     The other challenge, is of course players, like so many other bands vacancies exist in both the trombone and bass ranks, so any trombone or bass players out there will be most welcome. We are a friendly bunch and in common with most modern brass bands, perform at a variety of functions, we are a third section band, at present, so welcome experienced players, if you are up for a challenge and a change, give our Band Secretary a call.

     Shipston Town Band competed in the Midland Area Brass Band Championships on Sunday.

     They played the set test piece Facets Of Glass by Gordon Langford in a new venue The Cube in Corby. Unfortunately a warm-up room was not available to enable the band to tune-up prior to their performance. However not to be deterred resourceful members of the band approached the manager of Costa Coffee where they were enjoying a drink. Surprisingly he said there was space upstairs and they would be welcome to use it.

     The word went out and the band gathered together and played through Blaenwern and tuned-up, even practising the opening to their test piece. Was there a fairy tale ending? Sadly not, as although the band gave a fine performance they were placed outside the prizes by the adjudicators. However it certainly made it a day to remember.

David Birch

costa before cube

     Congratulations to our young percussionist Alec Banner. After 3 years as a member of the percussion section of the National Childrens Brass Band of Great Britain.

     Alec has been accepted as a member of the National Youth Brass Band of Great Britain in their percussion team. He will have the chance to perform at prestigious venues such as The Royal Albert Hall and Symphony Hall.  He has already performed with them at a recent Conductors Workshop and his first course will be in August after her has completed his final course with the NCBBGB.

alec moves to national band

     On Sunday April 25th a service to celebrate Anzac Day was held a St Martin's Church Barcheston.

     Shipston Town Band was asked to play The Roust, a bugle call after a one minute silence.

     Adrian White  represented the band who were only too pleased to take part in this moving service which included recollections of the various contributions made by the forces of Australia and New Zealand during the two World Wars, recorded musical contributions and concluded with the singing of the Australian New Zealand and UK National Anthems.

anzacs remembered . . .

and the winner is . . .

     No it's not the Oscars - But something locally just as important!     

     It’s always very satisfying to see an individual thanked for their efforts for ‘making a difference’, so it is with great pride and pleasure the band saw one of their members honoured for an unstinting and unselfish effort over the years.

     Such was the case recently when Band Secretary David Birch received the 2022 Shipston Award. David started his journey with Shipston Town Band some 64 years ago in 1958 and over the years has achieved much, besides playing euphonium with Shipston Town Band, he has for some time been the band secretary, but over the years has taken on many challenges.

     He took up the mantle to organise and run the band’s junior section for a number of years on the passing of the late Dennis Abbotts, organising competitions for the younger element within the band. He took on organising the Town Band and then formed their sister band, Stour Concert Brass, as somewhere for players from the Training Band to advance to and help fill any missing chairs in the main band, retaining many older players, naturally Dave conducts Stour. ‘Someone’ has to administer the bands extensive library, so Dave took on that.

     Secretaries in most organisations wear many hats and David is no exception and he’s worn most of them at one time or another.  It has been a huge commitment for which David has freely given his time and effort so it was with huge pride and pleasure the Band President, Councillor Ronnie Murphy presented David with the award at last week’s annual town meeting.


     The 'Back To Bands' project organised by Darren Lea reached its fulfilment on Monday, 16th May, 2022, when players from many of the bands Darren had recorded joined together for a massed recording at the Band Factory in Leamington home of Royal Spa Brass.

     Shipston Town Bands were represented by Alan Birch, Liz Smith, Adrian White, Dave Birch, and Alan Robbins on behalf of both Shipston Town Band and Stour Concert Brass.

     Other bands represented varied from: Jaguar Land Rover and City Of Coventry to local community bands such as Bulkington and District of Dunchurch.

     Conducted by Dave Lea the band recorded 'The Prayer' arranged by Michael Garasi,  'An Irish Blessing' and Jurassic Park' concluding fittingly w'ith 'Under the Boardwalk', featuring Darren Lea on Flugel. The recording formed part of a presentation available on You Tube.

back to future? . . .

shut that door!

     Well, the once 'new door' (bottom right) kept sticking and the locks often refused to unlock and all round the bandroom doors were a sorry looking lot.

     So the decision was made to deal with the issue and two new, metal double glazed doors have now been fitted.

     Another unexpected problem was after the car park resurface which lead to airflow problems under the structure issues regarding damp were addressed, now the ground works to the car park have been completed, rectifying the problems caused by tarmacing up to the band room wall. 


Four photos of Droitwich Bandstand with Shipston in situ - the difference is the four fine soloists of Shipston during their individual performances.

     Shipston Town Band gave their first post Covid Bandstand when visiting Lido Park in Droitwich in May.

     Despite chilly weather there was a good crowd with a number of local bands represented. The programme was varied and included Gordon Langford's exciting 'West Country Fantasy' and a terrific old march  'The Conqueror' by J Moorhouse discovered during the band hall redevelopment.

spot the difference

town at shipston proms


Town Band at Shipston Both the Town Band and our newly formed Junior Section took part at events in Shipston Proms.     

     The Town Band gave its traditional concert at the Townsend Hall on Saturday, 18th June. The band presented an interesting and varied concert with music from films such as 'Raiders Of The Lost Ark' and 'Ben Hur' and also included solo items. Principal Cornet John Smith performed 'A Million Dreams' from the Greatest Showman, Solo Horn Liz Smith played 'Over The Rainbow' from The Wizard of Oz and Euphonium Soloist Adrian White played 'Isn’t It a Lovely Day' by Irving Berlin in an arrangement by our own Ken Smith. All these solos were accompanied by the band but young percussionist Alec Banner played two Marimba solos 'Pittfield Sonata' introduction and 'Toccata'. Alec will performing his final concert with the National Children’s Band in Wells Cathedral shortly and will then be joining the National Youth Brass Band Of Great Britain.

     Our new young Junior Section conducted by Stephanie Wilson made their debut in the Proms as part of the Junior School Proms Concert and gave an enchanting performance. As well as two solos they performed 'Supercaliphragilisticexpealidocious' and 'China' complete with a loud final note on the Tam Tam which was delivered with a big smile. The youngsters resplendent in their new bright blue bow ties thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

David Birch


     The Summer Programme Of Bandstand Concerts continued and the Town Band had the benefit of some lovely weather and a large crowd for their visit to Stratford and the bandstand on the Recreation Ground.

     The varied programme included two marches 'The Avenger' and 'The Conqueror' and film music from 'Dances With Wolves' and 'He Man and Masters Of The Universe' plus contributions from the bands array of soloists. Young solo cornet player Kieran Bown made his debut with the band and gave an excellent performance of 'The Lazy Trumpeter'

David Birch

kieran bown debuts

at stratford bandstand  

     Three of our youngsters also performed at the Barcheston Young Musicians Concert.

     Tallula Matthews played 'Song Of The Night Sky', Rufus Gallagher played 'Machushla' and Alec Banner reprised his solos from the Town Band Concert.                                                                                 David Birch

shipston trio shine at barcheston