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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. Currrently residing in the Fourth Section, the band seeks to regain its position further up the sections. The band enjoys a full engagement book and welomes players who enjoy their contests and bandstands alike.
Karen Wears, Stephen Easton
Ken Smith, Vacancy
Ben Lewis Skeath, Vacancy
the lights went out but the band played on
OXFORD BRASS BANDS ASSOCIATION WINTER CONTEST, MARLBOROUGH SCHOOL, WOODSTOCK - SUNDAY 24TH FEBRUARY, 2019.
After a number of weeks of intensive rehearsals the band travelled to Marlborough School in Woodstock for the ODBBA winter contest where they competed against 10 other bands some local and some who had travelled a considerable distance.
All the bands chose to play the Area Test Piece 'Stantonbury Festival Overture' by Ray Steadman Allen. Drawn number one the band gave an excellent performance which drew praise from adjudicator Phillip Littlemore for both the band and conductor Howard Gibbs. The band was awarded first prize and Darran Wheeler on Flugel Horn was awarded the outstanding Soloist award.
This achievement was made even more special by the fact that a motion sensor in the hall switched off all the lights as the band was approaching the climax of the final movement. Unperturbed the band played on and the lights were reactivated for the final chord. Two weeks of further rehearsal will see the band give a second performance of the piece at the Midland Area Brass Band Championships held in Kenilworth at Kenilworth School.
shipston all set for a day at the races
MIDLANDS AREA FINALS, KENILWORTH SCHOOL- SATURDAY, 9TH MARCH, 2019
No, we’re not talking the Marx Brothers film or that the members of Shipston Town Band have taken up horse racing, but they will be appearing at The Centaur Centre, Cheltenham Racecourse, on Saturday, 14th September, as they join other entrants in the Fourth Section National Finals and have already, we are reliably informed, qualified to go up to the Third Section.
This amazing venue at The Centaur Centre overlooks the magnificent Chelteneham Racecourse set in the rural Gloucestershire on the outskirts of Cheltenham and provides a spectacular setting as brass bands the length and bredth of the country who having qualified in regional finals compete to in four sections in the hope of being number one in their respective section.
After their earlier triumph when Shipston came first in the Fourth Section at the Oxford Association Contest, where they gave ‘Stantonbury Festival’ its first outing, Howard Gibbs and his band reinforced the success with a creditable third at Kenilworth and a place at this years Nationals.
This year was an odd one for the Regionals, because building work at the previous year’s venue created a shortage of accommodation to host all sections at the one venue, a school in Kenilworth School hosted two sections with the other two being held at Bedworth. So after Shipston’s Oxfordshire success the Saturday outing proved very fruitful. It was very apparent from the adjudicators’ comments Shipston had cracked it, one member commented what an impressive and complimentary report it was, with one or two players picked out for special mention.
This result was even more impressive, given the fact, that like so many other bands nationwide players are at a premium and some chairs remained unfilled in the band on a regular basis, however, despite this Shipston showed just how they can perform under pressure - the lights went out during their Oxfordshire performance yet they came first and in Kenilworth a tight band brought home the third prize, so it’s with these successes under their belts they will endeavour to garner more success at Cheltenham.
The delight which Howard Gibbs displayed on the news of this win was only too apparent, as the band brought home a little prize money and a trophy after a concerted group effort and all the hard work that goes with that. Historically Shipston Town Band have often enjoyed contest success and have found themselves at the National Finals before, yet success has for a few years eluded them, so it’s really great that they are able to see themselves enjoying contesting success once again.
a spa day for shipston band
LIDO PARK, DROITWICH- SUNDAY, 9TH JUNE, 2019
The band visited Droitwich Lido bandstand for the first time in three years and received a warm welcome from a good audience.
The band played a varied programme including the rarely heard march ‘Viva Birkenshaw' and Alan Fernie's spirited opener ‘Prismatic Light’. No less than six soloists were featured and all played well. Solo Trombone Bev Bosworth featured the traditional trombone solo ‘Where 'ere You Walk’ while Adrian White played a brand new horn solo ‘Bohemien’. Flugel Horn Darran Wheeler played a brand new solo ‘Lullaby In Birdland’ and Principal Cornet Grace Coates featured the traditional Scottish Melody ‘Aye Waukin Oh’. Paul Lovatt Cooper's ‘Horizon’ brought this highly varied and entertaining programme to a close.
shipston sparkle in their national finals year!
SHIPSTON PROMS CONCERT, TOWNSEND HALL, SHIPSTON-ON-STOUR - SATURDAY, 15TH JUNE, 2019
Despite the threat of rain a good and appreciative audience gathered at the Townsend Hall for the annual Soloists Showcase Concert as part of Shipston Proms.
Principal Cornet Grace Coates delighted the audience with ‘O Divine Redeemer’ arranged for Kirsty Abbotts. Solo Trombone Bev Bosworth gave a terrific performance of the classic trombone solo 'Where E’er You Walk' by Handel and also featured were Solo Horn Adrian White, Flugel Horn Darran Wheeler and the cornet team of Grace Coates, John Smith, Paolo Pezzangora and Rebecca Coates who wowed the audience with a very spirited version of ‘Mr Sandman’. Euphonium player David Birch made a surprise appearance standing for the unwell Jamie Raffell with an arrangement by Charlie Cox of the Glenn Miller favourite ‘I Know Why’.
Other items included ‘Prismatic Light’, ‘Big Band Explosion’ comprising three classic big band hits, ‘Trailblaze’ by Goff Richards and a delightful setting of 'Abide With Me’ by Albert Jakeway before the concert closed with a performance of 'Stantonbury Festival Overture’ which gave conductor Howard Gibbs the opportunity to record the band’s recent contest successes and its forthcoming visit to the National Brass Band Championships at The Centaur Centre, Cheltenham Racecourse, just outside Cheltenham on Saturday, 14th September, 2019, so if you fancy a day out and wish to cheer Shipston on the band will be delighted to see you there as they take on other bands in their section.
The audience clapped for more and the band happily obliged with an arrangement of the hymn ‘The Day Thou Gavest’.
a sandman, three maids and seven dwarfs
The Town Band visited Evesham for their annual visit to Abbey Park to perform a concert in the bandstand. Despite the threat of rain, the weather remained fine and the band drew a decent crowd.
The band played a varied programme and a number of people came over afterwards and complimented the band on its choice of music and performance. Principal Cornet Grace Coates. Solo Horn Adrian White and Euphonium David Birch were all featured as soloists and there were two sectional features with the cornets playing an arrangement of the Chordettes 1950’s hit ‘Mr Sandman’ and the horns an arrangement of ‘Three Little Maids’ by Eb Bass Player Ken Smith. ‘Seven Dwarfs Swing’ proved popular with audience and the band finished in fine style with Paul Lovatt Coopers ‘Horizons’.
premier performances at pershore
PERSHORE MIDSUMMER BRASS - SATURDAY, 6TH JULY, 2019
Thirty bands entertained the crowds at four different venues in Pershore between 10 a.m. and 10 p.m. The day began with a fanfare composed by the bands Eb Bass player Ken Smith and performed by members of Alcester Victoria Band
Shipston Town Band were fortunate to be allocated two spots performing at both the Angel Inn and Pershore Abbey. The band was on fine form at both venues. At the Angel they included a cornet feature ‘Mr. Sandman’ featuring Grace Coates, John Smith, Paolo Pezzangora and Rebecca Coates. The Waltz from the ‘Jazz Suite’ by Shostakovich, 'Seven Dwarfs Swing’ and the Theme Music from ‘Game Of Thrones’ were included in an entertaining programme.
The Abbey provided a chance for more melodic music to suite the warm acoustic. Principal cornet Grace Coates gave a superb performance of ‘O Divine Redeemer’, originally arranged for the band’s famous alumni Kirsty Abbotts and David Birch performed the euphonium solo ‘I Know Why’. Albert Jakeway’s meditative setting of ‘Abide With Me’ and Joseph Turrin’s ‘Hymn To Diana’ brought the programme to a reflective close.
The band was grateful for the help received from Arrow Valley Avonbank and Staffordshire Bands to cover for absences.