Archived News Stories
We are looking forward to our Last Night of the Proms concert in the Helmsley Arts Centre on Saturday 20th July 2013. Please click on the image for a larger version.
Whit Friday Success!
The Band enjoyed a successful day competing at the Whit Friday Marches on Friday 24th May in the Saddleworth and Tameside contests. With the help of our excellent and friendly drivers from York Pullman, we managed to take in eight contests in total including Delph, Diggle, Dobcross, Lees & Springhead, Lydgate, Scouthead, Dukinfield and Carrbrook. The Band performed solidly at all venues with lots of praise from the adjudicators and in particular for Principal Cornet Ollie Abbey for his solo in our contest march Honest Toil. We secured a first prize at Lees and many other good placings with an overall placing of 32rd out of 60+ bands for the Saddleworth Area Contest.
A very enjoyable day was rounded off in fine style with the Band enjoying some well-earned ‘refreshment’ at the Tame Valley Hotel in Dukinfield.
NATIONAL FINALS HERE WE COME!
Competing at the North of England Brass Band Championships in Darlington on Sunday 17th March, the Band has secured a place at the National Brass Band Championship Finals this coming September in Cheltenham for a remarkable 4th year in succession. The Band drawn no.3 was awarded 2nd prize and Richard Lovatt secured the Best Euphonium prize for the second year running. Having played the excellent and highly challenging test piece by Edward Gregson, The Plantagenets, the Band’s spirits were high as our performance was tipped to win 1st prize by the British Bandsman, 4barsrest and all4brass in their live contest comments on social media. However, we were pipped to the 1st prize by our good friends the Ripon City Band who will join York RI in representing the North of England at the Finals. Special mention should go to Oliver Abbey who was leading the Band for first time as Principal Cornet, to Pearce Abbey, his younger brother, who made his contest debut on Solo Trombone and to William Rowson who was debuting on Soprano Cornet, all of whom acquitted themselves so well. The Band’s prize winning performance has also secured promotion for York RI to the First Section from January 2014.
The Band has enjoyed an incredibly busy season of concerts and carolling. Following the disappointment of our concert at Bridlington Spa being cancelled at the start of December due to extreme weather conditions (to be rescheduled in Spring 2013), the Band has performed a joint concert with York RI Golden Rail Band and their Development Band, a concert at Lidgett Grove Methodist Church, carols at Tesco’s to fundraise and provided music for York Funeralcare at their Offices for the families of those bereaved in the last twelve months.
However, the highlight of the month was the Band’s appearance at the Lord Mayor of York’s Community Carol Concert held at the Barbican to a packed audience of 1,600, which was a triumph! The Band performed magnificently and received high praise from one and all for the quality of our music making and our accompaniment to the community carol singing. But the Band is not finished for Christmas just yet! We will once again perform at Leeds Minster on Friday 21st December for Leeds Funeralcare, we will be live on BBC Radio York at 8.00am on Saturday 22nd playing listener choice carols and then on to more fundraising at Tesco’s Clifton Moor later that day. The Band’s final appearance of this festive season will be outside St Martin-le-Grand Church in Coney Street, York for the annual shoppers’ multi-denominational service on Christmas Eve starting at 11.00am.
The Band would like to wish all its friends and supporters everywhere a very Merry Christmas and a peaceful and healthy 2013.
National Championships 2012
The weekend of 21-23 September promised much for the Band. After a long trip down to Cheltenham, we met up with old friends, enjoyed sociable company, had good weather (mostly), and hoped for a reasonable result in the contest for the 3rd successive year. Immediately after the last band had played, the reviewer from 4barsrest predicted we could be the 'dark horse' coming up on the rails for a place in the top 6! Unfortunately, the adjudicators didn't share this opinion and we came away with nothing more than their remarks to ponder on and work on for next time.
Many congratulations to the other North of England representatives, South Milford Band, who beat all the opposition to become National 2nd Section Champions and to Shepherd Group Brass Band who earned a very creditable 5th place in the 1st Section final.
Proms in the Gardens
York RI Band is joining forces with the Shepherd Group Brass Band for a spectacular concert on the Mystery Plays stage in the Museum Gardens on Monday 20 August. The concert is a combination of music celebrating York's 800 years of history since being granted a Royal Charter by King John in 1212 and the more familiar Proms style celebration.
Tickets can be booked through the Theatre Royal box office on 01904 623568 or online.
BIKES 4 BRASS! - Nicholas' Sponsored Cycle Ride
UPDATE - He did it! Nick and his bicycle arrived at Cheltenham Racecourse on Monday and got home in time for band practice the same evening.
On July 13th, YRIB principal trombone player Nicholas Eastwood will be cycling from the band room all the way to Cheltenham to raise money for the Band, to help us to compete in our third consecutive National Brass Band Championships of Great Britain final.
To raise money to get the Band there, Nicholas will cycle all the way to the venue which this year is at The Centaur, Cheltenham Racecourse.
Setting off from a sunny York at 2:00pm, the Band enjoyed a wonderful day’s music making at Whit Friday on the 1st June. Touring around Saddleworth and Tameside we competed at nine venues with our last contest around 10:30pm.
The Band played True and Trusty as its road march and the contest march Harlequin, earning a clutch of good results including 2nd prize Second Section at Greenacres where the adjudicator was impressed with the quality of our playing and his remarks can be read here. As last year, the Band took a number of notable scalps along the way including beating the mighty Fodens Band at one contest! The night concluded with the Band enjoying a well earned ‘social drink’ at the picturesque Tame Valley Hotel in Dukinfield.
The excitement and atmosphere of the day has been wonderfully captured by young photographer Jacob Phillips and a selection of his photos will appear on the website soon.
National Finalists Again!
For the third year in a row, York RI Band has qualified for the Finals of the National Championships of Great Britain and this time in the 2nd Section!
We have enjoyed rehearsing the challenging test piece, Cross Patonce by Goff Richards, and were just beaten into second place by South Milford Brass. South Milford also took the trophies for Best Basses and Best Soprano, but we were delighted to bring home the Best Euphonium title (and fancy shield) in the capable hands of Richard Lovatt.
Congratulations to Shepherd Group Brass Band, also from York, who took the honours in the First Section.
The date for the finals is Saturday 22 September at the Centaur, Cheltenham.
The Band enjoyed a highly successful and busy Christmas of music making. The Band’s annual Christmas Concert was once again held at St Chad’s Church with a highly challenging and suitably festive programme. Our soloists Sam Lovatt, James West and Richard Lovatt were on stunning form as were ‘Santa’s Little Helpers’ in the massed ranks trombone section feature of Nick Eastwood, Clive Marshall, Pearce Abbey, Tom Byrne and Tom Western!
The Band was honoured to play at Leeds Parish Church for the annual Cooperative Funeralcare Carol Service, earning plaudits for the quality of our playing from the renowned musician Simon Lindley. Other engagements included the Shoppers Carol Service in Coney Street on Christmas Eve and of course our carol ‘sing-along’ in the RI Bar with Uncles Clive and Gordon entertaining the appreciative audience royally!
One particular highlight this year was playing live on Radio York on the morning of Christmas Eve for listeners' carol requests with our Musical Director Gordon Eddison showcasing on cornet. Rumours that Gordon was off to Grimethorpe were scotched when it was announced that Roger Webster was rejoining as their new Principal Cornet! Along the way, we also entertained shoppers at Clifton Moor Tesco’s and raised £1,500 for Band funds.
York Celebrates John Barry
The Band was proud to play at a sell out (1500) concert in York Barbican on Sunday 30th October to pay tribute to the life and music of John Barry who died earlier this year. The concert featured over 200 York musicians and performers including the York Guildhall Orchestra, the Steve Cassidy Band, Prima Vocal & Millegro and Ewa Salecka, amongst others.
The Band has enjoyed rave reviews for its performance including "Just to say congratulations on yesterday's performance. YRI band were mesmerising, fabulous dynamics, I especially enjoyed the contrast of On Her Majesty's Secret Service and Chaplin. Many of our friends in the audience have also commented on how much they enjoyed the sound of the band..." and "Please can you pass on my congratulations to the band for a superb performance at the Barbican last night. I'd never heard the band before but for me they were best in show. The musical skill and sensitivity were second to none and the dignity, pride and enjoyment of the musicians & director were very evident..."
The Band will next perform at the Theatre Royal in York on Thursday 17th November. Tickets are available through the Theatre Royal Box Office and online.
The Band recently competed at the National Brass Band finals in Cheltenham and were placed 9th. The result, whilst a little disappointing given the excellent reaction to our performance in the hall and by 4barsrest who described it as "A marker of quality from the North East contenders", didn't spoil what was an excellent weekend and our 2nd appearance at the finals in two years!
The next few months are incredibly busy for the Band, including our performance as part of York's tribute to John Barry, which takes place at the Barbican on the 30th October with all 1,500 seats already sold out, and other concerts at Stamford Bridge and York Theatre Royal to look forward to.
The Band is also busy rehearsing for its first ever appearance at the Butlin's Mineworkers Championship that is taking place in Skegness on the weekend of the 21st and 22nd January. This will be our first contest since being promoted to the 2nd Section and we have the hugely challenging "The Frogs" by Bantock arr Frank Wright to keep us on our toes.
Whit Friday Successes!
The Band enjoyed a highly successful day at the Whit Friday March Contest on Friday 17th June. Setting off from York at 1.30pm the weather looked very ominous, but the Band was in high and confident spirits and what a brilliant day it proved to be! Playing consistently well on our contest march The Wizard at 8 different venues, the Band secured an incredible tally of 4 prizes for Third Section Bands.
Lydgate - 1st Prize (overall 17th out of 60 bands)
Denshaw - 2nd Prize (overall 21st out of 52 bands)
Greenacres - 2nd Prize (overall 17th out of 40 bands)
Grotton - 2nd Prize (overall 14th out of 46 bands)
In addition to this James West won the prize for best soprano cornet of the day at Grotton where 46 bands competed including Brighouse & Rastrick and Rothwell Temperance Band! The Band took some other notable scalps along the way, beating the Championship Section bands Fodens, Leyland, Wingates and Marsden at different venues.
A recording of the band at Grotton featuring James’s prizewinning performance can be seen at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Li9g8D6riP0
This report was published in The Press on Friday 22 April 2011, following our success in Darlington.
Tameside Runners-Up Again
We went to the Tamseide Open on 27 March hoping to continue our winning streak with a reprise of our performance of Philip Wilby's 'A Little Light Music' from the previous week. On the day we had to settle for being beaten into 2nd Place by a single point but have yet another trophy to add to our growing collection. Nigel was unable to be with us in the prize winning percussion section, having had to return to London, but Sheila bravely stepped into the breach and took over very ably on glock, tambourine and tam-tam.
North of England Champions 2011 !!
On Saturday 19 March 2011, York Railway Institute Band became 3rd Section Champions of the North of England! In the Dolphin Centre hall the tension was mounting. After the excitement of retaining the Best Percussion trophy, and the awarding of 3rd and 2nd places to East Riding of Yorkshire and Ripon City Bands, announcer Alan Hope kept everyone waiting for what seemed like an eternity before declaring the winners of the 3rd Section were the band drawn Number ............. Six, York Railway Institute. We had finally managed to go one better than last year and have come home with an enormous and very impressive looking shield, a trophy for Gordon as Conductor of the winning band and not forgetting the trophy for Best Percussion for the second year running. Many congratulations to everyone! Mark the date in your diaries now for the finals on 24th and 25th September at The Centaur, Cheltenham.
York Minster Carol Service
The Band was pleased to be able to step in at the last minute to play a carol concert for FSID (Foundation for the Study of Infant Deaths) at York Minster on Sunday 5th December after the band who were booked were unable to undertake the engagement due to adverse weather. Our thanks go to members of the York RI Golden Rail, Shepherd Group and Otley Bands who kindly helped us.
This report was published in The Press on Monday 29 November, following our success at the Northern Open Championships.
Northern Open Champions 2010!
Travelling across the Pennines and into the very heartland of our Lancastrian rivals, the Band gained first prize at the Northern Open Championships held in St Helens on Sunday 21st November. Soprano cornet player Jack Capstaff was awarded the certificate for the Best Soloist and Gordon Eddison was presented with the William Lyon Memorial Trophy as MD of the winning band.
Playing the incredibly difficult test piece Diadem of Gold, Mr Michael Hughes commended the Band for taking on such a tough challenge and for our all round musicianship. Jack gave a first class display of high pressure and high wire soprano playing and richly deserved his award. Gordon has worked tirelessly since his appointment in January instilling in the Band a sense of drive, enthusiasm and ambition to succeed which we are confident will continue through to 2011 and further contesting success!
Even a slight mishap involving the Band coach, an Eb bass and a tarmac road didn't spoil a very enjoyable and satisfying day.