James Shepherd’s Versatile Brass
After an evening of fine wine and dining we were privileged to a musical programme by James Shepherd’s Versatile Brass. Re-formed by one of the most respected cornet players in the world, James Shepherd’s decision to regenerate Versatile Brass in 2013 excited both former players and the brass band community as a whole.
The NABBC was, therefore, one of the recent new audiences who appreciated the wonderful combination of long-serving VB members and new talent; each member demonstrating their accomplishment as a soloist in their own right. Their combined talents resulted in a vibrant virtuosity and polished professionalism which reached the highest standards of technical proficiency and artistic musicality. Led by the ‘ever entertainer’ Derek Broadbent this was a concert performance not to be missed.
The chosen programme was as their name suggests, always ‘Versatile’, selected from repertoire especially composed or arranged for this group together with a number of new arrangements. The new items were particularly enjoyable and offered an excellent balance of musical genres.
This evening event brought an opportunity to reflect upon the many combined years those present shared within the brass band movement and to celebrate past and present achievements of a former revolutionary ensemble that has inspired the playing of brass instrumentalists for more than 40 years. A unique moment, reminding us all why we are providing so much support for our Association members and the quality that can be achieved when brass musicians of excellence come together.