World famous band flocks to town

James Shepherd Versatile Brass
James Shepherd Versatile Brass

The Brighouse Business Initiative has announced exciting plans to bring the world famous James Shepherd Versatile Brass to the town to perform a gala concert together with internationally renowned singers.

The concert will be held at Central Methodist Church on Saturday, November 22, and will feature popular music including opera classics, modern day stage musicals and brass favourites.

The concert has been organised by John Buxton and the Brighouse Business Initiative team, together with Rachel Harrison.

John said: “This exciting concert is all part of our great plans to keep Brighouse on the map. Bringing this top class line-up to the town makes me very proud and is a testament to all the hard work put in by the volunteer committee on behalf of the Brighouse community.

“It goes without saying that we need people to show their full support for this not-for-profit concert and buy all the tickets.”

After a sabbatical, James Shepherd decided to re-form his Versatile Brass in 2013.

There has been no equivalent ten-piece within the brass band world to replace the original Versatile Brass, and the group’s early concerts with the new line-up have quickly come under high demand. The group is now a mixture of long-serving VB members and new talent.

Formed in 1972, Versatile Brass have performed around the world for over 40 years. Whilst the personnel has changed, James Shepherd, one of the most respected cornet/trumpet players in the world, who still directs and performs with the group, has maintained the world class standard of the ensemble. 

Paul Holroyd is a virtuoso tenor, performing the classic opera solos to the modern stage musical roles from Tosca to Les Miserables.

Alla Shumova, international, classically trained contralto from St Petersburg, Russia, will give a taste of her homeland music.

Brighouse’s own soprano Rachel Harrison has helped bring together the group of musicians to create the concert. She studied at the University of St Andrews and the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama and has performed with leading choral societies, which include the world’s oldest, the Halifax Choral Society. She has toured extensively with St Salvator’s Chapel Choir, performing in Prague, Brussels, Antwerp, Bruges, Budapest and Madrid and has performed before HRH Prince William.

Tickets are £15.50, concessions £14.50. They can be bought via (with a handling fee) or at Ryecorn Wholefoods, Bethel Street; Harrison Lord, Bradford Road; and Simply Flowers, Commercial Street.