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York RI Golden Rail Band is a non-contesting brass band based in central York

We are a versatile brass band and play a wide range of engagements, from outdoor concerts in the grounds of stately homes and beautiful parks and gardens to marching for Remembrance Day and memorial concerts. We play on bandstands from Pocklington to Goole and have played prestigious venues including York Minster, Joseph Rowntree Theatre and the National Centre for Early Music (NCEM). We love playing community concerts, whether it's a village Christmas carol concert or to boost your local fete or fayre. 

For the latest news about the Golden Rail Band, please go to our News area.

There are some band photos in the gallery below, but for the most up-to date pictures & videos, please visit our Facebook page and our YouTube channel.

York bands to make 'Beautiful Noise' for charity

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An “entertaining and surprising” introduction to brass music is promised by two of York’s brass bands, who are coming together to make a ‘Beautiful Noise’ at Bootham School.


Some of Bootham’s own brass students will also be joining York RI Golden Rail Band and Shepherd Group Concert Brass Band for the fun, family-friendly concert on Sunday 12 May, profits from which will be donated to York Against Cancer.


The bands will demonstrate the many styles and genres that modern brass bands play, with an emphasis on pop, soul, funk, movie theme tunes and songs from musicals.


“From Chaka Khan to Chicago, and Robbie Williams to Elton John, this concert has got something for everyone – except, on this occasion, traditionalists,” said Golden Rail Band’s conductor Nicholas Eastwood.


“Sunday afternoon brass band concerts tend to be known for marches, hymn tunes and overtures, and, while we like playing those too, we’re going for a different kind of vibe.”


Mike Pratt, conductor of Shepherd Group Brass Band, said: “This is about giving people an entertaining - perhaps even surprising – taste of the different music brass bands can play.


“Prepare to be up and dancing by the end of it!”


At a time when brass bands around the country are struggling to find enough players, both bands have a more-than-full complement, testament to the popularity of the brass band culture in York.  The Golden Rail Band, based near York station,  are celebrating their 40th anniversary this year, while the Shepherd Group brass bands are marking their 20th year under the sponsorship of Shepherd Group. 


Beautiful Noise, Sunday 12 May, 3-5pm, Bootham School. Tickets £10 (concessions £5) from  or on the door.

Golden Rail Band celebrates 40th anniversary with special recording 

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Golden Rail Band is marking its 40th anniversary this year with a programme of special concerts and events.

First up is a recording for East Leeds-based Chapel FM's brass band show, From the Bandroom - which, of course, took take place in the York RI bandroom at Queen Street in York.

The band played a concert programme devised by MD Nicholas Eastwood and former players were invited to join in.

"It was a great opportunity for a bit of a reunion, especially before the old bandroom gets demolished," said Nick. 

"I really enjoyed conducting it - we made a powerful sound with that many players!"

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Terry Suthers remembered

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We are sad to share news of the death of Golden Rail Band player Terry Suthers, who passed away at home after a long illness on 24 March 2024.

Terry, who joined Golden Rail in 2012, was coaxed back to the cornet and brass bands (an early passion) following an encounter with brass players at a ‘Late Learners’ jazz workshop at the National Centre for Early Music in 2011.

He soon became a stalwart on the back row, contributing enthusiastically to the life and music of the band. Together with Golden Rail Band players Bruce Jackson and Kate Lock and composer David Lancaster he formed Brassed On York, an organisation promoting brass band events. They staged the Proms in the Gardens on the York Mystery Plays stage in the Museum Gardens as part of the York 800 celebrations in 2012 with York Railway Institute Band and Shepherd Group Brass Band. The team subsequently co-ordinated brass band concerts across the region for the Tour de Brass as part of the Yorkshire Festival in 2014, including a Yorkshire Prom with the world-famous Black Dyke Band.

In later years, Terry switched instrument to the euphonium, which he enjoyed playing as part of a quartet with fellow musicians Bruce Jackson, Chris Stockton and John Stuart, something that continued to give him pleasure, company, and solace during his illness.

Terry was well connected, much respected, and well loved, professionally and personally. A conservator and archaeologist by training, he had been Director of the Yorkshire Museum, Assistant Director and Head of Public Services at the national Science Museum, and the CEO and director of Harewood House Charitable Trust in Leeds. He became Deputy Lieutenant for West Yorkshire in 2005 and was awarded an MBE for his services to museums and heritage in 2011.

“Terry Suthers was the epitome of the word ‘gentleman’,” said Nicholas Eastwood, Musical Director of Golden Rail Band. “He always knew what to say, and in such a positive, caring way, full of verve and enthusiasm. The selfless time and effort he put into everything he did leaves a legacy that we can be truly grateful to have been a part of.

“He will be dearly missed by us all at Golden Rail Band.”

The band were honoured to be asked by his wife Delma to play for Terry’s funeral, which was held in the Quire of York Minster on Thursday 25 April at 2pm. (Special thanks to members of York RI Band and Shepherd Group Brass Band for supporting us.)

Photo gallery - 2023 highlights

Please visit our Facebook page and our YouTube channel for the most up to date photos and videos.


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York RI Golden Rail Band, and York RI Development Band are constituent parts of York RI - a Charitable Incorporated Organisation, registration number 1165513