Deb Lyons

Another Victoria Hall Concert Success!

by Deb Lyons

On Saturday night July 6th we once again took to the stage of Bolton’s Victoria Hall for another gala concert with our friends from Smithills Community Music and our shared MD Chris Wormald. What a great concert it was again too!

The evening was not only another one of our very best ever, but certainly one of the hottest in terms of temperature on stage which many of us can remember too, undoubtedly affected by the sheer size of the audience which came to watch. We aren’t complaining about that though and it is wonderful to perform in front of so many people!

Our concert began with the fantastic played march O.R.B. and the cornet solo Cry Me A River played by Lynsey Hayes as she did with the band so superbly four weeks earlier in Amboise at the French Open Brass Band Championships. We then continued with our very first performance of West Side Story and the Corrs song Closer, also our very first performance of The Greatest Showman, Also Sprach Zarathustra and the brand new Mary Poppins Returns, Pirates of The Caribbean, Toccata, Live And Let Die, Riverdance and a final encore of New York! New York! featuring the audience and special guest vocalist Andrew Whittle who came up from the audience to join us.

Judging by the amazing audience reaction and the subsequent emails we have received, the concert was yet another huge Eagley and Smithills Community Music success and we look forward to returning to the Victoria Hall together on Saturday October 26th at 7.30pm for an evening of Disney music and a reprise of The Greatest Showman in aid of Bolton Little Lever Rotary Club.

To see photos from the concert, visit our Gallery Page

2019 French Open Championships Third Place And 500 Euros!

by Deb Lyons

We have just returned from a fantastic weekend in Amboise, winning 500 Euros at the 2019 French Open Brass Band Championships in Amboise by virtue of finishing Third Place in the Second Section of the contest this weekend.
For the past twenty five years the annual French Brass Band Championships have taken place at the exact same time as the French Open Tennis and huge crowds turn out to watch brass bands from all over the world take part.

The brass band competition is in three parts. Firstly, an indoor set test piece programme of 25 minutes is performed in the Theatre Beaumarchais where every band plays the prescribed set test (Rhapsody In Brass in the 2nd Section) and other own choice items. Secondly, there is an outdoor marching contest which takes place through the town centre of Amboise and finally there is an outdoor entertainment contest where every band must play 25 minutes of own choice music to a large crowd and which takes place with the stunning backdrop of Amboise Castle. A gala concert and results ceremony then takes place at 9pm in the evening.

To see highlights from our trip click on our Gallery Link 

Due to time and logistics, we flew out to Paris from Liverpool Airport on Friday evening June 7th and returned by coach on Sunday evening June 9th, arriving back in Bolton on Sunday with our stunning glass trophy and 500 Euros of prize money.

Our next concert in the Victoria Hall takes place on Saturday July 6th, the first time we will be performing The Greatest Showman, West Side Story, Mary Poppins Returns and the 25th anniversary of Riverdance, all on the same programme!

Eagley Entertain At Sir Ian McKellen’s 80th Birthday Gala Dinner

by Deb Lyons

On Friday evening May 24th, our MD Chris Wormald conducted an augmented band of Eagley principals as we entertained 180 specially invited guests from all over the world for an hour as they arrived at the Gala Birthday Dinner held at Bolton School in honour of Sir Ian McKellen, in his presence.

Famously educated at Bolton School, Sir Ian made his acting debut at the school nearly 70 years ago. An array of British theatre, film and television acting legends and personalities travelled up from London, most notably Sir Derek Jacobi and Timothy West, and Coronation Street’s Anthony Cotton and other cast members, together with former Fleet Street editor Janet Street Porter and the wife of Sir Patrick Stewart were also attended.

The biggest surprise of the evening for us at Eagley was the presence and solo performance given by Hollywood star Luke Evans, star of ‘Beauty And The Beast’ alongside Emma Watson and ‘Fast And Furious 8’ as part of the ensemble featuring Charlize Theron, Vin Diesel, Jason Statham, Dwayne Johnson, Kurt Russell and many more.

 

        

Mr Evans stood and watched us play pieces such as ‘The Incredibles’ and later in the evening he sang a number of songs accompanied by piano. A very special ‘live’ video message by X-Men and Wolverine star Hugh Jackman was also relayed on a large screen as Mr Jackman was on stage literally just a few miles away in Manchester on his ‘Greatest Showman’ European Tour but had originally hoped to attend Bolton School in person later in the evening.

Sir Ian was kind enough to say our playing was “first class” before his birthday dinner commenced.

Playing For Sir Ian McKellen’s 80th Birthday Celebrations!

by Deb Lyons

Famously educated at Bolton School and forever proud of his north west heritage having been born and raised in Burnley, Wigan and Bolton, legendary actor Sir Ian McKellen is currently in the middle of a nine month sell-out tour of UK theatres from January through to September to celebrate his 80th birthday and 80th birthday year. On Friday evening May 24th, the eve of his actual 80th birthday the following day, Sir Ian is Guest of Honour at a Gala Dinner being held at Bolton School, where he made his acting debut nearly 70 years ago and as part of the celebration there will be an hour long set of brass band music performed by Eagley Band as well as playing Happy Birthday for Sir Ian arranged especially by our MD!

From The Royal Shakespeare Company and Coronation Street to X-Men and all six Lord of The Rings films, Sir Ian McKellen is known throughout the world as an acting legend of classical stage, screen and television. The exhaustive and extraordinary list of his A-list friendships reads like a Who’s Who of the world’s leading actors, celebrities and personalities of the past and present and we have been booked for this gala event for many months! Sir Ian plays Bolton Town Hall the following night, on his actual birthday of Saturday May 25th, because he considers Bolton to be his acting home and it is therefore the centrepiece of his nine month national tour. Sir Ian also particularly likes brass and wind band marches as his very first choice for the iconic BBC Radio 4 ‘Desert Island Discs’ programme highlighted some years ago, “Stars And Stripes” by J.P. Sousa.

Sir Ian’s 80th birthday tour of 80 dates completely sold out within days of the tickets going on sale and such was the advance demand for tickets that certain venues only sold tickets via ballot!

Another £1,000 Raised For Charity!

Only two weeks after we raised many thousands of pounds more for two fantastic local, Lancashire charities through our music at Bolton’s Victoria Hall (in aid of Bolton Lions and the International Aid Trust) on Sunday afternoon, April 28th, nine of our female band members took part in the annual Bolton Hospice ‘Muddy Maniacs’ 5,000 metres Obstacle Course and Fun Run at Burr’s Country Park in Bury, raising over £1,000 in the process whilst having a great time!

Organised by our Solo Cornet player Lynsey Hayes and led by her and our Chair and Solo Horn player Deb Lyons on the day, our nine Eagley Band ladies, supported by a network of other players, family, friends and our MD all converged in Bury on the Sunday lunchtime in glorious weather after torrential rain only the day before had certainly left the course very soft in places!

Hundreds of people from all over the northwest participated in the “Total Wipeout Meets It’s A Knockout” type Sunday fun, with obstacles ranging from descending soapy water slides and inflatable tunnels filled with soapy water to crawling under netting, scaling 3 metre high netted climbing frames, dodging huge inflatable, hanging space hoppers to actually riding space hoppers around a short circuit having just walked around a grassy zigzag path carrying a heavy tree log above head height. The organisers had certainly thought of everything!As the photographs show, all nine of our Eagley participants had a great afternoon and all completed the course successfully, in doing so raising another hugely impressive sum of money for another great local charity in Bolton Hospice.

As the photographs show here and on the Gallery page, all nine of our Eagley participants had a great afternoon and all completed the course successfully, in doing so raising another hugely impressive sum of money for another great local charity in Bolton Hospice.

Another Victoria Hall Concert Triumph!

On Saturday evening, April 13th 2019, we once again took to the stage of Bolton’s Victoria Hall with our MD Chris Wormald in front of hundreds and hundreds of people to perform another Charity Gala Concert on behalf of Bolton Lions Club and International Aid Trust, a fantastic charity based in Preston and founded by the Reverend Bernard Cocker almost thirty years ago and who attended our concert in person.

Special overseas guests Bill and Ellie Miller from North Carolina and Mark Almond from San Francisco, USA flew in over the Atlantic from opposite coasts of America especially to take in the concert and a great night was enjoyed by all. The concert certainly was another triumph for us all at Eagley, for Smithills Community Choir and Band, which performed together with Eagley after the interval, and for the two charities too. The reaction of the audience to every piece was superb.

As always, Eagley Band opened the concert and we played to the absolute limit of our abilities and, as the photographs illustrate, to the very best standard of presentation too. Our programme included Don’t Rain On My Parade, Gladiator, B.B. & C.F., Cry Me A River (sung superbly by John Kearns with Eagley Band accompaniment) and many more pieces too.

A particular highlight of the second half was the double figure of soloists in Buglers’ Holiday which, arguably of course, drew the biggest ovation of the evening, such was the prowess of the soloists and the accompanying band. 

It is too soon to know how much money was raised for the charities from the large audience which attended but certainly thousands of pounds were taken in advance ticket sales and on the door in addition to a superb raffle which was organised and announced by Eagley Band President and Trustee Mr Gerry Russell. 

 

 

Concert For St George Saturday April 13th 2019 at 7.30pm

Our next Victoria Hall Gala Concert in Bolton is so close now, Saturday 13th April at 7.30pm in aid of the Bolton Lions Charity and especially International Aid Trust, a fantastic Lancashire charity which we are more than happy to support!

Our programme will include The Incredibles, Thunderbirds, Gladiator, Cry Me A River, Amazing Grace, Buglers Holiday, Don’t Rain On My Parade, Stravinsky Firebird, Jerusalem, Land of Hope And Glory and many more!

Saturday April 13th, 7.30pm, the Victoria Hall in Bolton, just £5.

It’s free parking all day and all evening at NCP Topp Way Car Park or just £1.50 (night rate) in the Victoria Hall Car Park.

See you there hopefully!

Eagley Welcomes Black Dyke Band Back To Bolton

by Deb Lyons

On Saturday evening, March 23rd, the fantastic Black Dyke Band and its Musical Director Nick Childs returned to the Victoria Hall in Bolton, which has become the main concert home for Eagley Band since 2016.

We were delighted to be asked by Professor Childs to perform on the same stage as Black Dyke for their visit and we opened the evening with a pre-concert half hour set to many hundreds of people, which was a great thrill.

 

Our set ranged from The Wizard and Amazing Grace to The Incredibles, Don’t Rain On My Parade and Sing Sing Sing.

Black Dyke Band were in typically stunning form and played everything from Liberty Bell and Ruslan and Ludmilla to the fantastic 1812 Overture to finish the concert.

The volume at the end was incredible! What a finish.

Our MD Chris Wormald was also invited to conduct Black Dyke Band in two pieces, both of which he had arranged, and the whole night was very special for everyone who took part or came to watch.

Professor Childs personally walked onto the Victoria Hall stage at the conclusion of our Eagley Band set to invite us to share the stage with Black Dyke next year and play joint items with them throughout the second half of the concert, which will be a great thrill and huge honour for us in 2020!