Contests

9 Articles

Promotion To The First Section And Qualification For The 2020 National Brass Band Finals of Great Britain!

by Deb Lyons

As a result of our performance in the Second Section at the North West Area Brass Band Contest Winter Gardens in Blackpool on Sunday afternoon, February 23rd 2020, we at Eagley Band and our MD Chris Wormald were not only awarded Third Place in the contest, a silver trophy and prize money too but we have now qualified for the 2020 National Brass Band Championships of Great Britain Finals being held in Cheltenham this September! All of this in our 170th year too!With brass band sections being very much like league tables in sport, with annual promotion and relegation, only three years ago Eagley Band had been in the Third Section for many years. Now, after a string of excellent contest performances we have been promoted twice in just three seasons and find ourselves a First Section Band from next year!

As we were formed in 1850, this year Eagley Band celebrates 170 years of existence, one of the oldest brass bands in the entire World. Only once since 1990 has the band qualified for the National Brass Band Championship of Great Britain Finals back in 2008 when the band was in the Third Section. Thirty years ago, in March 1990, Eagley won the North West Area Championships Third Section conducted in his very first ever Area contest by our new MD then – a much younger Chris Wormald during his first spell with an adult band!

We can next be heard performing in Bolton at the Mayor of Bolton’s Charity Ball in the Town Hall on Friday evening March 6th and after that in our Prostate Cancer UK Charity Concert on behalf of the Bolton Lions Club at the Victoria Hall on Saturday April 18th.

 

Butlins Contest Weekend 2020

by Deb Lyons

In spite of the stunning victory we all enjoyed at Ripon Contest, our MD Chris Wormald described our performance at Butlins 2020 as “by far the best the band has played in a contest” since he came back to the band in 2016.

Internet site Four Bars Rest had already installed Eagley as pre-contest favourites to win the 2020 Butlins 2nd Section and take the £2,000 First Prize and following our outstanding performance from draw No.1 on the day, and the conclusion of the six hour, eighteen band section, they still had the top two places as Hade Edge and Eagley bands.

 

Four Bars Rest ‘live’ comments on the day described our Eagley performance of the set test piece “Galdhoppigen” by Simon Kerwin as “a reading typical of the MD, real attention to detail, especially tuning” and “allowed the music to shine through and give the players a chance. Very musical” and “not a performance to discount from the mind.”

Unfortunately for us all at Eagley, superbly led by our Principal Cornet Lynsey Hayes, the announcement of results in the evening went from being the most exciting and highly anticipated event into one of huge anti-climax and disappointment as we were placed fifth of the eighteen bands. Although the winners were happily conducted by a former Eagley Cornet player of ours and pupil of our MD, the wonderful Jonathan Fearn.

Happily for us all, aside from the result of the contest, our Skegness weekend was another fantastic one and featured many meals together, watching other bands, swimming and general socialising. Our performance of the test piece will live long in all of our memories and a huge congratulations to everyone on stage representing Eagley at the start of our 170th year.

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 

Great Performance And Result At Blackpool!

by Deb Lyons

Sunday February 24th saw every almost every adult brass band based in Lancashire and Greater Manchester head over to Blackpool Winter Gardens for the annual North West Area Brass Band Championships and we at Eagley were no exception!

 Having been promoted to the Second Section just a year ago, the band could have been forgiven for having fairly low expectations of the outcome of the 2019 Areas, but in typical CJW fashion, we prepared as if we were going to win the contest – and our performance on the day certainly justified our MD’s unwavering beliefs!

 Very happily for all Second Section bands this year, our section contest was held in the magnificent and iconic Opera House, the same venue within the Winter Gardens complex as the mighty Championship Section which would follow on from ours. With an excellent draw of No.11 from within the seventeen competing bands, Eagley took to the stage in thoroughly well prepared, confident and surprisingly relaxed mood and we delivered one of our best ever performances at the Areas, confirmed and evidenced by a number of excellent recordings which surfaced after we had played. 

Our excellent rendition from start to finish of the late Darrol Barry’s “Rise of The Phoenix” had everyone in the band full of the highest expectation when it came to the results ceremony, with the internet site Four Bars Rest placing Eagley in second; Runners-Up of the 2019 Second Section and not only qualifiers for the National Brass Band Finals in Cheltenham later in the year but, as a result, promoted to the First Section only fourteen months after being a Third Section band with almost all the same players. As results were announced from the stage, and knowing that everyone in the band could not have played any better either individually or collectively, Eagley were read out in Fourth Place, sadly not runners-up as had been predicted in the light of our outstanding performance. Clearly our excellent performance was one which could, on another day, have found favour with the adjudicators and without doubt won the contest or finished anywhere in the top few bands. However, to be placed fourth in the section was an excellent outcome, only spoiled in that it was the top three placed bands which were to qualify for the National Finals, so our placing was tantalisingly close to that additional achievement as well as being promoted to the First Section from next year had we finished in third place or higher.

Click here to see photos from Blackpool

Bolsover Entertainment Contest – Sunday 30th September 2018

by Deb Lyons

Our first experience of the huge Bolsover Entertainment Contest down in Chesterfield was both a superb but ultimately unsuccessful one on Sunday September 30th!

The contest day itself was excellent in every way for us all at Eagley, from the fantastic morning rehearsal in our band room, complete with our new black shirts, the coach journey down to Chesterfield and everything that had been carefully timed out and planned. We had pre-drawn to play fifth in the Second Section of the contest but out of the fifty bands who had entered the event, there were withdrawals in all sections both above and below, so we ended up being Band No.4 in our section and played superbly well.

With every performance being officially streamed live over the internet via websites and social media by the organisers, our performance and that of every other band on the day in the two halls was available for all to see and hear worldwide.

The written adjudicator comments by Mr Dave Lea were completely positive throughout, from ‘excellent opening’ (Birdland) to ‘great choice of march (The Wizard) and the tempo is perfect’ before making numerous positive and entirely complimentary comments from ‘good choice’ to ‘very well played’ with regard to all of our programme (Saving All My Love For You played by Janet Walsh on Flugel Horn, the Genesis song Turn It On Again and our finale of Firebird Final Hymn by Stravinsky featuring our excellent Solo Euphonium player Caitlin Stranks who, as ever, was note perfect under great pressure on the day).

At the announcement of results it was therefore massively disappointing to be placed 8th after such a list of high praise in writing and almost nothing negative scripted at all, especially having won our only other Entertainment Contest with MD Chris Wormald at Ripon last June. The scripted, written comments of the adjudicator certainly didn’t match up to his placing!

To see more highlights from the day, visit our Gallery Page.

To see a video of our performance visit our Video section on our Facebook Page. 

Consolidation At Blackpool After Our January Promotion

On Sunday February 25th we made our Eagley Band debut in the 2nd Section Area Contest of the North West Area Regional Qualifying Competition for the 2018 National Brass Band Championships of Great Britain at The Winter Gardens in Blackpool.

Just a year ago, on the corresponding weekend in February 2017, Eagley had been competing in the 3rd Section at the same venue and although we drew to play last of all the bands on that day (a draw which no band ever wants), our 5th place on that occasion ensured promotion to the 2nd Section from January 2018.

Following £700 prize money in finishing 3rd place in the 2nd Section of the 2018 Butlins Contest in January, hopes were certainly high for a great Eagley result at Blackpool this year, but once again with no luck whatsoever at the draw, Eagley drew to play at the very end of the day again for the second year in a row, this time playing No.20 of the 21 competing bands, and in doing so the band once again failed to find favour with the adjudicators. Much fancied rivals Delph, who qualified for the 2017 National Brass Band Championship Finals at Cheltenham, were surprisingly placed a very lowly 19th of the 21 competing bands in the results of the day and with other favoured bands placed 15th, 17th and 18th, Eagley’s placing of 11th was far from as bad as might have been the case on a day when the 2nd Section North West Area results were certainly very far away from the form guide and predicted outcomes.

Here’s to Blackpool 2019 and hopefully drawing to play much earlier in the day!

Eagley Win £700 At 2018 Butlins Brass Band Championships

 

We are delighted to announce that following our win at the 2017 Ripon Brass Band Contest, we have won another £700 prize at the 2018 Butlins Brass Band Championships held in Skegness!

Having only been promoted from the Third Section into the Second Section from January 1st this year, just eleven days later we took on fourteen established Second Section bands at Butlins against whom we should have had little chance of achieving any success at all, but not only were we awarded Third Place in the contest and the excellent £700 prize money which went with it, we were within a whisker of winning the competition, such were the fine margins at the top of the section.

Conductor Chris Wormald said “Achieving Third Place in such a major contest just eleven days after being promoted is quite incredible. As a conductor I don’t think I have ever been more happy with achieving a Third Place in a contest before and it is a tribute to the fantastic effort and hard work of all the players. Having said that, a number of observers on the day thought that we had achieved the impossible and actually won the contest outright, such was the quality of our performance at this new, higher level.”

Eagley can next be heard in concert as early as Saturday January 27th in The Albert Hall (Bolton Town Hall) in a Gala Concert in aid of the Mayor of Bolton’s charity. The programme will include many popular tunes and spectacular film music. Tickets for the charity concert are just £6 (£5 concessions) available from Booth’s Music Shop in Churchgate and Egerton Tickets

4barsrest – Report & Results: 2017 Ripon Cathedral Entertainment

by Deb Lyons

See the full rests from Ripon Contest 2017 as reported by 4barsrest.

We have only competed at Ripon Entertainments Contest for the last two years; each time has been a fabulous day, the contest organisers, the smooth running of the whole day, the marshals make this a great contest to enter in a wonderful setting of Ripon Cathedral. Unfortunately we are unable to enter next year due to our promotion to second section however, we would recommend this contest to any eligible bands, guaranteed a great day.