Contests

7 Articles

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!

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

by Deb Lyons

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

by Deb Lyons

 

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. 

Eagley Band wins first competition in 20 years

by Deb Lyons

Bolton News 6th June 2017

Eagley Band is celebrating its first competition win in more than 20 years after it came out on top in the Ripon Cathedral Contest.

The Eagley Band performed the winning programme of music by composers including Stravinsky, Hampton Callaway, Lovland, Conti and Giacchino on Saturday.

The performance, conducted by musical director Chris Wormald, came away with trophies and prize money for best music programme, best entertainment and overall champions.

Chairman and band manager Deb Lyons, who has been at the band for 35 years, said: “I cannot describe what this win means to me personally and to the band. We have waited so many years to win a contest and the feeling is brilliant again.