News

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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.

Concert for St George

“Bolton’s Eagley Band, which this year celebrates its 170th anniversary, once again returns to the Victoria Hall in conjunction with Smithills Community Choir and Band under the directorship of Musical Director Chris Wormald for their annual Concert For St George. Following another packed and hugely popular evening at their Christmas Concert in December, Eagley and Smithills Community will once again perform and entertain an audience and family friendly programme of popular and well known music which will feature audience participation in Jerusalem, Land of Hope And Glory, Rule Britannia and many other songs and pieces associated with their annual St George’s Concert given on behalf of Rotary Charities. As ever, Eagley and Smithills Community concerts start at 7.30pm with a twenty minute interval at 8.25pm and an anticipated conclusion time of 9.45pm. All tickets are just £5 and will go on sale from February 1st.

Victoria Hall Christmas Concert Success!

On Saturday evening December 21st we took to the Victoria Hall stage in Bolton once again in front of the Mayor of Bolton, the Chair of Bolton Hospice and hundreds and hundreds of Boltonians who packed into the hall to watch our latest Eagley and Smithills Community Music gala concert.

Our programme included lots of audience participation in the traditional carols and, of course, the obligatory finale of The Twelve Days of Christmas with lots of organised fun and invited chaos within the choir, massed bands and audience!

One of the highlights was a beautiful arrangement of Silent Night which featured over one thousand people humming the melody whilst we played the three verse arrangement by our MD Chris Wormald. The effect was magical and no need for any word sheets or big screen projections!

Our next Victoria Hall gala concert is on Saturday April 18th 2020 at 7.30pm when we give our annual charity evening in aid of Bolton Lions together with Smithills Community Choir and Band.

Visit our Gallery Page to see photos 

Eagley & Smithills Community Victoria Hall Christmas Concert So Close Now!

For the fourth consecutive year, the Eagley Band and Smithills Community Band and Choir Christmas Concert in aid of Bolton Hospice takes place on the nearest December Saturday to Christmas Day. We can’t wait! This year the date is Saturday December 21st at 7.30pm, so once again we are fortunate not to be clashing with the Grand Final of BBC1 “Strictly Come Dancing” which finishes the previous Saturday.

As every year, the concert will feature plenty of family audience participation throughout, not only with the singing of traditional carols in between band and choir items, but the now traditional finale of standing up, sitting down and general chaos in the “Twelve Days of Christmas” finale!

Our brand new, full colour, glossy tickets for this year’s concert are already selling faster than ever and with our last three Victoria Hall Christmas concerts being packed full, it is always a pleasure for all the band members, singers, conductor Chris Wormald and pianist Robert Aston to know that everyone on stage will be performing to a huge audience of over a thousand people in a great atmosphere from first note to last. Of course everyone looks forward to the “Twelve Days of Christmas” finale as the climax of the evening, but no Christmas concert is complete without the dimmed lights and beautiful sounds of wonderful carols such as Silent Night, Away In A Manger and The First Nowell amongst others.

In addition to such public domain carols known and loved the world over, there will be the short, annual presentation of Eagley Band Awards in the first half of the concert. These include Bandsperson of The Year, Players’ Player of The Year, Most Improved Player of The Year and the Musical Director’s Award. Previous winners of the trophies in the past two years have been Marcus Atty, Rebecca Crompton, Geoff Gliddon, Lynsey Hayes, Caitlin Stranks, Leo Turner-Patel, Lilly Taylor and Martyn Walsh, so it remains to be seen who will win this Christmas!

As always, tickets priced at just £5 for everybody are available from the Victoria Hall box office (in person or on line), from Booth’s Music, Jeff James Hairdressing, Bolton Hospice and the Bolton Hospice Shop, Smithills School Reception, Egerton tickets (on line with no booking fee at all) or on the door if the concert isn’t completely sold out before the night.

We look forward to another fantastic evening of Christmas music in the Victoria Hall on Saturday December 21st!

Bolton Food Festival 2019

by Deb Lyons

For the third year in a row, once again Eagley Band was chosen and invited by Bolton Council to entertain literally thousands of people who attended this year’s Food Festival on Sunday afternoon, August 25th.

With temperature records being broken throughout the UK on the August bank holiday weekend, we took to the stage at 2.30pm in 30C heat (shirts and straight ties being the order of the day!) and entertained a huge and very attentive crowd that were really appreciative and a great afternoon was had by everyone.

Visit our Gallery to see more photos from this concert.

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. New York! New York! featured the audience and special guest vocalist Andrew Whittle who came up from the audience to join us.

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 

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.