Deb Lyons

Two Bolton Mayors To Attend Eagley Victoria Hall Summer Concert!

by Deb Lyons

As the Eagley Band Victoria Hall Summer Concert on Saturday July 9th moves ever closer, everyone involved in the concert is proud and honoured that not one, but two Bolton Mayors will be in attendance!

The Mayor of Bolton, Councillor Akhtar Zaman, and the Mayor of Horwich, Councillor Steven Chadwick, will both be VIP guests in the circle balcony at the concert which, as always, will feature the full Eagley Band and Conductor Chris Wormald in every piece throughout the evening and joined together with performances in both halves by the Community Choir and by the Community Band after the interval.

Councillors Zaman and Chadwick are both no strangers to Eagley Band already this month. At the start of June, Councillor Zaman took to the stage with Eagley outside Bolton Town Hall in the town centre square as the band performed for Bolton Council’s Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations on Saturday June 4th with music ranging from Genesis, Elgar and Toto to Birdland, Parry and James Bond as well as performing once again for the Mayor the very next afternoon in Egerton Park, near Walmsley Cenotaph.

That same bank holiday weekend, the full Eagley Band performed all afternoon in Horwich on Friday June 3rd just days after the band was highly honoured to provide all of the music for the inauguration service of Councillor Chadwick as the new Mayor of Horwich at St Mary’s R.C. Church the previous Sunday. Councillor Chadwick has nominated Eagley Band as one of the registered charities for his year in office and the band will be performing at a number of events for his charities throughout the next twelve months.

Tickets for the Eagley Band, Community Choir and Community Band Summer Concert at Bolton’s Victoria Hall taking place at 7.30pm on Saturday July 9th are all priced at just £5 as always and already selling well. They are still available in advance from the Victoria Hall Box Office online at www.victoriahallbolton.co.uk or Tel.522569, from Booth’s Music Shop in Churchgate Tel.522908, from members of Eagley Band, Community Choir, Community Band or on the door.

Eagley Band, Community Choir & Community Band In Concert!

by Deb Lyons

Now that the fantastic Queen’s Platinum Jubilee weekend is behind us (we had 4 fantastic concerts in just 3 days!), it’s full steam ahead towards our next Victoria Hall Gala Concert in less than 5 weeks!

With all tickets again priced at just £5 per person, even a family of 4 people can get dressed up if they wish (jeans and t-shirts are just as good!), come along and watch, listen, sing lots of songs they will know, clap, have fun and get involved from the start for just £20. That’s cheaper than most cinemas!

The concert will include Mars from The Planets, music by John Williams (Raiders of The Lost Ark to E.T.), Wagner, Toto, Journey, Holst, Judie Tzuke, James Curnow, Andersson & Ulvaeus from Abba, Duke Ellington, Van Morrison, the original Star Trek television series, The Great Gate of Kiev in honour of the Ukranian nation, Amazing Grace and many more!

Please forward this e-mail to all of your contacts and those people whom you know who have always enjoyed coming to our Victoria Hall concerts!

Tickets are on sale now from the Victoria Hall Box Office and members of Eagley Band, Community Choir and Community Band. They will also be on sale as usual at Booth’s Music in Churchgate from this weekend too! 

So, pop the date of Saturday 9th July in your plans, 7.30pm start as always, and if you prefer to pay on the door, that’s great – as long as you promise to come along!

Many thanks as always for supporting all of us involved with Bolton’s oldest brass band (formed 1850 and one of the oldest brass bands in the World) and our wonderful Community Choir & Band!

Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Weekend 3rd-5th June 2022

by Deb Lyons
 
Four Great Concerts Inside Three Days!

It is hard to imagine a greater contrast and more polarised set of circumstances between the fantastic Queen’s Platinum Jubilee weekend Eagley Band just enjoyed in Bolton over the first weekend in June 2022 compared with the past two lockdown summers of not even being able to play a single note together as a band. Over the course of a unique bank holiday Friday, and the Saturday and Sunday, we gave four very different, outstanding concerts in four very different venues, across four different areas of the town (from almost in Blackrod to Egerton Park, beyond Bromley Cross and Walmsley, via to the Main Stage in the town centre square and Horwich sandwiched in between) and very definitely in four completely different climates and temperatures. Just for good measure, our MD Chris Wormald was also the compere for three hours in the Victoria Hall on the Saturday evening for the Bolton Rotary Club Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Concert as well.

Eagley Band’s jubilee celebration weekend began with a full two hour Friday afternoon concert on an outdoor stage in baking temperatures on behalf of Bolton Council and the new Mayor of Horwich, Councillor Steven Chadwick. The packed car park and 22C heat in very bright sunshine should have been a clue as to the scorching afternoon which was to follow but, as always, the band played and entertained superbly and a great afternoon was enjoyed by everyone playing and the many hundreds of people watching and listening.

Not nearly as hot or sunny was the following day, as we took to the main stage in Bolton town centre square on Saturday afternoon to entertain the crowds of people gathered to watch and listen in another huge event organised by Bolton Council. What started out as a large audience as we began to play very quickly grew and grew to become a huge and enthusiastic crowd and by the conclusion of our concert, many hundreds of people were joining in with everything we played, singing loudly with the band, waving flags, and a great time was had by everyone.

 

On the Sunday morning, we took on another outdoor, but also under cover, booking all morning at the huge Tesco adjacent to Middlebrook and the Bolton Wanderers Stadium in temperatures which were as low as 12C and in rain – it was much colder than the day before and absolutely freezing compared to the baking Friday afternoon less than 48 hours earlier.

With minimum time, we packed up everything and dashed over to Egerton Park to perform our only open-air concert of the extended weekend, once again on behalf of Bolton Council. None of us had ever been required to play in a circular formation before and our MD said it was unique to him in 39 years of conducting, but the set up worked extremely well and the acoustic was much more than an interesting experiment. Once again the band played superbly to a very appreciative audience and this fourth performance since Friday lunchtime brought our jubilee concerts across Bolton to a hugely successful and satisfying close.

During the pandemic lockdowns of 2020 and 2021 it seemed almost impossible to believe that such a fantastic and uplifting weekend of performing would ever be possible again, but here we are in June 2022 and the standard of the band has never been higher, nor has it been more enjoyable for all of us playing together again.

Mayor of Horwich Civic Service – Sunday 29th May 2022

by Deb Lyons

On Sunday afternoon May 29th we began our hectic Queen’s Platinum Jubilee week of five band engagements and two evening rehearsals from Sunday to Sunday by performing the service for incoming Mayor of Horwich, Councillor Steven Chadwick. The service took place at his home church, St Mary’s R.C. in Horwich, and was led by Father Richard, with all of the music performed by Eagley Band and our MD Chris Wormald, who also lead the congregational singing. 

Much liaison between Chris and Councillor Chadwick took place prior to Sunday to finalise the choice of hymns and their order of inclusion in the service. Everything began with I Vow To Thee My Country and continued with Abide With Me, Jerusalem, Love Divine, Guide Me O Thou Great Redeemer, two verses of the National Anthem at the request of the incoming new Mayor, and finally the exit music was a special arrangement of the traditional Welsh melody Calon Lan made by our MD as Councillor Chadwick had said it was his favourite hymn of all time and a nod to his family’s Welsh ancestry.

An excellent congregation consisting of many other local Mayors, town councillors, civic dignitaries, invited guests, family, friends and local parishoners attended what was an uplifting afternoon enjoyed by everyone present and involved. 

Another Victoria Hall Eagley Success!

by Deb Lyons

On Saturday night, April 23rd, we took to the stage at Bolton’s Victoria Hall once again for only the second time in three years due to the pandemic, this being our latest concert for St George in association with Bolton Lions charity. Together with our usual Victoria Hall stage guests, our M.D. Chris Wormald’s Community Choir and, after the interval, his Community Band too, we performed another superb night enjoyed by a wonderful audience of many hundreds of enthusiastic Boltonians!

The compliments which all of the performers received after the concert were unanimously effusive and everyone was of the belief that Eagley had played even better than ever. All of our principal players, led by Cornetist Lynsey Hayes, really brought their ‘A’ game to the entire concert and this led to everyone else in the band playing at their absolute best level too, from the opening notes of Army of The Nile through to the Star Wars encore at end of the concert. It was a programme of technique, sound and stamina for every player too, from outstanding Soprano Lilly Gliddon to the superb four Basses and three percussionists who had all been members of the award-winning Smithills bands with our M.D. during their school years before joining Eagley. Our programme included well known pieces ranging from Let’s Face The Music and Dance to Star Wars (in tribute to composer John Williams’ 90th birthday) but also brand new arrangements made especially by Chris Wormald such as Wherever You Maybe, The Prayer and many more.

Our hugely successful evening, with proceeds going to Ukraine via Bolton Lions, also included a performance of the 1976 hit Music in recognition of the passing of John Miles in December and only a day after it was announced that legendary brass band figure Richard Evans had died, the combined bands, choir and audience joined forces in a powerful rendition of Be Still For The Presence of The Lord involving over 600 voices which raised the roof and created goose bumps for everyone in honour of Mr Evans. The combined forces of Eagley, the Community Choir and Community Band also performed an emotive Prayer For Ukraine during the second half of the concert in solidarity with numerous bands and choirs all currently giving concerts throughout the UK and Europe.

A great night was once again enjoyed by everyone who played, sang, performed, supported, attended and spoke from the stage, and with a hugely successful raffle and the superb printed programmes selling out completely long before all of the audience had arrived, the evening was a huge success in every respect.

Spectrum Sunday And A Band Picnic Lunch!

by Deb Lyons

For the second time in the last three weeks, we at Eagley Band have once again spent a fantastic Sunday in the bandroom with our MD Chris Wormald preparing for our debut contest in the First Section at Blackpool in two weeks‘ time.

After a full 7 hours of individual sectional rehearsals with Chris at the end of January, this time on February 13th we organised a full length rehearsal Sunday complete with band picnic lunch, where all of the Cornets and the full Horn section rehearsed the whole morning with Chris, the full band including all three percussionists arrived at 12 noon bringing with them hot pasties, sandwiches, sausage rolls, cakes, biscuits, crisps, tea, coffee, milk and soft drinks for a band picnic lunch and social until 1pm, then we had a full band rehearsal for an hour until 2pm, at which point all Cornets and Horns went home and the rest of the day was spent rehearsing the full Baritone, Trombone, Euphonium and Bass sections until 3.30pm as can be seen.

Once again we had a great Sunday and the piece has really improved with just two weeks to go to the North West Areas at the Opera House Winter Gardens. We are all really looking forward to the challenge of playing in the First Section for the very first time, especially as the pandemic lockdowns meant we were not allowed to play a single note for more than half of the time we were a Second Section band, only just promoted up from Third Section!

Spectrum and the First Section will be great challenges, but the band has improved hugely since Christmas. Here’s to our Blackpool performance!

An Eagley Night of Music For St George – Victoria Hall, Bolton

by Deb Lyons

Once again we at Eagley Band are returning to the magnificent Victoria Hall in Bolton on Saturday 23rd April at 7.30pm with our MD Chris Wormald who will be conducting the full concert which will also feature the Community Choir and Community Wind Band performing a varied night of popular and well known music.

For the first time ever, our April 23rd concert will include Cole Porter’s classic film musical High Society featuring the iconic songs Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? True Love, You’re Sensational and Well Did You Ever? and there will be a number of songs associated with the repertoire of Andre Rieu including Smile, composed by Charlie Chaplin.

In addition to keeping Eagley Band, the Community Choir and Community Wind Band in existence after the enforced two year pandemic break, proceeds from this St George’s Day Gala Concert will go towards Bolton Lions Charity. Current Lions President Jeff Hartley and many of his Bolton charity members will be in attendance at the concert.

All tickets for our very special St George’s Day concert at 7.30pm are priced at the single rate of just £5 and are on sale now from the Victoria Hall Box Office (Tel.522569), Booth’s Music Shop in Churchgate (Tel.522908), Eagley Band President Gerry Russell (Tel.07764 826233), band and choir members, online via the website www.egertontickets.com without any additional booking fee or on the door.

From Little Lever To The Victoria Hall – A Very Welcome & Happy December For Eagley

After the complete vacuum of any full band concerts throughout 2020, of any playing at all from March 2020 through to half way into 2021, and with a complete absence of any Christmas performances at all last year, this December proved to be a wonderful, and very near normal, Eagley Band Christmas, with full concerts and smaller performances led by our MD Chris Wormald starting as most years at Little Lever Conservative Club on the first Friday of the month and going through to our fabulous Victoria Hall Gala Concert on the third Saturday evening, with numerous other bookings in between, and a small social gathering to end the year.

After an absence of two years since any full Eagley Band concerts in public until the recent Remembrance Sunday just a few weeks ago, this year’s Little Lever Christmas Concert on Friday December 3rd took on considerable extra significance and meaning for everyone in the band, for our audience, and for all who were involved in any way staging the event. What a brilliant and fun concert it was too! For many years, our Little Lever Christmas Concert has been the start of a heavy Eagley Band December Christmas schedule, concluding on Christmas Eve with outdoor carolling, and this December proved to be exactly as we had intended and hoped.

Only two of the band’s traditional, annual bookings had to be cancelled by organisers due to Covid concerns, these being our annual full band Christmas concert in Blackrod and the Walmsley Unitarian Chapel Carol Service which is always completely packed every year. Those two engagements apart, the band performed throughout the month both indoors and out, raising much needed funds after two years without concert income by carolling on two separate weekends in Bolton Market Place, performing as usual at Eagley Cricket Club, Bolton Masonic Hall on Monday and Saturday evenings, at the Walmsley Cenotaph for the switching on of the Bromley Cross and Egerton Christmas lights, on a housing estate in Westhoughton, up at Horrocks Fold near Belmont, the fantastic Victoria Hall Saturday night Gala Christmas Concert  and finally finishing the year carolling outside at Tesco Horwich. We survived the whole month without any band member testing positive for Covid or needing to isolate, so it was a huge pleasure and great relief to everyone for us to be able to play throughout the whole month with all of our own players, no empty seats, and with no last minute changes, rearrangements or a single dep. required to fill an unexpected gap.

Such a highly successful month is a tribute to all of the organisation and responsible attitudes taken by all of the band members and their families throughout the Autumn, especially since returning from our Nationals Final performance in the Second Section down at Cheltenham in September. To round off a hugely successful and very happy banding month, and bid farewell not only to a difficult 2021 as a whole but also being a Second Section band no longer, our Principal Cornet Lynsey Hayes organised a wonderful, small band social at her house on December 28th to mark the joint birthdays of both Deb Lyons and Becca Crompton the previous day. Twenty band members were able to attend plus Lynsey’s family and it was a perfect way to end Eagley’s half year since returning to play together in the Summer. 

Everyone at Eagley Band sends their very best wishes for a happy, healthy and safe 2022 and we hope that our new life in the First Section will get under way as planned in early January and be a good one!