4 Articles

Summer 2021 – Preparing For Our Return To Playing (Plus A Little Nostalgia!)

by Deb Lyons

After fifteen months without a single rehearsal (sectional or full), concert, broadcast, recording or even playing a single note in our new bandroom in Bolton town centre, now that pandemic restrictions are being lifted we are finally able to look forward to making music as a band once again. We can’t wait! Due to the global pandemic, almost all of 2020 and the first half of 2021 will have been lost to all of the performing arts of course, both amateur and professional, but as we can now start to think about returning to playing, here is a little nostalgia from 30 years ago!


Back in September 1989, Eagley Band appointed a new, young Musical Director, our current MD Chris Wormald. Within months of appointing Chris, Eagley won the 1990 North West Area 3rd Section Contest at the Winter Gardens in Blackpool, qualifying for the National Finals to be held in London near to the Championship Section in the Royal Albert Hall, where Chris had already played and conducted by that time. He had also swiftly negotiated sponsorship with Bolton’s VW and Audi dealership too, McMillan’s of Bolton, and so we changed the name of the band for the whole nine years that Chris was our MD. However, in addition to our new contesting successes under the leadership of Chris, he was also very keen to have the band recorded professionally for posterity, and so both 1990 and 1991 (thirty years ago no less!) saw us produce the only professional cassettes in the band’s history!

Cassettes were still very popular as a format throughout the music industry in 1990/1991 although the CD had just been invented. The price of recording on to CD would eventually become realistic and affordable for brass bands, including us at Eagley, but at the time, the challenge for every band was still to record to the best possible standard that it could.


The tracks which we recorded at Eagley back in 1990 and 1991 highlight both the changing repertoire which Chris was already bringing to the band as a young, published arranger with Studio Music and others at the time, but also the more traditional too. Some of the tracks recorded in 1990 and 1991 illustrate the changing repertoire; The Champions, A String of Pearls, Somewhere Over The Rainbow, Praise My Soul, Mr Jums, Pineapple Poll, Divertimento (1990 Blackpool winning test piece), Deep Harmony, Londonderry Air and Superman were just some on the band’s first cassette.

By 1991, the band’s recorded repertoire included Under The Double Eagle, Die Felsenmuhle, Indiana Jones And The Temple Of Doom, Prelude 49th Parallel, Someone To Watch Over Me, Fanfare La Peri, Nicaea, Nessun Dorma, Star Trek Next Generation, One Voice, Ruby Tuesday and Toccata In D Minor, plus many more besides.

Comparing these recorded pieces of thirty years ago with those on the band’s subsequent CDs is fascinating and highlights just how far brass band repertoire has come in three decades!

Christmas CD Recorded With World of Sound

by Deb Lyons


Over the scorching hot weekend of Saturday June 30th and Sunday July 1st the band recorded its first ever Christmas CD! Richard Scott from World of Sound was again the producer, the man behind our 2017 CD of just eight months earlier, From Sinatra To Wicked.

The Christmas CD recording weekend was a fantastic two days of our very best playing, great bonding time for all of the players, eating far too much (there are some brilliant cooks and bakers within the band, not to mention deliveries of Carr’s Pasties on Saturday lunchtime and Papa John’s Pizzas on Sunday…) and working really, really hard throughout both days of recording. The end product will be a brilliant Eagley CD of Christmas music and carols when everything is mixed, mastered, edited down, duplicated and wrapped, ready for going on sale by the Autumn.

The seasonal tracks we recorded over the unusually boiling hot weekend included many brand new arrangements made for the band by our MD Chris Wormald and Bass Trombonist Declan Cullen, ranging from A Polar Express Suite, It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas, Last Christmas, Midwinter and Sleigh Ride to Away In A Manger, O Little Town of Bethlehem, Silent Night, Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas and Slade’s Merry Christmas Everybody. There was also a brand new duet arrangement of Silver Bells made especially for Flugel Horn player Janet Walsh and Solo Tenor Horn Deb Lyons! The opening track on the CD is to be the iconic A Christmas Fantasy by Gordon Langford.

Everyone connected with Eagley Band would like to thank Richard Scott once again for another brilliant, relaxed, but thoroughly professional weekend of recording and his superb Assistant Engineer Phil Hardman, who looked after the technical aspects of the weekend’s recording sessions.  

Christmas CD Recording With World of Brass This Month!

It may only be June but later this month we are to very proud to announce that we are recording our first ever Christmas CD!

We have once again booked World of Brass and its most senior producer/engineer Mr Richard Scott to mastermind our latest CD recording project.

Mr Scott is not only the man behind almost every Black Dyke CD recording made for Obrasso and most other record labels over the past thirty years but he is also responsible for the annual best-selling brass band CD of “Areas” test pieces and took charge of our CD recording “From Sinatra To Wicked” so successfully Autumn, 2017.

Our first ever Christmas CD recording will feature a host of brand new arrangements made especially by our MD Chris Wormald and Bass Trombonist Declan Cullen, a former Smithills School and Huddersfield University student, together with published arrangements including the iconic “A Christmas Fantasy” by Gordon Langford.

The recordings will take place over the weekend of Saturday June 30th and Sunday July 1st.