Concerts

32 Articles

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!

Eagley Christmas Concert Tickets Now On Sale!

As for so many years, the arrival of November means two things for us at Eagley Band – our annual Remembrance Sunday parade march and full afternoon concert in Little Lever are less than two weeks away and tickets go on sale to the public for our Victoria Hall Christmas Concert being held on Saturday 18th December at 7.30pm this year!

After all the cancellations of November and December last year due to pandemic lockdowns and restrictions, this Christmas we are once again returning to the Victoria Hall and are delighted to be able to celebrate musically after last year’s enforced emptiness. Our annual Gala Christmas Spectacular Concert at the Victoria Hall will again be in aid of Bolton Hospice. The relationship between our Musical Director and Bolton Hospice dates back well over thirty years, during which time tens of thousands of pounds have been donated.

On the evening of Saturday December 18th at 7.30pm, our flagship Eagley Band will once again join forces with the Community Band and Community Choir to perform another family fun evening of Christmas music to the highest standards, for which our concerts are renowned. The evening will feature much audience participation as always, traditional carols, a few surprises and a wonderfully uplifting night of music and fun to welcome in Christmas week!

Tickets are for our Christmas Concert are on sale now from the Victoria Hall Box Office (522569), Booth’s Music (522908), our Eagley Band President Mr Gerry Russell (07764 826233), www.egertontickets.com or on the door.

Eagley Band – The 2020 Video Series!

by Deb Lyons

Towards the very end of 2019, Eagley Band was one of the bands which performed a full concert ‘live’ to the world via the internet from Boarshurst Bandroom one Sunday evening. The programme featured sixteen works performed equally, either side of a short interval. Once again at absolute full strength without a single dep or ringer in sight, the Eagley concert conducted by MD Chris Wormald was a huge success and attracted wonderful compliments on social media from as far away and apart as Canada and New Zealand with regard to the performance, the arrangements and pieces chosen and the musicianship of the band.

The sixteen works which were broadcast ‘live’ and which have been captured individually on multi-camera video are; O.R.B., Amazing Grace, Guess I’ll Hang My Tears Out To Dry (Cornet Soloist – Lynsey Hayes), Birdland, Appalachian Mountain Folk Song Suite, Portrait of My Love (Euphonium Soloist – Caitlyn Stranks), Knight Templar, Forty Second Street, Bohemian Rhapsody, The President, Saving All My Love For You (Flugel Horn Soloist – Janet Walsh), Tom And Jerry, Heart of Courage, Mr Blue Sky, Moonlight Serenade and Mahler’s Resurrection. Over the next eight weeks, we are going to be uploading a new video every few days to our Facebook page, so that two of the videos can be seen each and every week. Please enjoy our current 2020 band in ‘live’ concert! All of the pieces performed are published, either by their original publisher or by Obrasso (Switzerland) but every arrangement performed on the videos is published and available from all established brass band music retailers.

Traditional brass band concerts usually start with a march, so as not to break with tradition here is our concert opener the march ORB.

Good evening and welcome to Sunday Brass at Boarshurst Band Club – this evening we have MD Christopher Wormald and 2nd Section #eagleyband at the club. Established in 1850 the band have seen success on the contesting stage and in the concert hall. We welcome them to Boarshurst Club and look forward to a great evening of brass entertainment.First piece of the evening is great march – O.R.B. (Anderson) #Sundaybrass #boarshurstbandclub #marstons #keepmusiclive #boarshurstlivestream

Posted by Boarshurst Silver Band on Sunday, November 17, 2019

Mayor’s Charity Ball 2020, Bolton Town Hall

On Friday evening March 6th, the Mayor of Bolton’s spectacular annual Charity Ball took place in Bolton Town Hall in what proved to be our band’s last public engagement before the enforced break due to the pandemic virus. It was certainly a great evening for our superb musicians and everyone present!

The theme for the whole evening, as chosen by the Mayor, Councillor Hilary Fairclough, was James Bond. All of the music we performed had to be from the James Bond films, stunning tuxedos and classic dinner suits were in abundance amongst the guests, as were amazing dresses, and all of the invited guests were provided with a complimentary dry martini on arrival (shaken, not stirred, obviously!) or a non-alcoholic alternative. Originally the timing of the 2020 Mayor’s Ball should have coincided with the forthcoming release of the latest, and twenty fifth, official James Bond film “No Time To Die” but with the Mayor’s Charity Ball organised and set many weeks in advance, the James Bond film producers then announced that the global release of their new film would be delayed by over seven months to much nearer Christmas, entirely due to the vast majority of cinemas around the world being instructed to close.

The brief for our Eagley Band performance was to bring a small band, a 15 piece ensemble at most, and perform all of the published music of James Bond films for an hour or more as the many VIP and civic guests arrived. As our MD Chris Wormald has more published arrangements of James Bond music around the world than any other professional arranger, this really was the perfect, ideal brief for us at Eagley. Amongst the civic guests listening to our superb performance was a wide variety of local and political figures including a number of past Mayor’s, previous Leaders and Deputy Leaders of Bolton Council, the current Leader of the council and huge supporter of Eagley Band for many years, David Greenhalgh, the Vice Chancellor of Bolton University, George Holmes, and an array of leading business figures, entrepreneurs, press and journalists from the town.

The evening proved to be a great success for all those attending and especially for our Eagley ensemble which sounded stunning from start to finish.

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!

From Remembrance Sunday To Boarshurst Concert Series – Another Busy Eagley Week

Once again we at Eagley Band have been very busy on behalf of our local community, the town of Bolton as a whole and our Second World War heroes this past week.

Last Sunday, November 10th, we once again led the huge, annual Remembrance Sunday Parade in Little Lever as we have done for many decades and this year in particular, due to the stunning Sunday morning Autumn weather, an even bigger, huge crowd of well over 3,000 people gathered as we marched through the town and then formed up at the cenotaph to play the hymn tunes St Gertrude and Crimond as everyone joined in and sang the hymns with us. The atmosphere was even better than ever this Remembrance Sunday and the reverence shown by everyone was exemplary. Following the Last Post and Reveille, we then marched back to the church where our march traditionally begins and, as always, then gave a wonderfully received two hour indoor concert in the afternoon commencing at 2.30pm.

This Sunday, November 17th, it was a pleasure to be the latest band to take part in the Boarshurst Band ‘live streamed’ evening concert series which has featured bands ranging from Milnrow to Faireys this year. Commencing at 8pm, we performed two, one hour sets of music, many of the titles we performed being published arrangements by Obrasso and Kirklees Music made by our own MD Chris Wormald, plus three traditional brass band marches composed a century ago; Knight Templar, The President and O.R.B.

Our three, superb featured soloists during the concert were Principal Cornet Lynsey Hayes, Principal Euphonium Caitlin Stranks and Flugel Horn player Janet Walsh. They performed “Guess I’ll Hang My Tears Out To Dry,” “Portrait of My Love” and “Saving All My Love For You” respectively and all to great applause from the audience. All three of our Eagley Band soloists were greeted with wonderful applause before they had even finished the final notes of their respective solos – always a reassuring and most welcome sign to any solo performer that their efforts have been both excellently played and particularly well received by those watching and listening.

Our next musical tasks are to lead the parade for the Bolton Town Centre Christmas Lights on Thursday of this week (November 21st) and to prepare varied programmes of traditional carols and Christmas music for our usual schedule of annual Christmas Concerts throughout December, the climax of which is our fourth successive Bolton Hospice Victoria Hall Christmas Concert on Saturday December 21st at 7.30pm together with Smithills Community Choir and Band and pianist Robert Aston, for which tickets are already on sale and selling as fast as every year.