Eccles Wins A Historic Double

November 1st 2016

Eccles Borough Band are celebrating a very successful contesting weekend, winning both the Championship and First Sections at the Wychavon Festival of Brass in Evesham, Worcestershire.

A program consisting of Swinging That Bugle Call, Semper Fidelis, Love of My Life, Four Scottish Dances (Variation 2) and Upon the Celtic Cross led to being awarded first place by adjudicators David Lea and Duncan Beckley in both the Championship and First Sections, respectively. This was the first Championship Section win in any contest for Eccles since the 1962 NWABBA Contest and the first ever win in the First Section (the First Section did not exist until 1992). It is the first time in the 26 year history of the Wychavon Festival of Brass that any band has won both the First and Championship Sections on the same day.

Included in the Championship section prize was an invitation to the British Open Spring Festival. The band will therefore compete for the Senior Trophy on 13th May 2017 in Blackpool. This will mark the first appearance for the EBB in the Spring Festival since 1959 when they competed in the Grand Shield and qualified for the British Open. This will marks the first appearance of the band in a British Open-affiliated contest since their last appearance at Belle Vue in 1963.

The program drew great reviews from both adjudicators and audience alike, with First Section adjudicator Duncan Beckley commenting “A well structured and played programme from start to finish. Well done MD”. Baritone soloist Adam Snape was uniformly praised for his ethereal performance of Freddie Mercury’s ‘Love of My Life’ and numerous smaller solos by principal cornet Debbie Fry, soprano cornet Russell Gray, flugel horn Callum Harrison, euphonium Nick Giles and bass trombone Gary Hamer were very well received.

The band was completely caught by surprise by the wins in both sections, with members celebrating at the end of both results ceremonies with raucous enthusiasm.

“We worked very hard for this contest. Hopes were high that we would achieve a respectable result in the first section. To win both first and championship section was an incredible reward for our hard work.”

“Part of the prize was also an invitation to the British Open Spring Festival. Two years ago I set a goal to get to the spring festival. It was a goal I did not expect to achieve on our first asking. This invitation ensures the future of Eccles Borough Band as a strong force in the band movement.”

Mareika Gray

Musical Director, Eccles Borough Band