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Eccles in Excelsis!

Surely no other band has done more to keep up the Christmas spirit this year...



If ever there was an example of the true commitment to banding over the Christmas period, then it was certainly shown by the members of Eccles Band this year.


And with bands up and down the country doing their bit to bring festive cheer to shoppers and concerts goers, every one of them will be able to recognise just how incredible Eccles particular commitment to the cause has been.

In the last few weeks the band has been out in the freezing conditions playing carols and undertaking small concert jobs to raise much needed funds—with players making the usual sacrifices of taking time out to do their bit.

Take some beating

However—these players take some beating.

Led by MD Marieka Gray, wife of Fairey (Geneva) MD Russell Gray the Eccles players have gone above and beyond the call of usual banding duty.

For example — the band recently played at the Trafford Centre in Manchester, with a line up of players and supporters which including a principal cornet who had just come out of hospital the day before with a broken arm and leg following a car accident.


Meanwhile, another cornet player performed less than 24 hours after being mugged in Manchester, whilst the flugel horn, stood and played in the freezing cold whilst still recovering from a serious knee operation.

The baritone player came to the job on crutches with a broken ankle, whilst the wife of another player who is wheelchair bound due to severe arthritis, stayed the whole day of over 7 hours in the cold, with her collecting tin!

The prize

However, the undoubted prize for commitment beyond anything anyone could possibly expect, went to the band’s tuba player, Benschi Searle, who had promised to make every rehearsal and band job during the year.

True to his word he turned up to the last carol job to ensure his 100% attendance record—despite the day before—and this takes some beating—his car breaking down, his house catching fire and his mother being taken to hospital!

he turned up despite his car breaking down, his house catching fire and his mother being taken to hospital!4BR


A bemused Russell Gray, who will be playing with Eccles on soprano at the Area contest next year, was left almost speechless by the commitment shown by the players.

"I’ve been associated with bands over the years where even the slightest excuse has been used not to come to practice let alone a freezing cold outside job — so to witness first hand this commitment was simply mind boggling!"

Centre Stage

Drum rolls please — and keep it deliberately quiet

February 24 • The new MP-Drum from Centre Stage Percussion is being unveiled at the North West Regional Championship.


2018 Spring Festival details announced

February 24 • The list of bands competing at the 98th British Open Spring Festival have been announced by the contest organisers.


Cory stars lead Mid-Winter challenges in Barnstaple

February 24 • Philip Harper and stars from Cory Band helped put 120 players through their paces at the recent SWBBA Mid-Winter Workshop weekend.


Radio: Sounds of Brass

February 24 • More great music on the airwaves from Philip Hunt.

Marshfield Band - Marshfield Male Voice Choir

Saturday 24 February • Marshfield Community Centre SN14 8PG

The Brighouse & Rastrick Band - Chirst Church Ilkley

Saturday 24 February • Christchurch,. The Grove,. Ilkley LS29 9LW

Marshfield Band - Marshfield Male Voice Choir

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The Cobham Band -

Saturday 24 February • The Vera Fletcher Hall . 4 Embercourt Road. Thames Ditton. KT7 0LQ KT70LQ

Milton Keynes Brass - "Blow away those Winter Blues"

Saturday 24 February • The United Reformed Church. High Street. Newport Pagnell MK16 0FH

Enderby Band

February 24 • Enderby Band are looking for a SOLO TROMBONE to join us after the Area Contest. We are a hard-working and sociable band and are looking for a committed player to fill a key seat. We have a sensible mix of concert and contests throughout the year.

West Somerset Brass Band

February 23 • West Somerset Brass is looking to strengthen its cornet and baritone section. We are a community band playing all over Somerset and hope to undertake a tour to France later in the year. If you can play whatever standard please make contact

The Corsham Band

February 22 • Having now been promoted to the 2nd Section for the forthcoming Contest season, the band are now looking for a back row cornet player, 2nd or 3rd, to join our team

Duncan A. Beckley

Conductor, adjudicator, band trainer and teacher