Murley Silver Band celebrates its anniversary with an event in Fivemiletown

Friends and family of Murley Silver Band gathered to celebrate the band’s 98th anniversary with a Black Tie Dinner Dance at the Valley Hotel, Fivemiletown on Friday 4th November.

Usually a bi-annual event, this was the Murley Silver Band’s first Black Tie dinner since 2018, due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The event was hosted by group vice-chairman Mike Tarrant and his wife Rose, who recently celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary.

Describing the evening as “very special”, Stephen Bloomfield, who serves as co-chairman of the Murley Silver Band with his brother Mark Bloomfield, noted that there were around 140 people in attendance.

After the dinner main course, the band played a half-hour set, entertaining all in attendance by playing six pieces of music.

Gordon Campbell, trombrone teacher, was the special guest of the evening.

“Gordon is probably one of the best trombone players in the whole of the UK,” said Stephen, noting that at the event Gordon accompanied the Murley Silver Band in their performance before delivering their speech.

“He talked about his life experiences since he started [playing the trombone] as a child how he became a teacher on this instrument,” added Stephen.

Amid the celebrations, the band took the opportunity to remember two band members who sadly passed away earlier this year, William Lyons, who had been president of the Murley Silver Band and Herbie Robertson.

“Our President William Lyons sadly passed away on August 13. I paid tribute to his wife Geraldine, pretty much what William meant to us as a group. Not only was he our President, but he had given over 60 years of service to the band, as well as tutoring young musicians and helping people fix instruments. He was just an amazing man,” Stephen said, adding, “Then there was lifelong member Herbie Robertson who died Sept. 8.

“They were two people we especially wanted to remember on this occasion and the band played at both funerals.

“It was a very dark and emotional event for all associated with the group, considering that these gentlemen had been of service all their lives,” he said.

In the evening, on behalf of the group, Stephen thanked everyone present; friends, family and members of the local community for their support, commenting that it is because of them that Murley Silver Band exists, “to entertain the public and the communities” it serves. He also thanked The Valley Hotel for their support over the years.

The evening ended with a disco.

Speaking about the success of the event, Stephen said: “It was an event where friends and family of Murley Silver Band could all come together again, as the Covid times were so difficult.

“The most important thing was to mark the 98th anniversary and reflect on what Covid has meant to us as an organization because a lot of people who don’t play brass wouldn’t realize it had been over a year that we were stopped playing together in any format,” he said.

“We’re going to do the same for the band’s 100th anniversary in two years and that’s why we wanted to do this event, to bring people out again and remind them of what the band is trying to achieve, which is to to say entertain in our local communities and highlight the importance of music to people and their well-being,” Stephen told the newspaper.

Over the next few weeks the Murley Silver Band will take part in a series of concerts, work with the Fermanagh Choral Society and hold events in their own local community.

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