In a fascinating echo of the early decades of the 20th century, when Wingates Band regularly featured a resident female vocalist in their concert performances, the internationally-renowned brass ensemble is once again to be accompanied on stage by a young lady whose superb soprano voice is rapidly gaining for her a great reputation on the local entertainments scene.
Eighteen years old Caitlin Wineyard, of Atherton, will join Wingates when, together with their great friends and neighbours The Houghton Weavers, the two Westhoughton ensembles will present their traditional and ever-popular Christmas Folk and Brass concert at Bolton’s Victoria Hall on Saturday 12th December (7:30pm). This will be Caitlin’s third appearance with Wingates in recent months, and in September her performances with the band at a sell-out concert during the 2015 Ribble Valley Music Festival resulted in band and soloist receiving a most enthusiastic standing ovation.
Following her secondary education at Atherton’s Fred Longworth High School, Caitlin is currently taking a year out – although keeping busy as a peripatetic music teacher – prior to embarking upon her ambition of taking a university degree course in Musical Theatre. Throughout her young life to date, Caitlin has shown a great passion and talent in all the performing arts, which also embraces brass bands, where she has currently has somewhat divided loyalties. Having learnt to play the cornet at a young age, Caitlin is now a member of Whitefield-based Besses o’th’ Barn band, whilst her boyfriend Connor Gingell is a talented young tuba player who is a key member of the Wingates line-up.
As well as featuring Caitlin’s singing talents, at the Victoria Hall concert Wingates will also be profiling their newly-released CD album, Sounds of a Century, which has been produced to commemorate a remarkable milestone in the band’s long history – namely that of 100 years of recorded music, a landmark previously reached by only three brass bands in the world.
The new album, and its companion souvenir item, a publication outlining the band’s fascinating recording history from the early years of World War I to date, and including a comprehensive discography, has featured prominently in the brass band print media recently, and also on the airwaves.
Tracks from the new album were broadcast on national radio when Frank Renton, the presenter of the long-running BBC Radio 2 programme,Listen to the Band, profiled the Wingates special centenary in the transmission on Thursday, November 26, which can be heard for the next month via iPlayerRadio. Further exposure for the famed local band also came on Manx Radio, when, on Monday 30th November, presenter Ian Cottier devoted an hour-long special edition of his Time for Brass programme to the Wingates Sounds of a Centuryalbum.
Tickets for Christmas Folk and Brass can be purchased by callers at the new Victoria Hall box office facility (limited opening hours – call 01204 522569 for details), or by calling 01204 696984 / 07970 131460.