Archived Histories of Brass Bands 
Bands Directory   |   Events   |   Products & Services   |   People   |   Organisations   |   Reference   |   About IBEW   |   Contact

This page is part of an archive of historical details from existing or defunct brass band websites. This is being maintained to provide a record of this information in the event of a band folding, its website disappearing or other loss of the historical record. Where possible, and appropriate, the information cached will be updated from time to time - and any corrections or updates are welcome.

Murley Silver Band

Murley Silver Band was formed in 1924 and took its name from the local district of Murley, a few miles from Fivemiletown, Co. Tyrone (Northern Ireland) where most of the original members resided. At present the band is located in Fivemiletown, in the heart of the Clogher Valley.

The original set of instruments were bought with a loan from a Mr. Gillespie (the owner of the Valley Hotel at that time) and were delivered in a wicker basket aboard the Clogher Valley Railway. In the early years, the band only performed at local cultural events, but by the 1960's there was huge surge of interest in participating in national contests organised by the Brass Band League of Northern Ireland (BBL) and the North of Ireland Bands Association (NIBA). The late Robert Hall was one of the key members, giving a lifetime of service to Murley by teaching virtually every playing member Murley had for almost 40 years, as well as playing himself.

The late Gordon Bloomfield conducted the band from 1960 until the appointment of a local school headteacher, Jack Taylor, in 1962.

However, it is fair to say that the meteoric rise of the Murley band through the sections can be pinned on one man - the late Harry Gault (right). Harry (who also founded the magnificent Strabane Concert Brass) was the conductor of Murley for 24 years, until his untimely death on April 12th 1997 at a brass band contest. Harry became the Musical Director of Murley in 1973 and the following year, the band made their first recording entitled Murley Makes Music. In 1979 & 1980 the band became both NIBA and BBL Intermediate champions and to mark the occasion a second recording was produced, simply entitled Murley in Concert. In 1981 Murley were made Band of the Year and in 1982 they competed in the Championship section for the first time. This was held in the Ulster Hall, Belfast where the band had a commendable result, finishing sixth out of nine. In 1987 the band recorded their best result in the BBL finishing 1st in the 'Own Choice' Spring Contest held in Glengormley High School. The band played Tam O'Shanter's Ride by Denis Wright.

During the difficult period following Harry's sudden death in 1997, band member Ann Bloomfield (nee Robertson) took up the baton for several months, leading the band in a memorable tour of Dublin and Bray. Mr Stephen Magee, a local music teacher, kindly stepped in as a conductor and remained in the post until September 1999.

In this same month Keith Anderson was appointed Musical Director and under his guidance, the band had several excellent contest results and produced their third recording - a CD entitled And The Band Played On, which was released in 2005. .

Murley's finest hour came in October 2007, after finally winning the North of Ireland Brass Band Championship playing Coventry Variations by Bramwell Tovey - the first time in the band's 84 year history.

This acheivement, under the baton of Keith Anderson, meant that the band qualified for and subsequently participated in the European Championships in Stavanger, Norway in May 2008.

In June 2008, Murley appointed William Hill as their new musical director and subsequently completed a historic double by winning the NIBA Championship for two years running. As a result, the band competed for the second time in the B-section of the European Brass Band Championships 2009 in Ostend, Belgium. The band finished a credible fourth out of six bands.