Cullybackey and Andre Rieu light up the Odyssey

Ballybriest Pipe Band Cookstown

Ballybriest Pipe Band Cookstown

LAST Monday night Cullybackey Pipe Band took to the stage with the world famous Dutch violinist and composer Andre Rieu and his Johann Strauss Orchestra at the Odyssey Arena in front of an audience of 8,000.

The Johann Strauss Orchestra celebrated its 25th birthday and led by Andre put on their usual marvellous show to a captivated Belfast audience.

The show received star treatment with artificial snow cascading from the ceiling onto some of the seat rows during the Orchestra’s rendition of ‘White Christmas’, fans waltzed in the aisles to ‘the Blue Danube’ these, along with a mesmeric rendition of ‘Bolero, being just a few of the many concert highlights.

The finale saw Cullybackey march through the balloon filled aisles playing ‘Scotland the Brave’ to a standing ovation as they made their way onto the stage. They then combined with Andre and his Orchestra to play ‘Amazing Grace’ with the audience still on their feet singing along.

Cullybackey combined both their grade 1 and grade 4 bands for the concert giving a lot of younger members a taste of playing in front of a packed concert crowd.

Speaking after the concert pipe major Robert Cupples said: “It was an honour and privilege to be invited to play with a superstar and his orchestra and it was a fantastic opportunity for the kids and adults in the band to experience such an electric filled concert and to combine with another musical genre. The night will live long in our memories.”

The Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association Northern Ireland Branch would like to thank the Andre Rieu Group for inviting a member band to perform and Cullybackey Pipe Band for their excellent performance on the night.

n Mid Ulster Section of the RSPBANI recently honoured two of its bands for a successful 2012 competition season which saw both lift world titles.

Clogher & District Pipe Band and Ballybriest Pipe Band lifted the grade 4b and 3b titles respectively in what was an excellent season for both bands.

Ballybriest also collected European and British titles.

Pipe majors Roy Henning and Arnold Mitchell were presented with an inscribed gift from section chairman William Bowman. Members of both bands attended the reception along with section officials.

Clogher and District will compete in grade 3b next season while Ballybriest have been elevated to grade 3A.

n The popular ‘Up to the Line’ internet radio programmes for the worldwide piping and drumming enthusiast got underway last week and will continue next Wednesday from 7-9pm.

The programmes are supported by the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association (Northern Ireland Branch) and hosted by Gail Graham, RSPBANI press officer.

Speaking to Gail this week she tells me she is delighted the programme is back for the festive season and is looking forward to this week’s show.

“It is great to be back. I want to say a big thank you to all the listeners because without their support their wouldn’t be a programme,” Gail said.

A full schedule is expected to be announced in the next few days and will only be accessible at the following link www.fuseonthehill.com.




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