Despite being very early in the year and the 2015 band season some way off, several band events last weekend drew very large crowds.
Pride of the Orange and Blue hosted a band night in the newly opened Villas Nightclub in Newbuildings, with several bands performing including Thiepval Memorial Pipe and Moneydig Young Conquerors, complemented by an exemplary drum salute from Clarke Campbell.
Also on Saturday night over 250 people packed into the 2nd Presbyterian Church Hall Moneymore for a concert for the Ballybriest Flower of the Heather Flute. The night started promptly, and a continual stream of high quality musical entertainment included Bruces True Blues Accordion, Omagh True Blues and Newtownabbey Accordion. Jane Watterson on the flute and Ballindrum Pipe brought a different pace to the evening, before the host band ended the night on a high in their own unique style. The host’s performance saw an incredible three generations of the one family on the stage.
Tonight the Craiganee Accordion will be hosting a quiz night in Ballinlea Orange Hall. Tomorrow night some of the many events scheduled include a band night in Moygashel Orange Hall hosted by Moygashel Sons of Ulster; the 40th Anniversary dinner dance for Pride of Knockmore Lisburn; Enniskillen Royal British Legion for the Ballinamallard Blues Supporters Club and East Belfast Centenary Committee will host six bands at a fundraising night in Monkstown Social Club.
On Saturday night the hosts of band concerts include Cloughmills Crown Defenders in Rochesters, Londonderry, Freeman Memorial Flute in the Sperrin Club, Coleraine, North Belfast Young Loyalists in North Belfast Working Men’s Club and Fermanagh Somme Association in the Castle Inn, Castlederg. Each will feature bands from across the Province.
In Tullyvallen Football Club the Synotts True Blues Flute Newtownhamilton are holding a quiz night. Dunaghy Flute are hosting their annual dinner dance in the Manor Hotel Ballymoney.
The Ulster Bands Forum/ Belfast News Letter Band Season Calendar 2015 is nearing completion, with the much awaited free supplement scheduled to appear in the News Letter in late March. It is important that bands contact Drumbeat as soon as possible to ensure inclusion. If you would like to publicise fundraising, competition, cultural or indeed any events related to the large Ulster marching band fraternity, you can contact Drum Beat by ringing/ texting 07835624221 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, with all contributions and news from the country’s thriving band movement welcome.