Armagh Pipers Club 1966 - 2016.
Armagh Pipers Club has been at the forefront of traditional music education since its foundation in 1966. Celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2016, Armagh Pipers Club has had an exciting programme of events through the year.
Armagh Pipers Club has been teaching traditional music since 1966. Starting with a tin whistle tutor, from 1972 a series of printed tutors have evolved, the first of their kind in Irish music. Substantial tutors followed covering songs, music history, the fiddle, uilleann pipes and popular session tunes.
Armagh Pipers Club is unique in the sense that it doesn’t prepare learners for competitions, rather giving them the confidence and skills to empower them to do so themselves. Individual desires are catered for through LCM grading system which acknowledges talent and competency, without the unavoidable stresses of competition. Clearly this model works, with the club beginning with four pupils, but now catering for in excess of 250 on a weekly basis and across a wide range of instruments.
The 50th Anniversary Concert at Celtic Connections on January 20th got the 1966/2016 Year of club celebration off to an International start with a memorable series of performances by members past and present before a huge audience packed into the Old Fruitmarket concert venue in Glasgow. Armagh Pipers Club led groups such as Lunasa, Flook and Buille were joined by a galaxy of virtuosi performers such as Jarlath Henderson and Tiarnan O Duinnchinn on uilleann pipes, Jarlath also sang, Leo McCann accordion, Barry Kerr guitar, flute and vocals, Niall Murphy fiddle who were joined by three current club members Méabh Smyth and Mairead Mitchell on fiddles and Eoin Murphy accordion.
With the three groups performing as the concert catalysts joined from time to time by the various soloists a wonderful constantly changing and innovative performance unfolded as the night went on. The stage was dominated by a huge screen charting the development of the club over the past 50 years in images of young musicians beginning their music careers as 7 or 8 year olds right through to seeing some of them performing decades later that night on the stage.
The Friends of Armagh Pipers club was launched on 9th March 2016 at Armagh City Hotel. The initiative is set in the context of the 50th anniversary and engaging the thousands of past pupils who graduated through the club classes or learnt their music from many of the club publications down the years.
For more information please visit: www.armaghpipers.com.
The 50th Annual Concert was held at the start of the St Patrick’s Festival week and featured every pupil in the club. Armagh Pipers Club was part of the St Patrick’s Festival Session Trail with an afternoon session in Áras na bPíobairí. The main St Patrick’s Day Concert featured former pupil Brian Finnegan and friends at the Marketplace Theatre on Friday 18th March. Among the invited friends who will be supporting will be Armagh Pipers Club group ‘Strings attached’. Na Páistí were winners of the junior busking prize at the annual Armagh Busking competition, held as part of the council’s St Patrick’s Festival.
On 14th May 2016 in the Marketplace Theatre, 60 musicians representing 5 decades of Armagh Pipers Club presented an audio visual experience featuring many of the acclaimed instrumentalists, singers and composers who have emerged over the decades since 1966.
William Kennedy Piping Festival - Armagh, Northern Ireland, 17-20 November 2016.
Opening Concert Thursday 17th November 2016 - 8pm - St. Patrick's CoI Cathedral Hooley in the Charlemont Friday 18th November 2016 - 7.30pm - Charlemont Hotel Uilleann Pipes concert Saturday 14th November 2016 - 8pm - St. Patrick's CoI Cathedral 2016 Line-up Liam O'Flynn, Mícheál Ó Súilleabháin, Paddy Glackin & Neil Martin The Theodosii Spassov Bulgarian Folk Quintet (Bulgaria) Andy May Trio (Northumbria) Musique du Morvan (France) Paddy Keenan & Niall Vallely The Friel Sisters (Scotland) The Finnegan McSherry Band featuring Brian Finnegan, John McSherry, Dónal O'Connor, Niall Murphy, Ed Boyd & John Joe Kelly "The Pipes, The Pipes" featuring Padraig McGovern, Maitiú Ó Casaide, John Tuohy, Lionel Palun & Dónal Dineen Xavier Boderiou with Sylvain Barou & Jacques Pellen (Brittany) Ewen Henderson and Angus MacKenzie (Scotland/Cape Breton) Anne Martin (Scotland) Cillian Vallely, David Doocey & Ross Martin Tiarnán Ó Duinnchinn & Laoise Kelly Fiona Kelleher & Caoimhín Vallely Calum Alex MacMillan (Scotland) Sean McElwain & Martin McCormack Jarlath Henderson Mick O'Brien David Power Eliot Grasso (USA) Kevin Rowsome Cúig Réalta Connla Pearse McMahon & Emmet Mulholland Ceoltóirí Fèis an Earraich (Scotland) Eamonn Curran and more to be announced
Photo Credits: (1) Armagh Pipers Club logo, (2) Brian & Eithne Vallely, (3) Fiddler's Green Festival 2016, (4) 50th Anniversary Gala Concert, (5) Cillian Vallely, William Kenendy Piping Festival 2015, (6) Jarlath Henderson, William Kenendy Piping Festival 2015 (by Armagh Pipers Club/William Kennedy Piping Festival).