Ulster has, per head of population, more marching and competition bands than anywhere else in the world. The majority of these bands come from within the Ulster-Scots community and are influenced by their Ulster-Scots History.
These bands are, in general, formed by the community and are part of the fabric of that community in which they base themselves. Of late, bands in general, have received a lot of bad press and media attention, generated to highlight a narrow view point.
There has never been an outlet for the cream of these local bands, in all genres, to perform together and showcase the quality of their musicianship both in terms of their own genre and playing together as a massed band. The Belfast Tattoo, to be held on the 27th & 28th September 2013 in the Odyssey Arena, Belfast, provides these musicians with such a platform. The Belfast Tattoo will bring together and showcase the largest ever gathering, under one roof, of local musicians playing the instruments synonymous with the Ulster-Scots communities, The Highland Pipes, The Flute and Fife, The Accordion, The Drum and Brass, not forgetting the Highland Dancers which are becoming an increasing part of the community. The net has been cast across the whole of Ulster, something again unique to this event, to find the best bands in their particular musical field to come together to create this unique event, which shall become an annual event.
The Ballymoney area will be well represented with both the Dunloy and Vow accordion bands coming together to present a massed band of accordion and percussion which will undoubtedly be one of the highlights of the event. Since the inception of the project, both bands have been very busy rehearsing in joint practices to get all their pieces perfected for the big night. Practices are now at a very advanced stage and the massed ensemble is sounding terrific, playing a selection of marches that each band has chosen to perform jointly.
Of course the marches will be presented in the arena ‘on the march’ and both bands have been really busy working with drum majors Jimmy Campbell, Davy Mercer and James McDermott to perfect their marching as well. In fact you may have already seen the both bands performing as the massed band at some of the local parades – practice makes perfect after all.
Tickets are still available at all ticketmaster outlets or from the ticket master website.