Topp Band to enter competitions

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ONE of north Antrim’s best known marching bands - Topp Star of the North Pipe Band - is branching out into competitions and to help raise funds a concert will be held in Ballymoney Town Hall on Friday April 8 (8pm).

The band is a good example of how families can keep a band going down through the generations.

The Bellingham family is synonymous with the Topp Band which now has three generations of the clan in its ranks. Robert (63) was an original band member when it started 52 years ago and then there is Stephen Bellingham and his three children - Sara-Jane, Robbie and Jessica. All are pipers apart from Robbie and Jessica who are drummers.

The conert has an Ulster-Scots theme with artists including folk group ‘Crooked Jack’ featuring world champion drummer Mark Wilson of ‘Santer’ fame.

Also present will be Ian Burrows from Drumlough in Hillsborough who is regarded as one of the best pipers in Northern Ireland.

Fiddler Brian McAteer wil also entertain as will Davy Muldrew with guitar, keyboards and song.

The organisers are urging the public to come along for “traditional tea and plenty of craic”. Tickets cost £5, including supper, and they are available from The Ullans Centre, Ballymoney, or by phoning 07760652704.