Caw and Bready bands get Ulster Scots cash to help pass on skills

Members of Caw Flute Band, which has secured funding for musical tuition.
Members of Caw Flute Band, which has secured funding for musical tuition.

Two members of the Londonderry Bands Forum have been successful in the latest round of funding allocated by the Ulster-Scots Agency for musical tuition.

Caw Flute Band and Bready Pipe Band have both been funded for twenty week tuition courses in traditional fluting and piping.

In joint collaboration with the coordinator of the Forum, Mr Derek Moore and their local community centres at Caw and the Sollus Centre in Bready both bands made full use of the help and expertise available to them to create lesson and tuition plans to satisfy the awarding panel of the Ulster Scots Agency.

Bands Forum coordinator Derek Moore told the Sentinel that funding this year had been harder than ever to obtain due to restrictions in the amount available to the agency.

He said that Forum member bands - William King Memorial, Kildoag and Churchill flute bands - had all received this funding in the past and had noticed a great boost to the young people they were training.

The Londonderry Bands Forum is the only one in Northern Ireland to have a worker dedicated to the positive promotion and interests of the local bands.

The Forum is helping with upgrading constitutions and policies for bands as well as organising training for the people who currently run the bands and more importantly for those young people who will take over in a few years.

Bands Forum chairman Mr Kenny McFarland expressed his disappointment that the Killaloo Accordion band was unsuccessful with their application due to a technical error in their paperwork.

Mr McFarland urged all Forum member bands to make use of the help now available and called on all bands not in the Forum to contact Mr Moore at St Columbs Park House in order to find out more about the help and support that is available to them.

Meanwhile, an exciting development is also taking place between the Forum and the Good Relations Department of Derry City Council.

This will involve classes in various schools from the Derry City Council area undertaking lessons and activities associated with the promotion of the whole aspect to being in a band.

Mr Moore explained that the focus will be on the community leadership that bands excel in and the benefits to local society and the wider economic impact that the band movement provides.

He added he hoped this would dispel the negatives that have been present in the past by showing the real aspects of being in a band and the amount of effort needed to sustain the organisational side and keep it going.

The Forum was set up nearly three years ago to teach members the history of marching bands and create a strong cohesive voice amongst its membership.

Set up at the request of local bands it has worked steadily to allow groups to share good practice and information on funding opportunities and also to support the Protestant Unionist Loyalist (PUL) community generally.