Three of the Londonderry Bands Forum member bands - Kildoag Pipe, Caw Flute and Britannia Concert Brass - made their mark during ‘Music City Day’ by performing on the City Walls and in the main tented venue along the Quay.
The showcase follows a busy number of months for the Forum, which recently developed a new ‘Marching Bands Activity Sheet’ with the Community Relations team at Derry City Council, which is pitched at young people from 10 to 15 and covers topics like reactions to seeing marching bands, associations with them, instruments, history and information on parades and debates around different views on parades.
The full-time coordinator of the Forum Derek Moore told the Sentinel that the reaction to the initiative has been very positive and the fact that some 450 pupils have taken part in the workshops across 10 schools is unprecedented.
He stated that the uptake from the forward thinking principals and teachers from the schools who took part shows that people are aware that education and exposure to and about other cultures is essential to the young generation that are now growing up.
“If we can show that no one has anything to fear from each other’s beliefs or culture, then this can help to maintain the excellent level of peaceful commemorations and parades that currently exist in the city,” said Mr Moore.
“This also gives us a chance to hear the genuine views of young people on their beliefs and ideas of what the parading culture is all about; these opinions are relevant to all sections of the community,” he added.
Mr Moore explained how the overwhelming majority of the participants during the recent workshops were from Catholic schools throughout the city.
The Forum coordinator said that now that the project is up and running, the Forum and the Good Relations team at Derry City Council can encourage more schools to avail of this fun and informative workshop.
Mr Moore continued: “We have taken on board all the points raised by teachers and pupils and we will tweak the lessons to accommodate all the positives.”
He added that a lesson plan was now being developed with the help of some teachers in order to tie the workshops into key stage 3 aims in various parts of the National Curriculum.