Film showcases music and dance

Roy McCullough on the Quayside in Music, Dance and Chat from the Oak Grove on the Banks of the Foyle'.
Roy McCullough on the Quayside in Music, Dance and Chat from the Oak Grove on the Banks of the Foyle'.

AN amateur film showcasing the best in music and dance from the City has been launched with the 2013 tourist industry in mind.

‘Music, Chat and Dance from the Oak Grove on the Banks of the Foyle’ is the brainchild of Waterside man Roy McCullough from Harberton Park, who hit upon a way of telling the potential tourist to Londonderry why they should visit the first UK City of Culture.

“In November 2011 I felt that the City deserved a better press than it has been receiving in recent years, I had an idea to record my City’s musical culture, but the problem was to find and hire someone with the technical skills who could put my crazy ideas on film,” said Roy.

He recalled some years ago working on a couple of video projects with his friend, John Mitchel, but at the time of getting in touch with John he had no idea that he was committing himself to something that was going to take more than 13 months to complete.

“I set out to tell a part of the City’s culture by focusing the film on four contributors to the continuous flow of local talent, and the resulting film ‘Music, Dance and Chat from the Oak Grove On the Banks of the Foyle’ was launched in the Central Library,” he said.

On the film are Roy’s choice of Londonderry Musical Society, which has recently celebrated their 50th anniversary, the ever-popular Britannia Concert Band, which has been in operation since 1866, when it started out life as a flute band, the Porter School of Irish Dancing, formed in 1995 by Carolyn and Rachel Porter, and the Doire Calgach Singers, with their musical director Trevor Burnside, which was formed 20 years ago.

“It was very apparent to me that these groups were fine examples of the musical talent which is present in the city, and we should be proud of them all. It was also apparent to me that they enjoyed what they did and that each group was like a large family where friendships were very important.

“The co-operation of everyone in making the film made it far easier to forget about how the bad weather was for the outdoor shots,” said Roy, adding: “In the film I tried to weave a thread linking the music, dance and chat, to show what the city had to offer a visitor. I also visited St Columb’s Cathedral, and spoke a little of the lives of St Columba and Cecil Frances Alexander, the hymn writer, as well as Joseph McLaughlin, or Joseph Locke as he is better known.”

The film takes the viewer on a trip along the River Foyle, and features the City Walls and Grainan Fort.

“People viewing it at the launch said they were very impressed with the quality of the sound and vision, which showed the city to the best advantage, and hopefully tourists will appreciate seeing it. The film has been privately funded and I am currently in discussions with media organisations exploring how to make it available to a wider audience,” he said.