This was marching band music at its best with four bands performing in each half of the programme. Cookstown Sons of William Flute Band, Gertrude Star Flute Band, Church Hill Silver Band from Fermanagh and Ballykeel Loyal Sons of Ulster Flute Band performed in the first half, while Mourne Young Defenders, Kilcluney Volunteers Flute Band from Markethill, William King Memorial Flute Band from Londonderry and Dunloy Accordion Band performed in the second.
The following short paragraphs are taken from an introduction which I contributed to the official programme:
Northern Ireland is a musical nation and music in its many forms permeates our history and culture. It is a soundtrack to our lives.
We have a wealth of musical talent here and huge numbers of musicians develop their skills through practice and performance with marching bands.
Today in Northern Ireland there are over 600 bands encompassing Melody flute, Blood and Thunder Flute, Silver, Accordion and Pipe, and the movement and styles have been exported around the world including Scotland, England, Canada and Australia. An ever developing and growing scene, 11 new bands have been formed in 2009 alone, the Ulster Marching Band movement can count itself as one of the most vibrant and unique cultural and musical groups in the world.