50th Anniversary Gala Concert Photos

Visit the Gallery for photos from the Pipers Club 50th Anniversary Gala Concert held at the Market Place Theatre on May 14th.

Blas Festival

Members of the Pipers Club are travelling to Scotland to perform at the Blas Festival in Broadford Village Hall on September 9th.

Piping Live 2016

Members of the Pipers Club made their annual visit to Glasgow's Piping Live Festival. Visit the Gallery for more photos.

Fiddlers Green

Brian and Eithne Vallely were recently awarded the prestigious Fiddler's Green Hall of Fame Award. Members of the Pipers Club performed at the Festival in Rostrevor to celebrate the occasion. Visit the Gallery for more photos.

Gala Concert to celebrate 50th Anniversary

Within the last year Armagh Pipers Club became centre stage of world music with the link-up between former pupils and world famous groups like that of Bruce Springsteen and Hozier. The appearance of Alana Henderson performing with Hozier and Cillian Vallely with Springsteen was a development that could not have been imagined 50 years ago when the club was established. This development is a measure of the status now accorded the music and those who play it. When in 1966 a small group of people came together with the intention of promoting the playing of the uilleann pipes then just hanging onto survival, a Bruce Springsteen selecting an uilleann piper to play on his most recent CD couldn’t haven’t been predicted or imagined. In 1966 inspired by the Dublin Pipers Club it was decided to form an Armagh Pipers Club. Today 50 years later the Armagh Pipers Club is a world renowned academy of excellence in the teaching of traditional music. The publication in 1972 of the first of the pioneering Armagh Pipers Club tutor books which eventually found their way all over the world was a landmark in the development of traditional music not just in Armagh but worldwide. Thousands of young musicians have begun their music careers with these books which continue to be reprinted alongside a steady stream of new books accompanied by CD recordings of the tunes. The 50th ANNIVERSARY GALA CONCERT will take place on May 14th in the Marketplace Theatre Armagh with performances by 60 musicians representing the last 5 decades of the club. Many of these musicians whose careers began in the weekly classes of the club have well established reputations and through their numerous recordings and original compositions have a worldwide following. The Concert will focus on instrumental and singing groups performing both the traditional music of the area and the newer compositions by both members of the Armagh Pipers Club such as Brian Finnegan and Niall Vallely as well as distinguished Armagh composers from an earlier generation such as Brendan McGlinchey and Josephine Keegan. All the performers at the concert on May 14th are either current or former members with many of the teaching staff leading the various groups. Buy tickets here.
VISUAL BACK-DROP It is planned to have a visual history of the club through projected images on a huge backdrop at the concert. This will feature some of the generations of musicians who have passed through the club from its foundation to the present day.
YEAR LONG CELEBRATION The 50th Anniversary celebration started on January 20th in Glasgow at the Celtic Connections festival and continued on March 13th with the 50th Annual Concert. The May 14th Concert which will be televised for BBC will be the third major concert this year and further celebratory events are planned for later on in the year with a Gala Dinner and the William Kennedy Piping Festival.

Mark Donnelly Piping Academy

Photos from the Mark Donnelly Piping Acadamey featuring tutors Mick O'Brien and Brian McNamara with the students. More Photos here

Pipers Club Annual Concert

Photos from the Pipers Club Annual Concert at the Market Place Theatre. More Photos here

50th Anniversary Concert at Celtic Connections

The 50th Anniversary Concert at Celtic Connections on January 20th got the 1966/2016 Year of club celebration off to an International start with a memorable series of performances by members past and present before a huge audience packed into the Old Fruitmarket concert venue in Glasgow. Armagh Pipers Club led groups such as Lunasa, Flook and Buille were joined by a galaxy of virtuosi performers such as Jarlath Henderson and Tiarnan O Duinnchinn on uilleann pipes, Jarlath also sang, Leo McCann accordion, Barry Kerr guitar, flute and vocals, Niall Murphy fiddle who were joined by three current club members Méabh Smyth and Mairead Mitchell on fiddles and Eoin Murphy accordion. With the three groups performing as the concert catalysts, joined from time to time by the various soloists, a wonderful constantly changing and innovative performance unfolded as the night went on. The stage was dominated by a huge screen charting the development of the club over the past 50 years in images of young musicians beginning their music careers as 7 or 8 year olds right through to seeing some of them performing decades later that night on the stage. It was a night of celebration too for the many current and past members and parents who travelled from all over Ireland and Britain to the concert – a night tinged with nostalgia and sadness as well as images of deceased members appeared on screen in happier days.

More Photos here. Thanks to Louis deCarlo for the photos.

Burns Night

The Charlemont Hotel was the venue for the second year in a row for a very successful Burns Night – even better than last year was the general comment afterwards. Following the traditional haggis, neeps & tatties piped in by Jim Hanna and toasted by Kevin Daly, the capacity crowd were treated to a varied programme of Scottish music, song and dance. Dermot Mulholland did a superb job with sound and general organisation on the night as well as finding time and energy to sing a bar or two. Colleen Connolly organised everyone for the Scottish Ceili dances which everyone enjoyed and the night came to a close with the traditional Burns anthem Auld Lang Sang.

January Session

February which sees the start of rehearsals for the annual concert got off to a rousing opening session with a great array of talent throughout both parts of the night. Clean Slate TV crew were there under the direction of producer Lynette Fay to record and gather material for the 50th Anniversary 3 Part documentary to be screened later in the year.

Scots Fiddle Festival

‘Strings Attached’ our new and up and coming strings band made their International debut last week when they travelled to Edinburgh at the invitation of the organisers of the World renowned ‘SCOTS FIDDLE FESTIVAL’. The group under the direction of fiddle tutor Emmet Mulholland made a highly acclaimed debut with lots of feedback including a comment from Festival organiser Eilidh Steel ‘they were fantastic’. Many thanks to Emmet Mulholland, Thomas Smyth, and Sally Walmsley who looked after the group on the trip over!