Celebration Concert at Celtic Connections - 20th January
Armagh Pipers Club invited to present a Celebration Concert at Celtic Connections for the 50th anniversary of the club. This concert took place at the Old Fruitmarket with performances by Lúnasa, Flook, Buille and guests Jarlath Henderson, Barry Kerr, Leo McCann, Niall Murphy, Méabh Smyth, Mairead Mitchell, Eoin Murphy, Eithne & Brian Vallely (programme in File)
Concert at the Marketplace Theatre
Glasgow-based trio played in the Marketplace Theatre – Jarlath Henderson, Ross Ainslie and Ali Hutton
'Breaking Trad' at the Áras
New band ‘Breaking Trad’ present a concert in the Aras. Members of the band are Niall Murphy, Donal Murphy and Mike Galvin
February’s Fonn Friday had guests Gerry O’Reilly (songs) & Brian McGrath (banjo)
Annual Concert - 13th March
The Annual APC Concert took place in the Marketplace Theatre
St Patrick's Festival concert - 16th March
As part of Armagh Council’s St Patrick’s Festival and the APC’s 50th Anniversary, a concert was held in the Marketplace Theatre with Brian Finnegan, Niall Murphy, John McSherry, Donal O’Connor, Paul Meehan and John Joe Kelly.
Session Trail - 16th to 20th March
A Session Trail took place throughout the week with performances in bars and cafes.
Children’s group ‘Na Páistí’ won a Busking Contest organised as part of the St Patrick’s Festival
Fonn Friday - April
April’s Fonn Friday featured a trio – Patrick Davey, Mairéad Forde and Lucy Kerr
Fancy Dress Session - April
A Fancy Dress Session –where teachers and pupils had to dress as a tune – provided a great night’s fun.
Mark Donnelly Academy of Piping - 23rd-24th April
Mark Donnelly Academy of Piping had workshops with tutors Mick O’ Brien, Brian McNamara and Éamonn Curran
50th Anniversary Gala Concert - 14th May
The 50th Anniversary Gala Concert in Marketplace Theatre featured over 60 musicians who had been in the Club over the past 50 years. This landmark occasion was filmed by ‘Clean Slate’ Productions for broadcast on BBC TV and can be watched on BBC iPlayer here
Concerts featuring APC members - June
Two public concerts with touring musicians took place in June: ‘Buille’ in concert in Marketplace and ‘Connla’ in Áras na bPíobairí
End of Term Singing Session - June
A Singing Session involving the Club’s singing students and parents finished off the teaching term
Visit to Áras an Uachtaráin - 26th June
A group from the club was invited to Áras an Uachtaráin for a Garden Party and Reception hosted by President Michael D Higgins to mark the occasion of our 50th Anniversary.
Showcases by 'Na Páistí' in local primary schools - 24th-27th June
‘Na Páistí’ performed in 6 local primary schools to showcase the Pipers Club to pupils. Na Páistí are: Harps: Ciaran McKenna, Edy Qua, Ríóghnach McKinney, Fiddle: Danú McKinney, Whistle/Bodhrán Ciaran Maguire, Concertina: Tiarnán Tohill, Flute: Cadhla Tohill, Accordion: Pearse Óg McMahon, Pipes: Aoife Smyth, Iarla McMahon: Schools visited: St, Patrick’s P.S., Armstrong P.S. Mt. St. Catherine’s P.S. St Malachy’s P.S., Saints & Scholars P.S. Christian Brothers P.S.
'Fiddler's Green' Hall of Fame Award - July
Another award came our way – this time the ‘Hall of Fame’ Award was presented to Brian & Eithne Vallely at ‘Fiddler’s Green’ Festival in Rostrevor on the occasion of the Club’s Golden Jubilee. APC group of young Monaghan musicians under direction of Mary McCabe provided support for the guest band, Lúnasa.
Piping Live! - August
The annual trip to ‘Piping Live’ and the Pipe Band World championships in Glasgow for the senior pupils and teachers took place in August.
There were a number of CD launches throughout the summer from bands with APC connections – ‘Skipper’s Alley’, ‘Cúig’, ‘Breaking Trad’, ‘Buille’, ‘Connla’, Cillian Vallely, Jarlath Henderson, and Ríoghnach Connolly
Blas Festival, Skye - September
Six young musicians from the Club travelled to the Isle of Skye to play at the Blas Festival to celebrate links between Feis an Earraich & Armagh Pipers Club.
Culture Night - 16th September
Culture Night APC perform and show films in Áras na bPíobairí. The Club also hosted a talk on the Armagh writer, John O’Connor.
Ed Reavy fiddle competition
Congratulations to Méabh Smyth on winning the inaugural Ed Reavy fiddle competition.
'Píobairí Ard Mhacha - The Armagh Pipers' - BBC Documentary Series
A 4 part documentary series telling the story of the Armagh Pipers Club is first broadcast on the BBC. This can still be viewed on BBC iPlayer here
Launch of 'Musical Footsteps - October
‘Musical Footsteps’ Project was launched. This heritage project devised by Sally Walmsley and funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, is intended to research the musical traditions of the APC families. Young leaders were selected to receive training in oral history methods and the setting up of a digital archive. Dr. Martin Dowling launched the project with performances by ‘Na Páistí’ and solo musicians from the Club. All families were issued with a questionnaire to research and document their musical histories. Club members come from around seven counties and many of them can trace their music back three or four generations.
Céilí House recording - 29th October
Fonn Friday - October
Fonn Friday for this month featured performances by musical families in the Club: the extended McCusker families, plus the McMahon, McKenna, Qua, Hanna, Murphy and Smyth families.
Busking at Sainsbury's
The Club held a Busking fund-raiser at Sainsbury’s Shopping Centre.
Fonn Friday - December
Fonn Friday for December featured musicians from Co. Cork – Jimmy Crowley (songs) and Richard Lucey (accordion)
Wedding of Sinead Lennon to Gavin Walsh - December
The wedding of our pipe tutor Sinéad Lennon and Gavin Walsh provided a great evening of music and craic!
Niall Hanna awarded Young Musicians Platform Award
Niall Hanna awarded an Arts Council Young Musicians Platform Award.
The winners of this award receive funding of £5,000 to be used to further the recipient’s career. In addition, the awardees receive two professional radio broadcast engagements, including one with the Ulster Orchestra.
Harp performance - December
Three harp pupils taught by Eilis Lavelle have been selected to perform in a new composition for harps and orchestra in Dublin. They were Ciaran McKenna, Muireann Harraghy & Ciara O’Hanlon
'Ceiliúrú na Nollag'
2016 came to a close with our tradition Carols Night – ‘Ceiliúrú na Nollag’ – in Áras na bPíobairí