Musicians gather for Armagh Old Boys' Summer School

John Hooks


John Hooks


ARMAGH Old Boys’ Silver Band this week hosted its annual week-long Summer School, led by tutors from the world-famous Foden’s Band.

Welcoming more than 80 participants, from 7 years old up, the summer school brings together people of all ages and abilities from across Northern Ireland and further afield to be trained under the guidance of nine highly talented Foden’s tutors. Now in its 18th year  the Summer School, supported by Arts Council of Northern Ireland National Lottery Funds, is going from strength to strength.

Participants can choose between two bands, the Sterling Band for beginners or the Sovereign Band for a more challenging programme. The repertoire is designed to support all abilities and includes a wide range of genres, from film and pop-music, to more classical works and extended brass band pieces.

Ivor Stevenson MBE, from Armagh Old Boys’ Silver Band, commented: “The Summer School is a wonderful opportunity for folk of all ages to develop their knowledge, technical playing skills, team ethos and individual achievement as well as building the Brass Band family network across the province.”

Participants will perform two concerts this week. On Thursday night there will be a Young Soloists Evening in Armagh Old Boys Silver Band Music Centre at 7pm. On Saturday at 7pm in  First Presbyterian Church Armagh, the two bands will have the opportunity to perform individually, before merging together to perform for the Grand Finale.

Ciaran Scullion, Head of Music at the Arts Council, commented: “This is a superb summer school, offering first class tuition and important development for instrumentalists of all ages and abilities. As well as the masterclasses and workshops, participants can also look forward to hearing their tutors perform, so that they can see for themselves the standards which can be achieved through practice and dedication. 

“The Arts Council is pleased to support this year’s summer school through our Small Grants National Lottery programme and wish all the students the best of luck with this week’s performances.”

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