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St Andrew’s Day launch for Burns Night Special

30 November 2011

The Ulster Orchestra and the Ulster-Scots Agency came together today (30 November) to mark St Andrews Day, Scotland’s Patron Saint, and officially launch Ye Banks and Braes – a special Burns Night celebration off all things Scottish that will take place on Burns Night, 25 January next year at the Ulster Hall.

The unique collaboration will bring together musicians from the Ulster-Scots and Classical traditions to celebrate Scotland’s National Poet, including Eddi Reader, the leading Scottish exponant of the songs of Rabbie Burns.  A passionate voice for the works of Scotland’s ‘Bard’, she first recorded an album of his songs with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra in 2003.


Looking forward to the concert, Declan McGovern, the Ulster Orchestra’s Chief Executive said, “We perform live in front of over 100,000 people each year with performers as diverse and as famous as the Field Marshall Montgomery Pipe Band to international soprano, Dame te Kanawa.

“This special collaboration with the Ulster-Scots Agency is a must for everyone who loves the songs and poetry of Robert Burns. It is also a great opportunity to experience Northern Ireland’s only professional symphony orchestra in a very different setting from its regular classical concerts.”

The evening will also bring together leading local musicians including champion piper Robert Watt from Maghera County Londonderry and Scottish drummer extraordinaire, Mark Wilson who will both perform live with the Ulster Orchestra. Highland dancing will also enhance the night with the award-winning Solus Highland Dancers.


The Ulster-Scots Agency’s Chief Executive, Ian Crozier said, “The Agency is looking forward to working in partnership with the Ulster Orchestra to hold this special Burns Night celebration on Wednesday 25 January, 2012, which commemorates the life of the bard Robert Burns who was born on this date in 1759.  The Agency welcomes the opportunity for the Ulster Orchestra to work with the Ulster-Scots community on this venture and encourages everyone who has an appreciation of Burns to join us for what will be a truly memorable occasion.”


The acclaimed conductor and composer Carl Davis will conduct the UO with the Belfast-born actor and playwright Dan Gordon presenting the special concert, which will be broadcast live on BBC Radio Ulster. The evening will also include the traditional Burns Night Address set to music.

Tickets are £8-£25 and available now from the Ulster Orchestra on 028 9023 9955 or at