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Young Ulster-Scots Performers Celebrated at...

14 June 2019

Parliament Buildings, Stormont was the venue for a major celebration of new Ulster-Scots performers on Thursday night when the Ulster-Scots Agency hosted its annual graduation for young pipers, drummers and drum majors.

The event was the opportunity for pupils from 39 different tuition classes across Ulster to receive their Foundation Certificates, which are accredited by the Ulster-Scots Agency and Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association NI.

Welcoming the event to Parliament Buildings, Michelle McIlveen MLA, commented; “I hosted the first of these events back in 2012 and I have always been greatly encouraged by the sustained growth in the number of participants.

“The pipes and drums have a long history in Northern Ireland and the numerous competitions which take place across the country have a strong and loyal following. There is a buzz and a palpable excitement in a town or locality where a contest is taking place as well as an important increase in footfall in the commercial centres of those areas. This all points to a vibrant and flourishing part of our cultural tradition.”

The first such graduation event in 2012 saw 28 participants receiving certificates in the Long Gallery at Stormont; this year, the Great Hall had to be used for two separate events on the same night, as 239 pupils had completed a Foundation Certificate.

The gathering was also addressed by the Ulster-Scots Agency’s Chief Executive, Ian Crozier, who said; “Here in Ulster we have a reputation as world beaters when it comes to pipe bands.  We want to ensure that reputation continues long into the future; and with the huge number of young people and level of achievement represented here tonight, we can be sure that the legacy of excellence which has been built over decades will be in safe hands with the next generation of Ulster-Scots musicians.”

The audience for the event included many proud parents and grandparents, as well as teachers, representatives of the Ulster-Scots Agency and senior members of the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association from Northern Ireland and Scotland.

Participants at the event were drawn from the following tuition classes:

  • Abercorn Primary School
  • Ballytrea Primary School
  • Banbridge High School
  • Campbell College
  • Carnaghts Primary School
  • Carntall Primary School
  • Coagh Primary School
  • Cookstown High School
  • Cooley Primary School
  • Donaghey Primary School
  • Down Academy Pipes and Drums
  • Dromore High School
  • Drumlins Integrated Primary School
  • Fivemiletown College
  • Fort Hill Integrated Primary School
  • Kilross Primary School
  • Magherafelt Primary School
  • Moneymore Primary School
  • Newmills Primary School
  • Old Warren Primary School
  • Omagh Academy
  • Omagh Country Primary School
  • Omagh High School
  • Orritor Primary School
  • Parkhall Primary School
  • Phoenix Integrated Primary School
  • Portadown Integrated Primary School
  • Rainey Endowed School
  • Royal School Dungannon
  • RSPBA NI Banbridge
  • RSPBA NI Enniskillen
  • Saintfield High School
  • Scarva Primary School
  • Stewartstown Primary School
  • The High School Ballynahinch
  • Wallace High School
  • Wallace Preparatory Department

Photos from the evening are available from the Ulster-Scots Agency's Facebook page. To view these online, please click here