Membership increased by 20% from the previous year and included musicians from all over Counties Armagh, Monaghan, Tyrone, Louth, Derry and Down. 30 teachers taught a total of 42 weekly classes.
The 15th WKPF was a great success with most concerts sold out and an unprecedented attendance from all over the world.
Brian & Eithne Vallely were the subject of one of TG4’s “Sé mo Laoch” series which was broadcast twice during the year. They also received the NYAH Festival “Jig of Life” award in Co. Cavan for achievement in promoting traditional music.
A record number passed LCM examinations including 9 who achieved Grade 8: Ciaran Hanna, Bernadette Nic Aoidh, Fintan Mulholland (flute), Conor Breen, Dermot Mulholland (banjo), Conor Mallon (pipes), Aileen Campbell (fiddle), Éilis Lavelle, Bernadette Nic Aoidh (harp). Congratulations!
Burns Night held in January in the Pearse Og Club gave an opportunity to our musicians and singers to showcase their Scottish repertoire learned in Skye, at WKPF and Trad at the Trian while providing a great night’s entertainment for parents.
22 young musicians attended Feis an Earraigh in Portree in April as part of the ongoing exchange link with Skye musicians while we hosted the Skye group in Armagh in November.
Our Annual Concert in March involved all Club musicians and teachers, giving everyone an opportunity to perform on stage in the Marketplace Theatre in instrumental groups, singing groups and as soloists.
Trad at the Trian held each month from October to March gave everyone a chance to hear great singing and playing with each concert followed by session and master classes. Last year’s featured performers were: P.J. McDonald, Cathal McConnell, Sean Mone, Karan Casey, Cathal Lynch and Mary Dillon (songs), Brid Harper, Kate O’Brien, Rosie Smyth (fiddle), Martin Meehan, Fintan Vallely (flute), Dave Richardson (mandolin), Leo McCann (accordion) and Niall Vallely (concertina)
Our Senior pipe class were invited to perform at the first Foyle Piping Festival held in Magee University in March.
The newly formed String Ensemble with fiddles, banjos, guitars and harp played at the revived Fiddler of Oriel Festival in Monaghan in May, where fiddle-player Niall Murphy was the winner of the Junior Fiddler of Oriel competition.
Singing classes attracted an increased number of pupils. With three groups under the direction of Eithne Vallely and Thirza Mulder every pupil had an opportunity to attend a singing class in conjunction with an instrumental choice. The Junior & Senior singers organised a Singing night in Armagh Public Library with guests Sean Mone and Alana Henderson.
A Senior group from the Club were invited to play at Glasgow’s “Piping Live” Festival in August. The summer also featured two CD launches & concerts - the first, a flute and pipes duo by Cillian Vallely & Kevin Crawford and the second, a new album from “Buille”, launched at the John Hewitt Summer School in July.