Big thank you from

Busy time as band marks four decades of making music

THROUGH THE YEARS...Lisburn Young Defenders, July 1,1974.

THROUGH THE YEARS...Lisburn Young Defenders, July 1,1974.

LISBURN Young Defenders Flute Band, which is celebrating its 40th Anniversary, have a very busy time ahead.

The band, which was formed by a group of 16 and 17 year olds, was originally named Moira Road Protestant Boys. But within a year of their formation in August 1970, with there were girls and members from other parts of the town, and the name change occurred.

In November 1970 the first B flat flutes were bought at a cost of £3 each, compared to the £400 each flute the band plays today.

The early years of band were of the blood and thunder style so prevalent across Northern Ireland in the 70s. While the band's style may not always have been appreciated by other musicians, it was considered one of the top bands in their genre.

During the late 70s the band started to include marches such as the Merry Bandit, Sabbath Morn and Children's Love into their play list, which though unusual at the time was the beginning of what was to lead to the present day melody band.

-- with their trophies in the 198Os

-- with their trophies in the 198Os

The current band, which plays 1st, 2nd, 3rd B flats, Fs and piccolo flutes, with the percussion section playing Premier Military side and bass drums along with timpani, drum kit, glockenspiel, sleigh bells, tubular bells, when indoors, have changed their play list considerably over the years and now play mostly marches when doing road work, while film themes and other set pieces right for the occasion are included when performing at concerts or indoor functions.

Over the past few years the band has increased in membership, male and female, who come from a wide area. They have organised learners' classes for flute and drum, which have received grant aid from the Ulster Scots Agency. These classes are held prior to the main band practice on Wednesday nights 7pm in Leslie Memorial Orange hall, Broomhedge, when anyone interested in learning an instrument will be made very welcome.

The band, who are members of The North of Ireland Bands Association (NIBA) and The Flute Band Association of Northern Ireland (FBANI), have in recent years, under conductor, Mr G. Shields, won the melody section of the NIBA on three occasions and the FBANI once.

...more success in the early 9Os

...more success in the early 9Os

To mark their 40th Anniversary year, the band have been busy recording a new CD which should be on release for sale this month. There is also a new lapel badge incorporating the band's first and present badges for general sale, a traditional flute bands night was held at a popular venue on 19th February and 5th March.

The annual Melody flute competition was held in Lisburn Orange hall on Saturday 26h March, when all the top melody flute bands from across Northern Ireland were in attendance, Such is the standard and regard of this competition, the band were contacted by two melody flute bands, Bailles Lane Corp of Drums and Alanton Corp of Drums both from Scotland enquiring about competing. The Alanton Corp of Drums did make the journey and had, as did all the bands, a very enjoyable day, and have asked to be invited back next year. Though Alanton is recognised as one of the top Scottish bands, they said this competition and the standard of playing is a benchmark for them to aspire to.

The audience which filled the hall to capacity all day were very receptive to all the bands and their high standard of playing. The adjudicator, Mr G Shields had a very hard task to separate the bands and finalise the winners.

Results were as follows - Best Entertaining, Omagh Protestant Boys. Best Percussion section 1st Omagh Protestant Boys; 2nd Pride of Ballinran, 3rd Skeogh. The main result of the day was in the band section with the Pride of Ballinran being 1st, Sir George White Mem 2nd and Ballycoan 3rd Lisburn Young Defenders In 2010

Lisburn Young Defenders In 2010

A concert with Northern Ireland's top bands from different genres will be held on Thursday 26th May in the Island Centre Lisburn.

Tickets will be going on sale soon and are priced at £10 with concessions at £8. They can be purchased from any band member or direct from Island Centre Box Office. There will be a limited number of seats for people with disabilities', tickets for these seats can only be purchase through the Box Office.

On the 9th July a traditional pre-12th disco will be held. An open night at learners' class and practice will be held on a Wednesday night in September (date to be arranged). A 40th Anniversary ballot will be running over the parading season, with the winners being drawn on the last Saturday in August.

The highlight of the year though should be a 40th Anniversary Dinner Dance on Saturday 10th September. Tickets/information etc for all events can be obtained from any member. The band has also got a full diary of bookings with the Loyal Orders, indoor contests/concerts and band parades throughout Northern Ireland, which started with a concert in Brookeborough on Saturday 5th February.

One event the band could not participate in due to such a busy calendar and costs was the City of Limerick 41st International band festival to which they had been invited by the Mayor of Limerick. The band has also other fund raising ventures throughout the year with the view of purchasing a new uniform for the start of the 2012 parading season. The members would also thank members of the public, businesses and anyone who, over the past 40 years have helped and /or supported the band in any way, and would hope for their same support in the future years ahead.

Ulster Star