Ballyclare flautists celebrate musical milestone

Band members John McConnell (Chairman), Don Dodds, Tommy Kane and Robert Warwick (President) INNT-32-801CON
Band members John McConnell (Chairman), Don Dodds, Tommy Kane and Robert Warwick (President) INNT-32-801CON

As the centenary of Ballyclare Victoria Flute Band fast approaches in 2019, two band members are currently marking a special anniversary.

Tommy Kane and Don Dodds are both celebrating 70 years service in the Newtownabbey band this year.

Both members have devoted a lifetime to the band, with both having played in all 23 World Championship victories spanning from 1960 to 2006.

This is a remarkable achievement, and one which is unlikely to ever be equalled.

Tommy has played in all of the prominent positions within the band including Solo G Treble, Solo Concert, Solo G Alto and C Bass, while Don was a stalwart of the G Alto section for years until he recently had to retire from playing due to ill health.

The band is currently in the middle of its summer engagement programme which includes playing at a number of local venues.

The next engagement for the band is at Sentry Hill in Newtownabbey on Sunday, August 9 from 3pm to 4pm.

This will be followed by an engagement at the Loughshore Park in Jordanstown on Wednesday, August 19 from 7.45pm to 8.45pm.

The final summer engagement for the band takes place at Sir Thomas and Lady Dixon Park, Belfast on Sunday, September 13 from 3pm to 4pm.

Once the summer programme is completed, the focus of the band will turn to preparing for the World Championship contest which will be held later on in the year in Armagh.

The final major engagement for the band this year will be their annual concert. The concert will be held in Ballyclare Presbyterian Church Hall on Saturday, November 21.

Special guests for the concert will once again be the Fairview Primary School choir.

The band has recently uploaded a number of tracks to their Facebook page and new YouTube channel.

The tracks are from their Stardust CD which was recorded a number of years ago, and tracks from an LP recorded in 1969.

The 1969 LP was recorded in the Neo Reo Cinema, which was situated on the Ballynure Road in Ballyclare.

The tracks have received a lot of attention from music fans, including positive feedback from as far away as Australia, Hong Kong and Mexico. For more information about the band check out their Facebook page.