The North Eastern Region

The north east region of the IABCB is alive and well, mainly due to the very successful bands in the region, Drogheda Brass Band, Lourdes Brass Band, Ardee Concert Band, Navan Silver Band, St. Mary’s Brass & Reed Band, Kingscourt, and Mullingar Town Band. The current officers are: chairperson, Danny Black (Lourdes Brass Band); vice-chairperson, Denis O’Halloran (Navan Silver Band); secretary, Michael Plunkett (Drogheda Brass Band); and treasurer, Kevin Reilly (Ardee Concert Band).


There is a great banding tradition in the north east region and the regional band festival was always a great event where a band would host the event, provide refreshments and each band would give a 30 minute recital, a great way to get to know your neighbours. The region also ran the very successful summer school of music in Gormanston College. Over the past four years, the solo and ensemble competitions in February each year has grown and, in 2014, there were 78 entries in the solos in five sections and 10 entries in the ensembles. Of the 78 solo entries, 66 of these were under 18 years of age.

I am delighted to say that the winner of the 2014 open solo section was Navan’s own Francis Duffy, who gave a wonderful rendition of Tiederkehr by John Hartmann. Francis has always been a great supporter of regional events and it is a great achievement to win this very competitive section. These competitions have been hosted each year by Ardee Concert Band in the band’s own concert hall, the Bohemian Centre. The organising team from Ardee make sure that these events run very smoothly. The competition format, rules and entry forms have been well tried and tested and these are available to any band or region who wish to start similar events.

Efforts are currently under way to encourage bands to join the IABCB and the north east region so that we can all share ideas and experiences. The latest initiative in the planning stage is a gathering together of the junior bands of bands in the region, where each junior band will give a recital and will receive a performance assessment. We expect to have at least four junior bands taking part.

Kevin Reilly

North east region