Londonderry Bands Forum and An Culturlann documentary

Two boys playing in marching band | NICRC

A unique collaboration between Londonderry Bands Forum and An Culturlann has resulted in a documentary featured on UK and Irish television.

Churchill Flute Band – through the Londonderry Bands Forum – worked with Deaglan O Mochain from An Culturlann for a documentary featured on BBC Northern Ireland and Irish language station TG4.

The Londonderry Bands Forum is supported by the Community Relations Council’s Core Funding Scheme.

The project began in 2020 when Deaglan discovered a collection of military music from the 1800s entitled The Bunting Collection, which featured music bands are still playing today.

Deaglan contacted the Londonderry Bands Forum to organise a band to participate: Churchill Flute Band was chosen because of their links with Maghery Fife and Drum who were also participating in the project from Donegal.

Churchill were filmed on 12 July 2021. Band members were interviewed, and filming commenced at a band practice where St Patricks Day in the Morning, Garryowen and the British Grenadiers march were played.

As part of this project, the Bands Forum supplied two young musicians to take part in another element of this project. Band members Cameron Burgess (15-years-old) and Jonathan Thompson (11) – both from the William King Memorial Flute Band – were asked to perform pieces from the collection and dress up in period costume to record a piece for the programme.

The two boys went to An Culturlann in the late summer before they were due to return to school and recorded the pieces, and then filmed a music video to go over the top of this.

Both musicians, while members of the band, went through the Londonderry Bands Forum Education Programme in the past, and developed their musical skills through the organisation’s outreach worker.

This was organised through the Londonderry Bands Forum and illustrates the links established through the Culture Fuse project are still around today.

The programme was broadcast on BBC Two Northern Ireland on Sunday 27 November 2022, and will be broadcast on Irish language station TG4 in the New Year. The programme is currently available to view on BBC iPlayer.

Read more about Londonderry Bands Forum