High-flying musicians return for special performance

Eimear McGeown and the Ulster Orchestra at a performance of  BBC Proms in the Park. Photo-William Cherry/Presseye, courtesy of BBC NI. INPT02-030
Eimear McGeown and the Ulster Orchestra at a performance of BBC Proms in the Park. Photo-William Cherry/Presseye, courtesy of BBC NI. INPT02-030

Two former members of the South Ulster Community Band, who are now internationally renowned musicians, will be back on home turf for the premier performance of a new flute concerto.

The concerto, which celebrates Craigavon, will be performed for the first time at the band’s annual concert next month.

And it will be a very special night as both the composer, Conor Mitchell, and flautist, Eimear McGeown, are former members of the band.

Conor, an internationally renowned composer and musical dramatist, is the brother of the band’s musical director John Mitchell, while Eimear is an award-winning flautist who has performed across the world for princes, presidents and pop stars.

The community band will be joined on stage by members of the Ulster Orchestra, thanks to a collaboration with the Arts Council of Northern Ireland and the orchestra.

As well as the solo flute concerto, ‘A Celebration of Craigavon’, there will be a varied repertoire of easy-listening musical pieces.

The partnership with the Ulster Orchestra has entailed a number of rehearsals and workshops which, says chairman Joe Cullen, has generated a lot of excitement among the 40-odd members of the band.

The concert will take place on February 20 at 7.30pm in Portadown Town Hall. Tickets cost £10 and £5 for under-12s and are available by contacting any member of the band or email info@sucb.org.

The band has thanked Ulster Carpets, Irwin’s Bakery and ABC council for their continuing support.