Pride of Ballinran triumph at Lisburn melody band contest

Ballycoan Flute Band performing during the Meoldy Band Contest in Lisburn , which was hosted by Lisburn Young Defenders
Ballycoan Flute Band performing during the Meoldy Band Contest in Lisburn , which was hosted by Lisburn Young Defenders

Now in its sixteenth year, the annual melody flute contest hosted by Lisburn Young Defenders keeps going from strength to strength.

The event again attracted the top bands in the Province and the diverse selection of music throughout the day was testament to the quality and ability of all the performers.

Ballinran were the overall winners of the Meoldy Band Contest in Lisburn , which was hosted by Lisburn Young Defenders

Ballinran were the overall winners of the Meoldy Band Contest in Lisburn , which was hosted by Lisburn Young Defenders

The competition is unique in that an independent adjudicator cannot see, but only listen to the bands, which are known by number, and this year it was Alan Trimble from Ballylone Flute Band who had the unenviable task of deciding the winners.

The day began with a strong performance from Ballycoan and it was obvious that a very high standard had been set. The Pride of Ballinran, who performed at the 2014 Belfast Tattoo and were very much seen as the favourites for the contest, having triumphed recently at the Flute Band League competition in Lisburn. They were next to play and produced a top-class performance, including their version of ‘The Gael’.

Shankill Road Defenders had brought a big Band to the contest and their recent hard work with Scottish conductor John Higgins was evident as they were very impressive.

A feature of the day was that there were very few tunes repeated, and each band had a selection of music which reflected their individual style. Sir George White Memorial, Pride of the Raven, Ballylesson Old Boys and Brookborough all entertained throughout the day.

The percussion section of Ballyhalbert Flute band during the Meoldy Band Contest in Lisburn , which was hosted by Lisburn Young Defenders

The percussion section of Ballyhalbert Flute band during the Meoldy Band Contest in Lisburn , which was hosted by Lisburn Young Defenders

Ballyhalbert have not been competing indoors for a couple of years but they have rebuilt well and put in a very controlled and capable performance.

Last band on stage was Omagh Protestant Boys and they did not disappoint, bringing their own unique style to the event with a quality set.

Alan Trimble commended all the bands on their performance and thanked them for the great range of music. He provided specific remarks to each Band, identifying areas of strength and weakness, in an effort to improve. He commended Lisburn Young Defenders on their organisation and running of the event and wished all the bands every success in 2015.

RESULTS - Sacred Tune 1st Ballyhalbert, 2nd Shankill Road Defenders, 3rd Ballycoan; Traditional Tune 1st Shankill Road Defenders, 2nd Omagh P.B., 3rd Pride of Ballinran; Most Entertaining Band- Pride of Ballinran; Percussion 1st Ballyhalbert, 2nd Pride of Ballinran, 3rd Shankill Road Defenders, Overall Melody 1st Pride of Ballinran, 2nd Ballyhalbert, 3rd Ballycoan.

Any musician interested in becoming involved with Lisburn Young Defenders can contact the Band through Facebook, or on Wednesday evenings at Leslie Memorial Hall Broomhedge,