2020 Festival cancelled


Armagh Pipers Club has taken the difficult decision to cancel this year's William Kennedy Piping Festival. The 27th edition of this international gathering celebrating all forms of pipe-based traditional music was to have taken place in Armagh city in mid-November.
The Director of the Pipers Club, Brian Vallely, said: "We take the health and safety of all our Club members, audience members and invited guests extremely seriously so we could not in good conscience continue planning for this year's event under the current circumstances. Apart from this there would more than likely be attendance restrictions and possibly travel restrictions in place, making it extremely difficult for us to present the type and quality of festival we want and regular attendees expect.
"We had already booked all of the artists for this year's festival and the program was ready to launch when this virus took over. We will now turn our attention to making sure the 2021 event will be the best ever, and we will of course endeavour to re-book all of these same artists."
The cancellation of the festival comes despite the Club's success in moving its music education programme completely online. Until the pandemic struck, the Club was offering 36 classes every week to over 200 students, in rented school premises. Lockdown forced a rapid rethink and within a few days the Club's team of 24 tutors were recording and uploading lessons for their students to follow from home.
Mr Vallely said: "We managed to complete the term with over 300 lessons delivered in video format, and dozens of others emailed out to class members with notes and sound recordings. We are very grateful to the tutors for adapting so enthusiastically to this new way of working, and to the Arts Council of Northern Ireland for continuing to fund the education programme during this emergency." The charity, which has been teaching traditional music since 1966, has continued to sell its tutor books and other publications worldwide throughout the lockdown, and is now planning for a new year of teaching starting in September.


festival pass

Festival Album

Live Recordings from the William Kennedy Piping Festival Vol. 2
36 iconic live recordings spanning the last 15 years of the festival.
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living tradition print

Living Tradition - New painting and print

"The Living Tradition". A new work by J.B. Vallely, December 2017, donated to Armagh Pipers Club. The painting will be auctioned in early 2018 by one of the major houses in Dublin or Belfast, details to follow. A single very limited edition of high-quality prints is in production, never to be repeated. There are only 50 signed and numbered prints being produced and they are available here for £200.
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Become a friend of the Armagh Pipers Club and help maintain the momentum of the past 50 years promoting piping and traditional music in Armagh. Click here for details.