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Píobairí Ard Mhacha, BBC2 NI, Monday 17th October at 10pm



Date Posted: October 10, 2016

New Irish Language Broadcast Fund series, Píobairí Ard Mhacha, looks into the history of the Armagh Pipers Club which has been at the forefront of Irish traditional music for many years. The three part series will air on BBC Two Northern Ireland from Monday 17th October at 10pm.

Founded in Armagh in 1966 by local man Brian Vallely, the club has been driven by his passion for traditional music and his burning desire to pass on everything he knows, to give every child the opportunity to play and enjoy music.

Píobairí Ard Mhacha takes a look at how the club got started 50 years ago, and how it has been sustained through challenging times by the work and commitment of the Vallely family, the students, teachers and the local community. It tells the story of a parochial music club which, out of extremely humble beginnings, has become a home-from-home for generations of ground-breaking musicians. The Armagh Pipers Club has instilled in its members an unfaltering faith in the local music tradition, whilst encouraging musicians to defy stereotype and to catapult Irish traditional music into new spheres on a global stage.

We hear from Eithne and Brian Vallely who describe the ‘…faltering but totally focussed steps’ out of which the club began. We hear too from former students turned teachers and from new and current students who are building up their repertoire of tunes. The programmes include contributions from well-known performers who began their music careers in the club, and who have become a significant part of the traditional music avant-garde, having gained international recognition.

Following the broadcast of the final part of the documentary series on Monday 31st October, a half hour concert celebrating the music of the club over 50 years will be broadcast at 11.15pm on BBC Two Northern Ireland (correct as time of press), featuring unique ensemble performances with Lúnasa, Buille, Flook, Jarlath Henderson, Tiarnán Ó Duinnchinn, Thomas Smyth and Cúig, joined by students and teachers, past and present.

Píobairí Ard Mhacha is a BBC Gaeilge programme with English subtitles. The series is produced by Clean Slate Productions for BBC Northern Ireland with funding from Northern Ireland Screen’s Irish Language Broadcast Fund.


I sraith nua de chuid an Chiste Craoltóireachta Gaeilge, tabharfaidh Píobairí Ard Mhacha léargas ar stair Chumann Phíobairí Ard Mhacha atá ar thús cadhnaíochta i gceol traidisiúnta na hÉireann leis na blianta. Craolfar an tsraith trí chlár seo ar BBC Two Northern Ireland ón Luan 17 Deireadh Fómhair ar 10i.n.

Ba é Brian Vallely, fear de chuid an cheantair, a bhunaigh an cumann in Ard Mhacha in 1966. Ba é a dhíograis ar son an cheoil thraidisiúnta, agus an dúil thar na bearta a bhí aige a chuid eolais a roinnt leis an ghlúin óg agus an deis a thabhairt do gach páiste ceol a sheinm agus sult a bhaint as, ba iad na rudaí sin a thiomáin an cumann ón chéad lá riamh.

Sa chlár Píobairí Ard Mhacha tabharfar léargas ar an dóigh ar bunaíodh an cumann 50 bliain ó shin, agus ar an dóigh ar choinnigh obair agus tiomantas mhuintir Vallely, na ndaltaí, na múinteoirí agus an phobail áitiúil brí agus beatha sa chumann trí thréimhse dhúshlánach. Insíonn an clár scéal an chumainn áitiúil ceoil seo, a d’fhás ó shíol beag agus atá anois ina athbhaile ag na glúnta de cheoltóirí ceannródaíocha. Chothaigh Cumann Píobairí Ard Mhacha muinín domhúchta i gcroí a chomhaltaí as traidisiún áitiúil an cheoil, ach san am chéanna, spreag sé ceoltóirí le dúshlán na steiréitíopaí a thabhairt agus le ceol traidisiúnta na nGael a chur i lár an aonaigh i réimsí úra ar ardán domhanda.

Cluinfidh muid ó Eithne agus Brian Vallely a thugann cur síos dúinn ar na ‘céimeanna corracha ach iomlán fócasaithe’ i luathstair an chumainn. Chomh maith leis sin, cluinfidh muid ó iardhaltaí atá anois ina múinteoirí agus ó dhaltaí úra agus ó dhaltaí reatha atá ag cur lena stór port i rith an ama. Beidh píosaí ann ó cheoltóirí clúiteacha a thosaigh amach ar shaol an cheoil sa chumann, agus atá anois ina gcuid shuntasach d’avant-garde an cheoil thraidisiúnta, daoine a bhfuil aitheantas idirnáisiúnta bainte amach acu.

Craolfar an chuid deiridh den tsraith scannán faisnéise seo Dé Luain, 31 Deireadh Fómhair agus go díreach ina dhiaidh sin, ar 11.15 i.n. ar BBC Two Northern Ireland (ceart ag am a fhoilsithe), craolfar ceolchoirm leathuair an chloig a dhéanfaidh ceiliúradh ar cheol an chumainn thar 50 bliain, ceolchoirm a mbeidh ceol uathúil ensemble ann le Lúnasa, Buille, Flook, Jarlath Henderson, Tiarnán Ó Duinnchinn, Thomas Smyth agus Cúig, maraon le daltaí agus múinteoirí a bhí agus atá gníomhach sa chumann.

Is clár de chuid BBC Gaeilge é Píobairí Ard Mhacha, le fotheidil i mBéarla. Is é Clean Slate Productions a léirigh an tsraith do BBC Northern Ireland, le maoiniú ó Chiste Craoltóireachta Gaeilge Scáiléan Thuaisceart Éireann.

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