St. Patrick’s Pipeband entertains Russia’s President Putin in Moscow

Posted on: 5th October, 2015

Category: Arts & Entertainment

Contributor: West Cork People

Members of West Cork’s St. Patrick’s Youth Pipe Band have just returned from a 14-day trip to Russia. The band was invited by ‘Spasskaya Tower’, an international military music festival, where it played in front of audiences of up to 8,000 people each night – including the Russian President, Vladimir Putin.

Performing in this prestigious festival were many other acts from around the world including China, Pakistan, Belgium, Belarus, Italy, Mexico, Kazakhstan, Greece, Japan, as well as from across Russia, and the shows were filmed for television and online.

West Cork’s local pipe band brought a different element to the show, as it is comprised of youth and civilians, whilst the majority of other acts were military force groups. As well as being hugely popular with spectators, St Patrick’s attracted an abundance of media attention; band members were featured in many TV interviews and press releases.

Drum major Ava Lane, the youngest person to ever perform at the festival, captivated both spectators and fellow performers. Daughter of pipe major Joy Lane, nine-year-old Ava, bravely marched into the famous Red Square each night, leading the Irish delegation. After each night’s finale performance – as the performers marched from the arena – Ava was led to the centre of the stage by the Chief Military Conductor, and head of the military band service of the Russian Armed Forces, Lieutenant General Valery Khalilov, where he gave her a big hug and presented her to the audience.

Each night, in front of the beautiful backdrop of the Spasskaya tower and St. Basil’s Cathedral, the Irish delegation performed a selection of Irish Marches and Russian pieces. At the end of the group’s selection, a Moscow-based school of highland dancing performed to a selection of reels.

For the finale, all of the night’s performers – musicians, bands, singers, dancers, army marching drill groups and stilt walkers – came together to perform a medley of Russian traditional and contemporary pieces, conducted by Lieutenant General Khalilov – a breathtaking moment for both performers and spectators. A fireworks display then set the sky alight over St. Basil’s cathedral before all performers marched out of the grounds.

Apart from the nine nightly shows, St Patrick’s took part in many daytime festivities around Moscow, including a parade through the city and a concert at the People’s Palace outside the Kremlin, where West Cork pipers and drummers took centrestage. Ava Lane, a gifted Irish dancer, performed light jigs, hornpipes and reels for the delighted spectators. The drummers of the band also played a crowd-pleasing fanfare entitled ‘The Moscow Military Fanfare’. Finally Pipe Major Joy gave a solo performance of ‘Amazing Grace’ before conducting the entire pipe band to join in with the Pakistan Military band – a spectacular linking of two extraordinary bands.

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Ballineen Foróige Young Engineers Exhibition 23 February 2018

The inaugural Ballineen Foróige Young Engineers Exhibition will take place in Gort Mhuire Hall in Ballineen this Friday 23rd February. As part of Engineers Week 2018, leaders and members of Ballineen Foróige Club have organised an exhibition which will showcase a diverse and exciting range of engineering projects that have been undertaken by members of the club over the last few weeks, with the aid of leaders and a number of local engineers.

With the aid of local pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly, along with the support of STEAM Education, a UCC based company focused on promoting science, technology, engineering, arts, and maths subjects in primary schools, Ballineen Foróige has been engaging members and leaders in all things engineering over the last six weeks. From researching, designing, and prototyping a project based on local problems, to participating in various workshops on coding and careers in engineering, Ballineen Foróige have been extremely busy in preparation for the exhibition this coming Friday night.

On the night itself, Michael Loftus, Head of Engineering at CIT, Fintan Goold, Manager at Eli Lilly and All-Ireland Cork winning Footballer, along with Geraldine Coughlan of GCA Architects & Designers, a local business, will act as judges on the night, evaluating the different engineering projects and offering some advice to the members of the club. Also in attendance will be the CEO of Foróige Seán Campbell, along with a number of local councillors, TD’s and Senators.

Leading the team of Ballineen Foróige leaders organising the event, is Rebecca Dwyer, a bioprocess engineer at Eli Lilly. Rebecca recently became a leader in the club and says that Ballineen Foróige Young Engineer Exhibition 2018 “promises to be a fun, challenging and rewarding experience for all involved and we look forward to welcoming parents, relatives, friends and members of the public to the exhibition and film screening on the evening of Friday 23rd February.” Overall, there are twelve projects entered in the exhibition. One project, led by Cian Kennefick and Charlie Nolan, members of the starting out club, examines the possibility of installing speed ramps on the road near local primary school. Fourteen-year-old Charlie says he got involved in the project as it was something to do and it gets you thinking. Cian says the most exciting part of the project was the building of the prototypes.

Both Cian and Charlie, along with thirty other members of the club will display their projects this coming Friday 23 February in Gort Mhuire Hall in Ballineen. Doors open at 8pm and the event runs until 10pm. All are welcome to attend, and admission is free. Catering, including tea and coffee, will be provided on the night.
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The Vikings were an important presence in Ireland for over two centuries. As well as inflicting great terror they were also responsible for introducing urbanism and new economic systems to the country.

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