The 15th William Kennedy Piping Festival

Armagh celebrates the festival's anniversary by welcoming new faces and old favourites. Click Play Video for an introduction and history with musical director Eithne Vallely

Armagh Pipers Club has announced the details of the 15th anniversary William Kennedy Piping Festival, taking place at various Armagh venues on November 13-16. 

What began as a small gathering of piping aficionados in the Drumsill House Hotel in 1994 has blossomed into one of the biggest and most important events of its kind in the world.

The 2008 program features return visits from previous performers as well as new faces from the vibrant and diverse world of piping.

Highlights include Lúnasa, Liam O’Flynn and Catherine Ennis, Michael McGoldrick, At First Light, Ronan Browne, Robbie Hannan, Jimmy O’Brien Moran, and Mick O’Brien (who will be performing with his brother John O'Brien).

From further afield, this year's festival welcomes musicians Tejedor from Asturias, Anxo Lorenzo and Xosé Liz de Cea from Galicia, Patrick Molard from Brittany, Ivan Georgiev from Bulgaria, and Allan MacDonald from Scotland.

New faces at the festival include Brian MacNamara and Tim Collins, Swedish duo Dråm, Beòlach from Cape Breton, and the award-winning Breton pipe band Bagad Cap Caval.

One of the successful initiatives from the 2007 festival was the first William Kennedy Piping Conference, where papers were read on all different facets of piping. The 2008 itinerary follow-up contributions from some of the leading academics and performers in the piping world.

This year also features a full programme of workshops in all instruments, pipe and reed making demonstrations, art exhibitions, informal sessions and events for small children.

Over the past 15 years the William Kennedy Piping Festival has presented the best of piping from Ireland and Scotland, and has hosted guests from the Iberian Peninsula, the Mediterranean, the Balkans, Scandinavia and different regions of England and Wales.

The festival has also hosted Algerian and Iranian music, and has welcomed pipers from Canada, the USA and Australia.

Over the years the festival has hosted performances from The Chieftains, Altan, Davy Spillane, Paddy Keenan, Gordon Duncan, Capercaillie, Fred Morrison, Carlos Nuñez, Kathryn Tickell, and The Field Marshall Montgomery Pipe Band.

Tickets for the 15th William Kennedy Piping Festival (November 13-16) are now on sale from the Market Place Theatre website, Armagh, or via the theatre Box Office on +44 (0)28 3752 1821.

Click here for further programme and booking information.


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