THE organisers of Clonakilty’s 38th South of Ireland Band Championships, which will take place on Saturday, July 1st, have a problem. Thirty-two bands have entered the competition and a disappointed four others could not be accommodated on the day. Traditionally, this has been a one-day event, but a spokesperson has confirmed that extending it over two days is being considered for the future.
Meanwhile, a wonderful day of free musical entertainment is in store, both indoors and at the many outdoor locations. The competitions will begin at 9.30am at Clonakilty Community College and the nearby Community Hall.
The Old Time Fair will again be a feature of the day with the usual attractions.
The day before the competition, buses from all over the country will arrive in town bringing musicians of the highest calibre and their families from as far away as Ardee, Drogheda, Kingscourt, Kildare and Dublin. Munster will again be well represented by bands from Waterford, Cork, Clare, Limerick and Tipperary.
In addition to the cultural aspect of the occasion, it is regarded by many as an annual reunion and an opportunity to make new friends. The ‘Own Choice’ repertoires of the bands ensure a most enjoyable experience for all tastes.
Mr Philip Harper, from the UK, who is one of the most popular adjudicators on the international circuit, will have a busy day with sixteen bands in the intermediate and seven in the senior categories. Captain Brian Prendergast will also be welcomed back to adjudicate the junior category again this year.
Lourdes Brass Band will be defending their senior title with Boherbuoy, Ardee, Ballymore Eustace, Clonmel, Clonakilty and St James’s from Dublin in the same category.
The street recitals, a courtesy gesture by the bands, are always a favourite of visitors and locals and again Banna Chluain Meala will give their special musical and colour display.
Later in the evening, all can relax when, after the proceedings, Clara Town Band will entertain at Astna Square at 8.30. Another eagerly-awaited treat in store!
Full programme of events will be published in next week’s Southern Star.