Piping Live! will return from 12th - 20th August 2023. For all the most up to date info on the festival, please subscribe to our newsletter for email updates.
Armagh Pipers Club is a traditional music teaching organisation founded in 1966. It provides weekly classes in the uilleann pipes and eight other instruments to around 200 students, mostly of school age, from Armagh and six surrounding counties. The Club organises the William Kennedy Piping Festival in Armagh every November.
This year, their group of players are Piping Live! are:
Michael Coney – flute tutor with Armagh Pipers Club since 2019. Michael, from Co. Tyrone, is a solicitor based in Belfast. He plays with the renowned Blackwater Céilí Band, and was a finalist in the 2020 Seán Ó Riada Gold Medal competition. He has toured extensively and has had many radio and TV appearances.
Annie Smyth – from Ballymacnab near Armagh, Annie studied with the Pipers Club for over 10 years and has also worked for it as a tutor and helping to run the annual William Kennedy Piping Festival. Although she also plays banjo and piano, she is best known as a fiddler, and was a finalist in the 2021 and 2022 Fiddler of London competitions. Annie is going into her final year in Dublin City University.
Aoife Smyth – Annie’s sister Aoife, who has just completed her first year in the University of Galway, was taught uilleann pipes in Armagh Pipers Club by Tiarnán Ó Duinnchinn and Éamonn Curran. Her prodigious talent caused Éamonn to lament how embarrassing it was to learn from one’s pupils!
Níall Hughes – a member of a large musical family from Keady, in south Armagh, Níall plays the button accordion, and is a singer and lilter. He is currently studying computer science at Queens University Belfast.
Danú McKinney – the youngest member of the Pipers Club contingent, fiddler Danú is one of five siblings attending the Club’s classes, where her mother Donna is a senior tutor. Danú, like Annie, was a finalist in the 2022 Fiddler of London competition.
Oisín McCann – a former flute tutor with the Club, Oisín is a multi-instrumentalist (keyboards, uilleann pipes, whistles, guitar, accordion and whatever you’re having yourself), as well as a composer and arranger. From Newry, Co. Down, he is a fourth-year student at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.
The Pipers Club logo, based on an image on the 9th-century High Cross of Monasterboice, shows a player of the triple pipes – an ancient instrument that survives in Sicily as the launeddas.
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