The concept of a National Youth Pipe Band, which would form to undertake concert like performances was revived by the circulation of a preliminary concert schedule to Committee Members in late January 2007. Realisation of the initiative required finance, which was not at that stage forthcoming.
The purpose of the N.Y.P.B. was to bring young pipers and drummers together in a bond of fellowship and learning, through performance in concert type events.
In April 2007, funding to assist with the N.Y.P.B. college project was allocated to the Irish Pipe Band Association by the Arts Council of Ireland. A definitive concert schedule was adopted and all association bands were canvassed for members and music was circulated to those who professed an interest.
Arts Council Grants were forthcoming from 2007-2009 to realise this project. The College of Piping and Drumming, in collaboration with N.E.C. of the I.P.B.A., would like to acknowledge the support of the Arts Council of Ireland, without whose assistance the three year programme of concerts would not have been possible.
The first concert, entitled Celtic Weave, took place in St. Michael’s Theatre, New Ross, County Wexford, on Saturday 19th April 2008. Fifty six (56) youths from fourteen (14) bands performed at this event which was judged to be a great success.
The programme for the second concert/recital was a development of the previous one with new and more advanced compositions. Practice for the concerts took place in a number of centres throughout the country, primarily in the Munster, North West and in the South East Branch areas.
In early February 2009 the National Youth Pipe Band performed at the Temple Bar Trad. Fest. in Dublin.
The second ‘in house’ event, the Celtic Notes Concert was staged in Siamsa Tíre, Tralee, Co Kerry, on Saturday 21th February 2009, to a full house and a very appreciative audience. Representatives of 15 bands participated in this event and the finale saw in excess of 100 members of the N.Y.P.B. on stage. The band finished to a standing ovation.
The final concert in the series was held in an Grianán Theatre, Letterkenny, Co Donegal on 20th February 2010.
In Letterkenny, history was made when three All Ireland and World Champion Bands from Co Donegal shared the stage with the NYPB – a hugely enjoyable event for all participants and a verification of the principal of people coming together in a ‘bond of fellowship’ through music.
The Management Committee of the College decided at an early stage that our NYPB would accept pipers and drummers of all standards and would endeavour to bring these players to as high a standard of playing as possible.
It was also hoped that this generation of pipers and drummers would avail of the opportunity to form friendships and would receive encouragement from being involved with their peers in a music making exercise outside the competition scene or the competition calendar.
This is very much in keeping with the aims of the IPBA – to encourage the culture and advancement of Piping and Drumming and promote a bond and fellowship between all Pipers and Drummers.
A positive spin-off from the N.Y.P.B. events, is that a bond did develop amongst the participants, which is thought to be responsible for the increase in the number of young people participating in our local solo contests.
Each of the three concerts was a huge PR success for the Irish Pipe Band Association and pipe bands in general.
Over the three years of its existence, the young pipers and drummers of the NYPB came together in a musical celebration of our Pipe Band Heritage and excelled themselves on each occasion. One hundred and thirty (130) young pipers and drummers participated in NYPB activities.
In excess of seven hundred people attended the concerts over the three years, and many of these were from non pipe band backgrounds. The vast majority of audiences in New Ross, Tralee and Letterkenny were extremely impressed by the effort and by the musicality of the NYPB.