Bands called to ‘musically unite’

Ballymena Inter Ethnic Forum helped launch the Community Relations Week programme when almost 200 events will take place across Northern Ireland from September 28 to October 4 under the theme 'One Place ' Many People'. Supporting the launch held on International Peace Day at Crumlin Road Gaol were Ivy Goddard (centre) and daughter Stephanie (right) from the Ballymena Inter Ethnic Forum which is organising an event at The Braid, Ballymena on September 30,  along with Ursula McCanny (left) from  NI Assembly Connect.
Ballymena Inter Ethnic Forum helped launch the Community Relations Week programme when almost 200 events will take place across Northern Ireland from September 28 to October 4 under the theme 'One Place ' Many People'. Supporting the launch held on International Peace Day at Crumlin Road Gaol were Ivy Goddard (centre) and daughter Stephanie (right) from the Ballymena Inter Ethnic Forum which is organising an event at The Braid, Ballymena on September 30, along with Ursula McCanny (left) from NI Assembly Connect.

What happens when a Loyalist Flute Band meets up with musicians from ethnic minority communities to explore their cultural differences?

Bands in Ballymena and the wider Mid & East Antrim Borough are being asked to march on down to The Braid Arts Centre on Tuesday, October 6, to find out.

Ballymena Inter Ethnic Forum helped launch the Community Relations Week programme when almost 200 events will take place across Northern Ireland from September 28 to October 4 under the theme 'One Place ' Many People'.'Supporting the launch held on International Peace Day at Crumlin Road Gaol were Ivy Goddard (centre) and daughter Stephanie (right) from the Ballymena Inter Ethnic Forum which is organising an event at The Braid, Ballymena on September 30,  along with Ursula McCanny (left) from  NI Assembly Connect.

Ballymena Inter Ethnic Forum helped launch the Community Relations Week programme when almost 200 events will take place across Northern Ireland from September 28 to October 4 under the theme 'One Place ' Many People'.'Supporting the launch held on International Peace Day at Crumlin Road Gaol were Ivy Goddard (centre) and daughter Stephanie (right) from the Ballymena Inter Ethnic Forum which is organising an event at The Braid, Ballymena on September 30, along with Ursula McCanny (left) from NI Assembly Connect.

All will be revealed from 7pm on that date when details of the project - ‘Music Unite, An Unexpected Journey’- will be revealed by partipants, the Shankill Road Defenders (SRD) Flute Band.

Local bandsmen and women who attend will be invited to take part in discussion on the project.

They will also have the opportunity to listen to musical performances by the Music Unite collaboration of the Shankhill Road Defenders Flute Band, an Irish percussionist and a Kurdish musician.

Back in May, the Spectrum Centre on Belfast’s Shankill Road showcased the music and culture of the SRD Flute Band along with artists from Kurdistan, India, Slovakia, Ghana, Jamaica and Ireland.

A spokesperson for the project said: “The event was a celebration milestone of the journey, achievements and relationships developed between the Shankhill Road Defenders Flute Band members and musicians from different cultural backgrounds.

“For Community Relations and Cultural Awareness Week 2015, a touring presentation has been developed with musicians from Shankhill Road Defenders Flute Band and a Kurdish musician who worked with the band on the project.”

Music Unite is a project developed by the Centre for Democracy and Peace Building & Beyond Skin to engage with Loyalist Flute Bands.

It aims to provide an opportunity through music for people to develop a greater understanding of different cultures and work with artists from diverse backgrounds whilst, throughout the process, addressing stereotypes that are associated with Loyalist bands.

When it comes to The Braid next Tuesday night, the touring presentation will tell of the collaborative learning experiences of the various partipants and will also explore the empathy the SRD band members shared with the Kurdish musician regarding negative cultural stereotypes and how they were able to develop positive outcomes together.

Local bands interesting in going along should confirm their attendance by contacting Ivy Goddard on 07525 142205 or by emailing her at ivy.goddard@bief.org.uk