Conquerors dish up a Concert treat

Ballymena’s Young Conquerors Flute Band produced another magnificent performance at their annual Spring Concert in The Braid Arts centre/

Thursday, 1st May 2014, 6:49 am
Members of Ballymena Young Conquerors pictured on stage during their annual concert in the Braid along with compere Jackie Fullerton. INBT17-204AC
Members of Ballymena Young Conquerors pictured on stage during their annual concert in the Braid along with compere Jackie Fullerton. INBT17-204AC

“Better than many professional events I been to here” was the response of one member of the audience. Playing yet again to an almost capacity audience, the band presented an entertaining mix of some revived old favourites and some completely new items being aired for the first time.

Amongst the “golden oldies” were pieces such as “Carrickfergus”, “String of Pearls” and “My Love is like a Red Red Rose”, the latter item featuring an impressive solo performance by Simon Kenny.

Debut items included Lennon and McCartneys “The Long and Winding Road”, John Rutter’s “ A Clare Benediction” and Abba’s perennial hit “Super Trouper”.

There was also a first ever performance of a brand new concert march recently composed by conductor John Hinchey, aptly entitled “The Young Conqueror”, which went down well with the appreciative audience. Special guest artiste for the evening was mezzo soprano Sheelagh Greer, who captivated the audience with her performances of “Tonight” From West Side Story, “O Mio babbino caro” (Puccini) and Phil Coulter’s “Remember me”.

For many the highlight of the evening was when Sheelagh joined with the band to perform John Hinchey’s arrangement of the “Anthem” from Chess by Rice, Anderson and Ulvaeus. The whole evening came to a rousing finale with the band’s encore piece “Instant Concert”, a medley of almost 30 tunes performed in less than 3 minutes !

Making a return to the concert after a year off as compere was the one and only Jackie Fullerton, who had the audience in stitches with his unique mix of craic , banter and one liners.

As ever, the practical side of things was in the capable hands of stage crew Philip Tweed and Billy Nutt.

One of the band members, Taylor Ross, is heading off to Ethiopia this summer with the “Habitat for Humanity” charity, and this year’s retiring collection was in aid of this worthy cause. The organisation was delighted to achieve the magnificent total of £666.

The band is always on the lookout for flute and percussion players, and welcomes all to join them at its weekly rehearsal at Fountain Place, Ballymena. Anyone interested can obtain further details from band chairman Noel Crabbe ( telephone 02825642585).