Loyalist bands music on school curriculum call

A loyalist marching band on parade in Derry.
A loyalist marching band on parade in Derry.

A loyalist bands group from Derry wants its music to be included in the school curriculum, it’s emerged.

The Londonderry Bands Forum (LBF), which was set up to break down people’s preconceptions of marching bands and parading in Northern Ireland, said it’s been in discussions with the Western Education Board “to consider and plan how marching band music can be incorporated into a more inclusive school music curriculum.”

A number of workshops have already taken place for schoolchildren across Derry. It’s understood it’s mostly been Catholic schools taking up the offer, with students getting a chance to play flutes, drums and learn about band culture.

LBF co-ordinator Derek Moore has spoken of a “reluctance” in Protestant schools to “acknowledge that marching band music is a main component within the traditional music scene.”

These schools, he says, should follow the lead of Catholic schools and “encourage and embrace all the benefits that all music has to offer pupils of all abilities and from all backgrounds.”