Did you know?

Some facts about Ulster-Scots music & dance:

  • The Field Marshal Montgomery Pipe Band, formed in 1946, is the most successful pipe band ever to have emerged from Northern Ireland. Having been promoted to Grade One in 1985, the band has been crowned World Champions at the World Pipe Band Championships in 1992, 1993, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2007 and 2008.

  • Highland dancing is a very athletic form of dancing which requires a massive amount of stamina and arm strength. Originally performed by men as a display before battle, today 95% of those who participate are female.

  • Scottish Country Dancing is often regarded as a form of folk dancing. This is not entirely true because at least some Scottish Country dances have their origins in the courtly dances of the Renaissance.

  • Scottish Country dances are categorized as reels (including hornpipes), jigs and Strathspeys according to the type of music to which they are danced. The first two types (also called quick-time dances) feature fast tempos, quick movements and a lively feel. The third type (strathspey) has a much slower tempo and a more formal, stately feel.

  • Scottish Country dancing became popular in Ulster in the 1940s. The Belfast Branch of the Royal Scottish Country Dancing Society is in the forefront of promoting this extremely enjoyable cultural activity and has recently trained six new teachers to teach Scottish Country dancing in Coleraine, Belfast, Whitehead, Portadown, Newry and Birt in Co. Donegal.

  • The Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association (RSPBA) was founded in 1930 as a governing body to oversee pipe band competition and to promote and encourage the development of pipe band culture throughout the world.