COOKSTOWN Sons of William Flute Band are the first ever marching band in Northern Ireland to be selected as an official associate endorser of the Premier Percussion Brand.
This highly regarded band, who are celebraing their 35th anniversary this year, say it is a huge accolade and are elated to have been chosen out of over 600 bands to be associated with Premier.
Premier Percussion are a household name within the Ulster band scene, indeed within the worldwide marching band sector, and is renowned for its quality marching band instruments. In Northern Ireland they are more commonly known for their involvement in the Pipe Band fraternity, with Field Marshall Montgomery being one off their main partners.
The decision of Premier to give the highly regarded Cookstown band its endorsement is a mark of the respect that their musical ability, style and appearance; and discipline has impressed the global brand.
The company takes the Ulster band scene very seriously, Premiers Sven Parris said: “We hope that Premier’s support of the Sons of William will be seen as a commitment to taking the marching band market as seriously as we do all the other elements of our business.”
Band spokesperson Keith McMenemy said: “We are absolutely delighted to be chosen to promote a world renowned brand in Premier Percussion, especially given it is the first time that Premier has endorsed an Ulster Marching Band in Northern Ireland. I only hope that our relationship with a world leading company can further convince people that we are serious about promoting our culture in a positive light. We look forward to working with Premier and I hope that this partnership will flourish over the years.”
DUP Mid Ulster MLA Ian McCrea, who attended the announcement, said: “I was delighted to attend the event on Friday night to hear the news that Sons Of William Cookstown are now Official Endorsers of Premier. The Sons Of William Flute Band are in a league of their own both in marching the streets and also in competitions, and to have this official partnership with Premier is further evidence of their excellence and professionalism.
“Over the years marching bands have wrongfully been given a bad name but the SOW’s have led from the front in changing that stigma and to be chosen by Premier as official endorsers is a credit to every member who puts on the Sons Of William uniform.”
Ulster Unionist Councillor Trevor Wilson said: “I was delighted to be invited along to this event. It is a tremendous achievement for the Sons of William Flute Band to receive this recognition from Premier Percussion Brand. I would like to congratulate all the band members and all those who work behind the scenes in making the Sons of William so highly regarded within band circles. It is a credit to their hard work and dedication. I wish them well for the future.”
Quincey Dougan from the Ulster Bands Forum and Newsletter Drumbeat column pointed out that the importance of the decision should not be under estimated.
“Cookstown Sons of William are worthy awardees of the Premier endorsement; however this has other far reaching consequences. A world wide multi national is recognising that the Ulster Band scene is not some minor sub-culture, but a bona-fide musical movement worthy of note.
“The marginalising of bands within the fields of tourism, local government, funding and the arts is no longer acceptable, and must be challenged at every opportunity.”