Video: Magherafelt brothers with ‘drumming in their blood’

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While most teenage boys like to kick a ball or play computer games in their spare time the Wenlock brothers, from Magherafelt, like to drum.

Marcus and Matthew drum two or three hours a day and sometimes more coming up to major competitions like ‘the Worlds’.

The dedication has paid off as they are both World champions and hope to add another solo title at when the championships take place again at the end of October.

Drumming is literally in the blood of both teenagers as their father, Kyle, was a keen drummer when he was younger and encouraged them from a young age.

He retired in 2014 the same year the brothers - both members of Cullybackey Pipe Band - won World titles in their respective grades, which could be a first for pipe band solo drumming.

The Wenlocks’ may well have made drumming history by becoming the first brothers to have won in the same year.

Adrian Hoy, Marcus, Matthew and Abigail Wenlock and Paula Braiden pictured at the weekend's pipe band contest in Moira.

Adrian Hoy, Marcus, Matthew and Abigail Wenlock and Paula Braiden pictured at the weekend's pipe band contest in Moira.

Marcus played outstandingly to claim the top spot in the juvenile 3 grade, while Matthew claimed the juvenile 2 title for the second consecutive year, defeating two former World champions in the same grade.

Marcus, aged 19, and a student at the University of Ulster in Coleraine, started playing the tenor drum and joined his dad in Tamlaght O’Crilly Pipe Band around the age of 14.

This year he aims to do well in the Ulster Intermediate and All Ireland solo drumming to qualify for senior grade.

Seventeen-year-old Matthew describes himself as being something of “a late comer” to drumming but progressed fast after joining the Howard Memorial Pipe Band.

The brothers are now under the watchful eye of Adrian Hoy at Cullybackey who teaches multiple World champions.

They practice twice a week all year round as well as in their spare time.

At this time of the year - between May and August - they rarely have a weekend free with local and major competitions taking place either in Northern Ireland or Scotland.

But the solo championships - the All Ireland and The Worlds - stretch until the end of October.

“We could be in Scotland five or six times a year,” explained Kyle, who now concentrates on being “the driver.”

They bought a campervan a few years ago to cut down accommodation costs as they receive no sponsorship, to attend events and look forward to heading off each weekend and meeting up with friends in the pipe band scene.

“We love it,” went on Kyle. “It can be tense and stressful especially when we are waiting for the results, but enjoyable.”

Mum Elaine admits she would never have gone to a pipe band competition when she first met Kyle, preferring instead to go shopping.

But the thrill of the competition has now gripped her as well.

“The whole family is involved and we look forward to each of the competitions and renewing friendships,” she added.