Volume 13, issue 4, November 2017

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UNESCO  Recognition
As we near the conclusion of a lengthy process, we are delighted that the application for the inscription of Uilleann Piping as an element on UNESCO’s Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity has received conditional support from the UNESCO Evaluation Committee. They have indicated that they consider Uilleann Piping to be a valuable part of global heritage, and eligible for such recognition. The Nomination will now be submitted to the General Assembly which meets in South Korea in December. If procedural considerations are satisfied at that stage, our campaign will be a success, and Uilleann Piping will be inscribed to the List.
This is the culmination of a lot of work by NPU and our congratulations are due to all those who contributed to the effort, NPU staff, Board and members, and the other pipers and piping groups who supported the nomination. While the international recognition is both prestigious and momentous in itself for devotees of the instrument, it is also of national importance for the people of Ireland and the first time that such an application has been made from Ireland for inclusion on the List. Hopefully it will have practical and positive implications for NPU in acquiring the resources necessary to further our objectives.

International Uilleann Piping Day
Our thanks are due again to Ken Lynam and his team for coordinating the seventh holding of the event around the world on November 4th last.  Well done also to all who organised, participated or contributed in any way to the success of the day..

With the year-end approaching I would encourage members to renew their membership subscription if it has lapsed. This source of funds assists us in delivering on the many projects, publications and resources we complete and publish each year.  Members should also be aware of the “Friends of NPU” scheme which was initiated in recent months and may be of interest to many outside  the immediate piping community who are positively disposed towards the work we do in promoting traditional music in general as well as uilleann piping.

1968 – 2018
As we approach the 50th anniversary of our founding we can reflect with great satisfaction on the contribution we have made to the safeguarding of the uilleann piping tradition.  While our success is readily evident in numerical terms with regard to the number of pipers and pipemakers around the world, we should also measure our success in terms of the quality of the music now being played and instruments being made.  We should continue to strive to ensure that we promote a diversity of styles and that the young pipers we are nurturing are encouraged to create their own individual stamp on their playing.  How instantly we recognise the playing of Touhey, Reck, Ennis, Rowsome and Clancy and how differently they employ many of the same techniques to colour their music.  Even Johnny and Felix Doran, both considered fine exponents of the travelling style, are instantly distinguishable from each other.  While we may take inspiration from and learn so much from the old recordings we must accept that there was only one “Patsy” etc. and to slavishly imitate would be pointless.

Year end
As 2017 comes to an end I would like to express our gratitude to The Arts Council for their continued support in helping us carry out programme of work in furtherance of our aims. The worldwide membership, directors and the staff have contributed greatly to the goals of NPU during the year and with their work and support we can look forward to 2018 with confidence. Also, we are grateful to all of the teachers and volunteers who generously give freely of their time and to the NPU Support Group for their assistance with events such as our Sponsored Cycle to Miltown Malbay, The Ace & Deuce of Piping Concert and International Uilleann Piping Day. Well done to all who organised or participated in local piping events in many countries throughout the year. We will once again be cycling to Miltown Malbay in 2018 as we continue to raise funds for our PipeCraft Training Centre, so please consider getting involved. The annual cycle has proven to be a significant source of revenue for us and all efforts are much appreciated. Finally I wish all of you and your families a very happy and peaceful Christmas and every best wish for 2018.

The responses to last year’s Membership Survey have now been fully analysed and assimilated. There were many useful suggestions and observations, which have formed part of the input for the design of our next strategic plan. There were also concerns expressed by some members about aspects of our operations and programme. These have been individually answered, and we hope that any misgivings have been allayed. We would urge any member with ideas for the improvement of our organization to communicate them to us, and we thank, again, all those who took the trouble to respond.


Tommy Keane


Back issues of AN PÍOBAIRE

Volume 13 – 2017
Volume 12 – 2016
Volume 11 – 2015
Volume 10 – 2014
Volume 9 – 2013
Volume 8 – 2012
Volume 7 – 2011
Volume 6 – 2010
Volume 5 – 2009
Volume 4 – 1999-2008
Volume 3 – 1989-1999
Volume 2 – 1978-1989
Volume 1 – 1969-1978