|On Friday 8th October 1956 a special meeting was held in Dunloy Orange Hall. The result of this meeting was the formation of Dunloy Accordion Band. The Accordion Band succeeded Dunloy Flute Band which had been formed by the lodge members in 1906. At the formation of the Accordion band, the situation was similar to that of many bands in the area. That is to say, the band consisted of a core of about four or five families. Families involved included the Fenton, Finlay, Adams, Tweed, and Gault family.|
The newly formed accordion band consisted of the grand total of 12 accordion players, 4 side drummers, 2 tenor drummers and a bass drummer. Mr. James Adams was approached to become the trainer of the new band - a position which he accepted. At the next meeting on 29th November 1956, the first set of eight rules were constructed. These rules governed everything from care of the instruments to payment of 1s 2d weekly dues. The bands first uniform was dealt with in rule eight. It reads - "All band members, when in public will wear black suits, white shirts, crimson ties and black shoes. All drummers will wear white gloves." At the December meeting the new instruments were presented to their prospective players. The total cost of equipping the band was £1066. Today an average priced concert accordion costs at least four times this amount!
|So the band continued. Winter rehearsals held the band in good stead for summer parades. In 1968, the band paraded at the Scottish Twelfth for the first of many years. As with all bands, membership changed regularly but one thing that differed Dunloy Accordion Band from other accordion bands was that females were not accepted into the ranks of the band.|
|On Thursday 29th January 1970 the members travelled to Belfast and recorded the first of two L.P.s.
The cost of producing the recording was £137 and the L.P. retailed at 14s 2d.
1974 saw the release of the band's second recording. Copies of both these recordings are still in existence today.
The bands musical capability and repertoire has changed vastly over the past 30 years and today's members
are very pleased to have produced a recording of some of the marches and concert pieces which the present
band perform "on the road" and "on the stage".
The recording is available in cassette and CD format and can be purchased either by email or at
In 1973 the minutes record the retirement of Mr. Robert Hugh Gault from his position as bandmaster, a role which he had fulfilled for 17 years. Mr Gault had served the band with dedication and when he retired, the band had a membership of 36 accordion players.
In 1979, the band began to compete in the Northern Ireland Bands Association contests in the Ulster Hall. The band's conductor in those days was Ballymena man Mr. Tommy Woodcock. Mr Woodcock tutored the band to many contest successes until his retirement in 1988.
|1982 saw one of the most dramatic changes in the band's history. Mr Harris Gerrow was now bandmaster. At the A.G.M., he proposed to rule that female members be accepted into the ranks of the band. The proposal was accepted and many of the older members left the band in objection to this motion. However the following summer saw lady members into the band for the first time.|
And so to the present day. The band is currently enjoying a very healthy membership with over forty members in total. The past couple of years has seen a steady influx of young people into the band, and some of these younger soloists from the Band are already competing successfully at provincial competitions. This stands the band in good stead for the future. The present Band draws it membership from all over Northern Ireland with members travelling from as far away as Belfast, Cookstown and Banbridge. However the majority of members come from the Ballymoney and Ballymena areas.
|To mark the Millenium Year the Band commissioned a new uniform and have just completed a tape of some of the pieces which are part of their concert program and of the marches which are traditionally played by the band whilst on parade.|
One of the highlights of the Bands annual calendar is their parade which is held in Ballymoney. Over the past few years, this parade has gained a reputation of being one of the best in the locality and regularly attracts the 'cream' of the province's marching bands. Another feature of the parade is the strength of support given to the band by the people of Ballymoney and surrounding district with sums in excess of £2000 regularly being donated towards band funds.