The West Ulster Bands forum is a voluntary organisation consisting of marching bands from the pipe, accordion and flute bands from across the north and western part of County Tyrone. This forum also has member bands from County Donegal within it.
The forum originally appeared as a direct product of Derry and Raphoe Action Group. In the course of its normal work Derry and Raphoe identified a need for development within the local band community with regards to training networking and making contact with public bodies.
An initial meeting was held with bands and a number of further issues of a need to engage with the media funding outreach and youth development within the band movement was raised after which it was decided that the need was there and a band forum was established in this part of Northern Ireland.
West Ulster bands forum currently have 28 marching bands as part of this group of bands .The forums role is very much as a community and cultural organisation based around Strabane and Omagh areas also work is carried out in neighbouring districts with cross border assistance given to bands from Donegal.
The forum wishes to assist bands in developing there sector and the local community and help to regenerate local areas we seek to educate ourselves and the band community and those who attended band events with in the Strabane and Omagh areas along side neighbouring districts . As bands people we wish to have a positive impact on Northern Ireland life and encourage our youth to flourish and achieve booth musically and in there daily lives installing confidence and pride within our youth
West Ulster bands forum is part of the Confederation of Ulster bands or CUB for short the organisation is a Northern Ireland wide group which consists of band forums from every part of the country literally we now have bands from west to east all participating in the current development of marching bands
A recent study into marching bands conducted by DCAL and the confederation of Ulster bands found that at present over 630 marching bands exists in Northern Ireland
Some 30.000 people are actively participating in Ulster bands these bands hold annually 430 parades across Northern Ireland
List of all current member bands;
Craig Memorial Accordion
Sister Susan Graham Accordion
Blair Memorial Flute
Castlederg Young Loyalists Flute
Omagh Protestant Boys Flute
Pride of William Flute
Red Hand Defenders Flute
Red Hand Defenders Old Boys Flute
Clogher & District Pipe
Cowan Memorial Flute
Irvine Memorial Clabby Pipe
Sinclair Memorial Pipe