Local mum, teacher and singer Diana Culbertson from just outside Ballymoney recently had the privilege of performing alongside the Band of the Royal Irish Regiment at this year’s 75th commemoration of the D-Day landings in Normandy at the Waterfront Hall in Belfast on Saturday 8th June.
By day Diana is a music and singing teacher both in local schools and as a home tutor, but by night she can be found walking the towns and villages around Northern Ireland with Dunloy Accordion Band, on top of the many functions and events she is invited to sing at.
Singing has always been a lifelong passion for Diana, starting at a very young age, but playing the accordion with Dunloy came later in life. While completing her PhD, having previously obtained a Masters in Music, Diana was introduced to Dunloy Accordion Band as part of her research, and as they say the ‘rest is history’.
Singing has always been a lifelong passion for Diana’s, having started at a very young age, but playing the accordion with Dunloy came later in life. While completing her PhD into marching Bands, having previously obtained a Masters in Music, Diana was introduced to Dunloy Accordion Band as part of her research, and as they say the ‘rest is history’.
Singing to a sell-out crowd at the Waterfront Hall on 8th June, accompanied by The Band, Bugles, Pipes & Drums of the Royal Irish Regiment, this wasn’t the first time alongside the band. Diana had previously had the privilege of singing with the band in 2018 as part of a special event organised by the Royal British Legion for Armistice Day.
Diana isn’t one that’s shy of the public spotlight having previously appeared on BBC NI’s Santer programme, and has since went on to be one of the programme contributors on Kintra, Radio Ulster’s Ulster-Scots magazine programme and more recently as co-presenter of ‘Bellows, Fifes & Drums’, showcasing her passion for all things marching bands.
The D-Day concert, compered by TV personality Pamela Ballantine, was billed to be ‘A musical celebration of Ulster’s contribution to the Normandy landings’ 75 years ago, and it did just that. Joining Diana and the RIR Band on stage was ‘The Victory Group’, ‘Ballroom Blitz’ and Ballydown Primary School choir, all adding to an extraordinary evening of entertainment.
The concert was organised by the ABF, ‘The soldiers Charity’ – raising money for soldiers, their families and ex service veterans who are in need.
The British troops had Vera Lynn, some might say marching bands have Diana Culbertson, but it’s unlikely a modest Diana would go that far, BUT we just will.