Performer Focus – Craig Lutton, Kellswater Flute Band, Ballymena

Our performer focus continues ahead of the start of the Belfast International Tattoo this week with Craig Lutton from Kellswater Flute Band.

What is your name and how old are you?

Craig Lutton, 29 years old 

Where have you lived and where do you live now? 

From Ballymena, currently living in London

What instrument do you play and how long have you been playing?

I’m a professional percussionist performing in venues across the United Kingdom. I began percussion lessons aged seven years old, joined the local Kellswater Flute Band, progressed onto NEELB (County Antrim) youth orchestras, Cambridge House Grammar School and further onto the Ulster Youth Orchestra for 7 years. I then studied Orchestral Percussion under the tutelage of Michael Doran at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music, London & graduated with BMus(Hons) in June 2017.

How did you first get involved with the band / dance troupe that you are with now?

My sister (Rachel) & I are the fourth generation of the Lutton family to perform in Kellswater Flute Band. I started playing the triangle when I was 7 years old. I enjoy playing all percussion on parades/concerts & contests. A Kellswater tradition, we swap instruments in the village of Portglenone after black Saturday annually where myself and Jonny Hill take the bass flutes; where I can just about play in two musical keys, great craic hi!

How would you describe your cultural identity?

Northern Irish. 

What musical accomplishments are you most proud of?

Winning Northern Ireland Young Musician of the year 2010 and my first professional orchestral concert was with English National Opera (ENO) in 2015 performing Puccini’s opera ‘La Boheme’. 

When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

A professional musician 

Who is someone you admire, and why?

David Healy. On a plethora of occasions against some of the world’s greatest nations, he provided spectacular goal scoring moments delivering Pride, Passion & Belief to all corners of Our Wee Country. It’s his mentality that I strive for today and this provides me with the courage & robustness on any musical stage. 

If you could give a younger person musical advice, what would it be?

Listen, listen & listen to music. Whether it be live or recordings. Gain as much knowledge as possible of the piece(s) you are performing as this will develop your musicality when you come to performing the music. 

What do you enjoy most about being part of your band?

The teamwork and Social aspect of our band life in Kellswater is brilliant. These attributes help to deliver our enjoyable musical output on all occasions. 

What is your favourite memory from your musical career so far?

Debut at the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo 2018. Marching to the tune: ‘We’re No Awa Tae Bide Awa’

What are you most looking forward to when performing at the Belfast Tattoo?

Receiving The rapturous Northern Irish applause as the Massed Flute Band steps out in Style on the arena floor.  

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