The BBC has announced that the Ulster Orchestra will be taking part in this year's programme of promenade concerts in the Royal Albert Hall in London.
This is a great honour for a regional orchestra which continues to set high musical standards, despite its financial restraints.
The Ulster Orchestra also has a good record of service to the wider community, particularly schools, and it continues to play a major role in the cultural life of Northern Ireland.
Today the orchestra launches its programme for the new 2010-11 season, and its range of concerts and outstanding guest conductors and soloists is impressive. The orchestra remains a musical jewel, and it needs every support locally to retain its distinctive sparkle.