Butter Exchange Band
The Butter Exchange Band, or the “Buttera” as it is known, is one the best-known brass and reed bands in the city of Cork.
The band was established in 1878 but has roots in a small band established for religious purposes by Fr. John McNamara, a curate of the North Cathedral.
At the time of its creation the band was one of a number in the city but was regarded as one of the more prestigious ones because of its association with the Butter Market.
At its foundation the band was more than simply a musical enterprise.
The band room located on nearby John Redmond Street served as a reading room, at a time when such facilities were not readily available to working people.
Regular engagements included excursions down the River Lee,
visits to beauty spots in County Cork such as Bantry and Glengariff and promenades on the Marina and at the bandstand in Fitzgerald Park. Charitable performances were also a regular feature of the band’s life.
The most distinguished event each year has always been the annual Corpus Christi Procession, originally starting at the North Cathedral. The band also plays at Christmas and Easter in the cathedral, as well as at various missions held there.
In olden days, there was a tradition of outings by the band to scenic resorts.
Cobh was a particular favourite but Crosshaven, Macroom and Bantry were also popular destinations. The band also performed at President John Kennedy’s visit to Cork in June 1963. Several Band members featured in the showband boom of the 1960’s, the Dixies and the Skyliners. The present day band is still vibrant and is located in a new bandroom in the Tony O’ Reilly Centre.