Acclaimed Irish musician Alisdair Wallace passed away this month following a motorcycle crash near Belfast, Ireland. Wallace reportedly crashed into another vehicle on Thursday afternoon in County Down, Ireland. The 66-year-old trumpet player is being honored by other performers around the country — and the world.
Wallace was on a motorcycle when he collided with a car near Carrowdore in the late afternoon on Thursday, April 1, according to a report by The Belfast Telegraph. The Northern Ireland Ambulance Service responded to the scene just before 5 p.m. local time, and the Air Ambulance was dispatched for a speedy pick-up. However, Wallace was ultimately pronounced dead on the scene. Another person was taken to Ulster Hospital for treatment, but their condition remains unknown. Police are asking that anyone with knowledge of this crash to contact them.
Wallace was best-known as a trumpet player for the Grand Opera House pantomime orchestra. His death comes hot on the heels of the passing of Mike Dougherty, the orchestra's musical director, who passed away on Christmas day. Others in the community have been sharing tributes to Wallace in statements published by The Telegraph, including entertainer John Linehan, a.k.a. May McFettridge.
"I'm shattered," he said. "Al was a very gifted musician and a really special man who was devoting a lot of time to looking after his 92-year-old mother, who is obviously devastated... Al's death, coming so soon afterwards at Easter time, has left everyone associated with the panto distraught."
Fellow performer Paddy Jenkins added: "Al was the ultimate professional. He took his playing very seriously but afterwards when we all went to the Crown bar for a drink he was a very funny man with a hilarious turn of phrase." the Opera House's chief executive, Ian Wilson, put in: "Al was a valued member of the panto family for decades. And he also played in our summer youth productions and with other musical societies in the theatre too."
"Al had no peers," said colleague Kevin Lawless. "If musicians here think about a trumpet player in Belfast they think of Al Wallace. I'd toured with him all over Europe in the Brian Irvine ensemble. He also played on some of the Jive Bunny records."
Wallace played at the Opera House across a span of more than 35 years. He also played in well-known touring bands and worked extensively with the BBC as well. Other artists continue to mourn him across social media.