Mr Wilkinson, 75, died in hospital on Tuesday, having suffered poor health for a few years. He is survived by his wife Jennifer and daughters Wendy, Janice and Charis.
Clyde Johnston, Organiser of the Northern Ireland Accordion Championships said: “Adam’s enthusiasm for the accordion movement was unbelievable. He started his band career with Killycoogan Accordion Band in the 1950s as a snare drummer before moving onto accordion.
“He became musical director and moulded them into a top class marching band as well as a concert and competition band.” He enjoyed “phenomenal” success with, amongst others, St John’s of Drumcree; Vow, County of Antrim; Aughafatten, Lower Ballinderry and, latterly, Glenavy.
His bands were “rarely out of the prizes” in the top Irish and UK competitions, winning fourth in the Advanced Orchestra Section with the County Antrim Accordion Orchestra, which he founded, and first prize with the St John’s Of Drumcree Orchestra in the Intermediate Section at the prestigious World Music Festival in Austria.
“No other Musical Director from the UK has matched that marvellous achievement,” Clyde said. “Adam was truly a giant in the accordion band scene and at his last appearance at the Northern Ireland International Open Accordion Championships in 2017 he received a richly deserved standing ovation when he was presented with a Special Merit Award in recognition of his great contribution to the accordion movement.”
:: Adam’s funeral cortege will leave Alan Francey’s Funeral Church, Ballymena today, Friday, at 1:45pm, proceeding out Toome Road to allow family and friends the opportunity to pay their respects, whilst adhering to social distancing. A private family burial will be in Ballee New Cemetery at 2pm.
A message from the Editor:
Thank you for reading this story on our website. While I have your attention, I also have an important request to make of you.
With the coronavirus lockdown having a major impact on many of our advertisers - and consequently the revenue we receive - we are more reliant than ever on you taking out a digital subscription.
Subscribe to newsletter.co.uk and enjoy unlimited access to the best Northern Ireland and UK news and information online and on our app. With a digital subscription, you can read more than 5 articles, see fewer ads, enjoy faster load times, and get access to exclusive newsletters and content. Visit https://www.newsletter.co.uk/subscriptions now to sign up.
Our journalism costs money and we rely on advertising, print and digital revenues to help to support them. By supporting us, we are able to support you in providing trusted, fact-checked content for this website.