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Lisburn set to reverberate to the sound of pipes and drums

City plays host to the European Championships

Pictured at the launch of the event are (l-r front row) Amy Gray, Highland Dancer, Emma Barr, Drum Major and current European title holder, Holly McMullan, Highland Dancer, (second Row) Mayor Ronnie Crawford, (third row) Mariad Wilson, Piper
Pictured at the launch of the event are (l-r front row) Amy Gray, Highland Dancer, Emma Barr, Drum Major and current European title holder, Holly McMullan, Highland Dancer, (second Row) Mayor Ronnie Crawford, (third row) Mariad Wilson, Piper

PIPE bands from across Europe will be descending on Lisburn for the European Pipe Band Championships this Saturday at the Lagan Valley Leisureplex.

One hundred and twenty Pipe bands and over 50 Drum Majors from across Europe promise a spectacular show and a great family day out for all.

This is the second time that this prestigious event has been hosted by the City of Lisburn. In 2004, 20,000 visitors turned up to enjoy the day's festivities and this year promises to be just as exciting.

Mervyn Herron, RSPBA NI branch says of the forthcoming event;

"We are truly delighted to be hosting the European Championships in the City of Lisburn again, these championships are held in very high regard throughout the Pipe Band community and we're sure that Lisburn will guarantee an amazing day out for all the family. "We're welcoming somewhere in the region of 4000 competitors on the day from all across Ireland, Scotland, England and the rest of Europe which will undoubtedly create an exciting and fun atmosphere on the day.

"Competition is rife and Lisburn will be out in force to support current World Champions, Field Marshal Montgomery Pipe Band who will be competing on the day for the title or European Champions."

The event, organised by the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association, has been running for over 50 years and has established itself as the second largest competition of its kind in the world, second only to the World Championships which will take place in Glasgow in August.

Pipe bands will be judged on piping, drumming and ensemble and the RSPBA are delighted to welcome 18 judges from Northern Ireland, ROI and Scotland as the judging panel for this prestigious event.


A whole host of activities for all the family to enjoy

Pictured at the launch are Highland Dancers, Amy Gray (left) and Holly McMullan (right) with Drum Major and current title holder Emma Barr from Ravara Pipe Pictured at the launch are (front) Mariad Wilson, Piper, Annsborough Pipe Band, (back l-r) Ryan Ferry, Drum Major and current European title holder from the Aughintober Pipe Band, Kenny Crowthers, Treasurer, RSPBA and Jonathon Greenlees, Piper and current world champion, Field Marshal Montgomery Band
Pictured at the launch are Highland Dancers, Amy Gray (left) and Holly McMullan (right) with Drum Major and current title holder Emma Barr from Ravara Pipe Pictured at the launch are (front) Mariad Wilson, Piper, Annsborough Pipe Band, (back l-r) Ryan Ferry, Drum Major and current European title holder from the Aughintober Pipe Band, Kenny Crowthers, Treasurer, RSPBA and Jonathon Greenlees, Piper and current world champion, Field Marshal Montgomery Band

Drum Majors, will 'wow' the crowds with their spectacular display, and will be judged on variety and difficulty of their movements as well as marching and deportment. Current European Champions are Kathy Megarry-Calvin, Upper Crossgare, Ryan Ferry, Aughintober and Emma Barr, Ravara.

Alongside the pipe bands and impressive drum majors there will be a whole host of other activities to entertain the young and the young at heart, from a climbing wall for the slightly more adventurous, to a funfair, highland dancing, craft stalls and plenty of food and drink stalls, the day will be packed full of fun and entertainment.

Mayor of Lisburn, Ronnie Crawford will be in attendance and is delighted that the city has once again secured the bid to host the event; "Lisburn is becoming a more vibrant and buzzing city as each day passes and this is reflected in the number of events that take place here each year" he said.

The fact that we have won the European Pipe Bands Championships back to the City for the second time gives us great pleasure and I am certainly looking forward to seeing the impressive sights and hearing the wonderful sounds of the talented Bands and Drum Majors, I'm sure many people from Lisburn and beyond will come along to enjoy the day - they certainly won't be disappointed."

Entrance to the event is free and there will be on site car parking charged at 5 per car for the day.



Champions on DVD

MORE than 60 years on since its formation in the town land of Drumalig, the Field Marshal Montgomery Pipe Band has amassed a total of 35 RSPBA major championships including six world championships and seven Champion of Champions titles.

But it is only occasionally that the opportunity arises to perform before an audience drawn from the scattered pipe band global community. That occasion was when they performed at their 2007 RE-CHARGED concert in Glasgow.

They added to the concert material interviews from some past members to create a DVD so everyone has the opportunity to sit back and enjoy the amazing performance of the Grade 1 world champions.

Ulster Star
25/07/2008