Big thank you from

RSPBA hold extraordinary branch meeting

Pipe Bands by Mervyn McConnell

THE Northern Ireland branch of the RSPBA held their extraordinary branch meeting on Saturday January 31 in the Methodist Church Hall, Knockmore Road in Lisburn.

The main focus of the meeting centred on what Grade 4A and B will play at competitions next season. At present they have to play 2/4 marches and not allowed to play their own selection of tunes.

There was an encouraging turn out and a good debate of views from representatives present. A vote was taken to put forward the proposal that 4B bands be allowed to play their own choice of tunes and that 4A bands continue to play 2/4 marches.

There will be further debate on this matter at the next Annual General Meeting of the Northern Ireland branch in November 2009 and then at the Annual General Meeting in Scotland.

A recommendation from the RSPBA NI branch Executive that the Northern Ireland Branch of the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association form a Company Limited by guarantee to produce all planned Branch events has been deferred to the next branch meeting for further debate.

The 'Officials and Programme of Events' book has been delayed but will be ready for collection at the next Branch meeting on Saturday February 28.

But the official calendar for the Northern Ireland branch is available and gives the dates for all major and local competitions this season. Contact Contest secretary Mervyn Herron for copies on telephone 028 40 624849 or 07702 681189. David Montgomery, proprietor of the Essey Musical Store Albertbridge Road, Belfast, is promoting a special evening entitled 'Fine Tuned' on Friday February 27 in the Park Avenue Hotel starting at 7pm.

The evening will feature performances by pipers Craig Munro, Pipe Major of the Clydebank Pipe Band and Alistair Murray from Ballycoan. A drumming demonstration will be given by John Scullion and Gareth McLees who drums with Grade 1 Field Marshal Montgomery Pipe Band. Drumming group 'Light and Shade' will also feature on the night. There will also be displays of kilt making, and a range of goods from various suppliers.

The Essey also supplies instruments and uniforms for flute, silver, brass and accordion bands as well as pipe bands, and is an agent for Andante Drums.

David is well known in pipe band circles having drummed with Broomhedge Pipe Band for several years, under Leading Tip fain Mines. The band won many trophies in their time including the All Ireland, Champion of Champions (Twice), Ulster, and the European, as well as many local championships. He also teaches drumming to some flute bands as well as Magheragall Pipe Band Lisburn.

The evening is free, but due to seating restrictions, admission is by ticket only, and is only open to those over 16 years old. At the moment there has been a really good response from those interested in attending, so early contact with David is advisable if you would like to attend this event. He can be contacted on 02890 456177.


The five times world champions and the current Grade 1 world pipe band champions Simon Fraser University Pipe Band from Burnaby British Columbia Canada, will be the guest band at the pre-world concert promoted by Phoenix Honda Glasgow Pipe Band on Wednesday August 12 at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, Scotland.

Along with the band will be a special guest performance featuring the Celtic Group 'Wolfstone'. According to Pipe Major Terry Lee, the group, with their unique style of traditional music, will add an exciting dimension to the whole concert.

Simon Fraser now has 28 pipers, 11 snare drummers, 5 Tenor drummers and 1 bass drummer making them a formidable foe for this years world championships.

Joining the band for a one off performance, will be former members Stuart Liddell, who is the Pipe Major of the newly promoted Grade 2 Inveraray Pipe band, and Steven McWhirter Leading Tip of the band.

Tickets are now on sale for the concert by contacting the Box Office of the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall on 0141 353 8000.

Stuart Liddell claimed the winning prize at the third Annual Pipe Major's 'Wheel of Fortune' competition sponsored by the City of Edinburgh Pipe Band recently.

This event, which combines traditional music with a bit of fun, requires competitors to play an impromptu medley based on spinning a wheel for the elements they must include in their performance.

Ulster Star