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New Pipe Major is appointed at Geoghegan

Pipe Bands by Mervyn McConnell

THE Geoghegan Pipe Band from Loughbrickland has appointed a new Pipe Major to lead the band into the 2010 season.

Simon Quee, a former piper with the Grade 1 Ballycoan Pipe Band, will take on the responsibility of the band, and he will be joined by Leading Tip Thomas Carey ex leading drummer with Banbridge and Dromara bands.

Geogegan competed in competitions last season for the first time in many years, and was successful in winning some trophies. Now with the appointment of a new Pipe Major and Leading Tip, as well as the addition of several new members, they will be a force to look out for next season.

186 drummers have now entered for the 2009 world solo drumming championships to take place on October 24 at the Glasgow Caledonia University Glasgow and sponsored by Andante Percussion from Rathfriland.

Barry Wilson from Scottish Power will be returning to defend his senior world title.

The winter term of the Northern Ireland Piping and Drumming School has now started in Laurelhill Community College Lisburn, Ebrington Centre Londonderry and Erne Integrated College in Enniskillen. Classes are held in all three centres on Saturday mornings from 10.00am till 12.30pm.

In addition, the school is now participating in the Council for the Curriculum Examinations and Assessment (CCEA) Performance Skills Qualification, Levels 1 & 2. This is a particularly interesting development with opportunities in the future for bands to become involved in conjunction with the school. Anyone over the age of 14 is eligible to be entered as a candidate.

Piobaireachd weekends, conducted by Andrew Wright, will be held on November 14 and 15 and January 9 and 10 and February 13 and 14. Junior Piobaireachd classes, for those not experienced in competition, are held on Saturday from 2.00pm to 4.30pm in Laurelhill Community College, whilst advanced classes for those who have already competed for at least one year, take place in the Ballycoan Band Hall from 10.30am to 4.30pm. Further details about any of these classes may be had by contacting 92 628591 or 07720 637606, 07895 620337 (Londonderry) and 07533 979404 (Enniskillen).

The school has also set up a new management committee which is keen to see the school continue to develop and encourage interest and education in the whole field of pipe music and piping culture with the help of the Arts Council for N.I. and the Ulster Scots Agency.

If you are looking for a Christmas present for a pipe band enthusiast then you may find interesting the new CD released from Cullybackey Pipe Band, entitled Live in Concert. The band is one of only four grade 1 bands in Ireland, being promoted after winning the Grade 2 world title in 2007. The CD was recorded live at the Braid Theatre, Ballymena in November 2008 along side Ireland's top premier folk group Pure Blarney. Songs include Star of the Country Down, Tell Me Ma, Carrickfergus, Caledonia, Wild Mountain Thyme/Lough Lomond and many more. To order or for more information contact 9089 7700.

The next meeting of the Northern Ireland branch will take place on October 31 at 2.00pm in preparation for the Annual General Meeting on Saturday November 14 at 11am. All meetings will take place in Trinity Methodist Church Hall Lisburn.

Ulster Star