SAM Hodgen, proprietor of Andante drums from Rathfriland, once again sponsored this year's solo drumming championships at Craigmount High School, Edinburgh.
While there were no world championship crowns coming back to Ulster there were brilliant performances from all our drummers to secure many of the top prizes.
In the top senior grade Andrew Scullion, Leading Tip of Field Marshal Montgomery, came fourth.
The grade was won for the second time by Gordon Brown from Boghall & Bathgate, while Jim Kilpatrick; thirteen times solo drumming champion, had to settle for the runner-up spot.
Former Banbridge man Eric Ward, who is now Leading Tip with Strathclyde Police, Glasgow, took third place and Barry Wilson and Reid Maxwell from Vancouver, Canada the final two places.
Other local names winning trophies were Jonathon Hoy who took second place in juvenile section One, Christopher McNicholl second place and Jason Hoy fourth place in juvenile section Two and William Glenholmes fourth place in Juvenile Section Three. Congratulations to all the winners.
The long running programme 'Touch of Tartan' has started again for a new series on Radio Ulster at 2.00pm each Sunday with a repeat each Thursday at 7.00pm.
Tommy Miller, a well-known figure amongst the piping world, once again hosts this popular programme. Last Sunday it featured Killeen Pipe Band from Co. Armagh with Pipe Major Philip Boyce. Their presentation was of the highest standard, with new and innovative tunes, top class quality sound and a performance that they should be very proud of.
This Grade 2 outfit made a welcome return to the competition arena last season and were successful in winning some of the prizes.
They have recruited quite a few pipers in preparation for next year.
They have always been known as an outstanding concert band and it was no surprise their recent concert in Armagh City was a sell out.
Already it has been requested they stage another one, and plans are in the pipeline for doing just that.
Other pipe bands promised to make an appearance on 'Touch of Tartan' are Ballycoan, World Grade 2 champions; Field Marshal Montgomery, the reigning world champions in Grade 1; Ravara, Bleary & District and Upper Crossgare.
The Glenfiddich Solo Piping Championships were held recently at Blair Atholl Castle, Scotland and as usual there was an impressive turnout of piping enthusiasts.
Competitors are invited based on results of the year's biggest contests and the overall winner was Roddy MacLeod of Glasgow, who won the piobaireachd and took third in the March Strathspey and Reel section.
Roddy is no stranger to Northern Ireland and as Pipe Major of Grade 1 Power of Scotland, competes in the All Ireland every year, and is the only overseas band to win the coveted all Ireland trophy.
His Leading Tip is John Scullion formally from Bellaghy Co. Londonderry.
Many of our top solo pipers will be taking part in an invitational solo piping competition to be held in the Fort Bar, 33 Scotch Street Dungannon on Saturday 9 November commencing at 2pm.
Adjudicator will be Fred Morrison from Glasgow who recently judged the Piper of the Year contest in Ballymena.
Results of the 2002 world drumming solos
Juvenile Section One -1, Sean Donaldson (78th Fraser Highlanders); 2, Jonathon Hoy, 3, Cameron Ward; 4, Chris Taylor; 5, Callum Baxter; 6, John Benson.
Juvenile Section Two - 1, John Henderson; 2, Chris McNicholl; 3, Scott Fletcher, 4, Jason Hoy, 5, David Murray; 6, Chris Karte.
Juvenile Section Three - 1, Eli Fugate (Los Angeles Scots USA); 2, Grant Maxwell (Simon Fraser Canada); 3, Alistair Brown; 4, Wm. Glenholmes; 5, Steven Nelson; 6. Leigh Kelly.
Senior - 1, Gordon Brown; 2, Jim Kilpatrick; 3, Eric
Ward; 4, Andrew Scullion; 5, Barry Wilson; 6, J. Reid Maxwell
(Simon Fraser Canada).