Big thank you from

Disappointing turnout for last mini band contest  

Pipe Bands by Mervyn McConnell

THE last of this year's mini band competitions was held in the Valley Hotel, Fivemiletown last Saturday, under the auspices of Gortaclare Pipe Band.

There was a poor turnout of bands for this event, which must have caused disappointment to the men who worked so hard to promote this competition.


Nevertheless those who attended pulled out all the stops and produced a first class performance in all the grades.
Results as follows: -

Grade 2:  1, Bro. Matt Boyd. 2, Cullenfad (also best drums).
Grade 3A: 1, Bro. Matt Bovd. 2,.Cullenfad (also best drums)
Grade 3B:  l, Cullenfad. 2, Cullenfad A (also best drums).
Grade 4A: 1, Killen. 2, Convoy. 3, Bellaghy. 4, Mountfield (also best drums)
Grade 4B: l, Cleland Memorial (also best drums)

The Malahide Festival of Piping and Drumming, held in the beautiful Malahide Castle, Co. Dublin will take place on Friday 10 and Saturday 11 May.

This event has been going from strength to strength over these past four years with many of the entries coining from bands in Northern Ireland.

Friday's programme, which starts at 8.30pm, will feature an invitational solo competition with many of the top soloists from all over Ireland taking part.

The main festival is on Saturday from 12 o'clock and to date 35 bands are entered.

May 18 sees the first of the five major championships for the 2002 season.

T h e Scottish Championships will take place in Dumbarton, Scotland when Pipe Major Richard Parkes and his Field Marshal Montgomery, and this year's newly promoted Ravara band under Pipe Major Sam Connolly will be competing in Grade 1.

The first of the local competitions takes place on Saturday 25 May with the Co. Fermanagh championships held in Celtic Park Playing Fields Enniskillen.

A second major honour has been won by Armagh man Derek Boyce, Pipe Sergeant of Killeen Pipe Band. Back in 1998 he wrote a tune in memory of the late Princess Diana and against stiff competition won the top prize of a set of Naill Silver Bagpipes.

Recently Derek entered a 3/4 March tune for a competition organised by the War Research Society Birmingham, and again won top prize.

The tune entitled "The Piper of Longueval" will be played by the Somme Battlefield Pipe Band during the unveiling of the Pipers' Memorial Statute at the Somme in France.

Derek's composition was one of many tunes submitted and the main adjudicator, Rab Wallace, editor of Pipe Band Magazine, judged his the best.

The unveiling will take place in France on 20 July, and Derek hopes to be present at this historic event.

Jeffrey McCready from Banbridge has been appointed the new representative for the Music Board. Jeffrev has won every trophy in drum majoring, including the world title, and Chairman John Crozier, on behalf of the Northern Ireland Branch of the RSPBA, wishes him well with his new post.

Two residential music weekends have been organised by the Rural Cultural Heritage Association of Northern Ireland.

The first will be held on 7-9 June at Hanna's Close Clachan of cottages outside Kilkeel. The second is from 20-22 September in Loughbeg, Co. Derry.


This is an opportunity for bagpipers and fiddlers from all traditions to learn authentic Scottish traditional music.

The pipes will be taught by lain MacDonald from the Outer Hebrides, and lain MacFarlane will take the fiddlers. There will also be an opportunity to learn Scottish step dancing.

Irish traditional music will feature as well with Belfast whistler John McSherry.

Accommodation is available in cottages (some thatched) on site, and there are great walks in the Mournes for the more energetic.

For more information please contact Oonagh or Fionn on 9089 5529.

Ulster Star