KEITH Orr from Drumahoe Co. Londonderry is the new leading Tip of the Lisburn based Grade 1 world champions Field Marshal Montgomery Pipe Band.
Keith was formerly the leading drummer with the Graham Memorial and then with Grade 1 McNeillstown where he was instrumental in leading the drum corps to many victories, including the MSR at the world's championships several years ago.
Just recently he had agreed to take on the role of Leading Tip with Glasgow Skye Pipe band from Glasgow and is very grateful for their understanding and release to return to lead a Northern Ireland drum corps.
Keith replaces Andrew Scullion who has stepped down due to personal commitments. Andrew won the world solo drumming three times and was runner up eight times. He also won the All Ireland solo championships twelve times.
Pipe Major Richard Parkes said Andrew was instrumental in helping the band to win many top honours including this year's world championships, and the band is very grateful for all his commitment and expertise.
Just recently the Field Marshal Montgomery Pipe Band were honoured at a reception in Lisburn by the Mayor of Lisburn, Councillor Betty Campbell.
The year 2002 saw the band winning the British, European, Worlds and Cowal and the coveted Supreme Champion of Champions trophy.
The Northern Ireland Branch of the RSPBA, at their last meeting, agreed to award Richard and Gordon Parkes with the Branch's certificate of merit for their exemplary work with the Field Marshal Montgomery Pipe band.
Richard has been their Pipe Major for 22 years and Gordon was the Leading Tip for 18 years until he retired.
Mervyn Herron, Contest secretary, has copies of the 2003 Northern Ireland Branch calendar for sale.
This calendar contains many colour photographs of prize-winning bands and drum majors, as well as Officials and dates for your diary on next year's contests.
The Officials and Programme of events booklet for 2003 will be available early January. Now known as the Pocket Diary, it contains all details of coming events plus lots of other useful information. Contact Walter McKibben 90-610198 to obtain your copy.
Kenny MacLeod has resigned as Pipe Major of Grade 2 Kilmarnock Pipe band.
He feels for the band to progress further, it has to have someone who can commit to it 100%, and because of his other commitments it has become impossible for him to do that.
Kenny is well known as one of the partners of McCallum Bagpipes and is the former Pipe Major of Glasgow Skye Association Pipe Band. He is a regular visitor to Northern Ireland, and is very generous in his sponsorship of solo events.
The South Belfast Cultural Society are holding their annual Burns Night in the Europa Hotel, Belfast on Friday 31 January.
The entertainment will include the traditional piping in of the haggis, the Ulster Scots Folk orchestra and dancers, a top pipe band, Gillian Jones and the Scottish show band The Messengers.
Tickets cost £15 for two course dinner or £8 without dinner (Senior Citizens £6 without dinner). Contact John on 90 321766.