Big thank you from

Large crowd gathers to enjoy Seven Towers solos  

Pipe Bands by Mervyn McConnell

THE Seven Towers Solo Piping championships, which took place last Saturday in St. Patrick's Barracks, Ballymena, attracted a large entry of pipers and a good attendance of spectators.

Unfortunately this competition was cancelled last year due to the Foot and Mouth epidemic, but this year's event was a resounding success.

Novice Chanter-1st M. Gregor. 2nd G. Walker. 3rd N. Milliken. 4th. L. Anderson.
Advanced Chanter. lst. R. McDowell. 2nd. J. Duke. 3rd. R. McCutcheon. 4th. C. Cromie.
Piping Juvenile. 1st. W. Quinn. 2nd. K. Logan. 3rd. S. Erwin.4th. L. McWhirter.
Junior. lst. L. McNicholl. 2nd. M. Redmond. 3rd. A. Shilliday. 4th. K. Rogers.
Intermediate B. 1st. W. Evans. 2nd. G. Stirling. 3rd. G. Dempsey. 4th. A. Ferguson.
Intermediate. A. 1st. G. Cupples.
Senior. 1st. R. Watt. 2nd. A. Dunne. 3rd. S. Warren. 4th. J. Greenlees,
Senior Jig. 1st. R. Watt. 2nd. A. Dunne. 3rd. S. Warren. 4th. B. Greeves.

At the recent Leapoughs concert in Dromore High School Hubert Greer, a member of Leapoughs Pipe band for 50 years and the organiser for over 20 years of these very successful annual concerts, was honoured for his dedicated and long service.

Chairman Gareth Ingram outlined Hubert's exemplary work in and for the band, and President Will Humphries made a presentation in appreciation to him from all the band members. A bouquet of flowers was also presented to his wife Anne.

Two other men have also reached their half-century of service, this time with Upper Crossgar Pipe band.

Wilby Hanna and Derek Mack, two well-known figures on the piping scene, received presentations at the annual open night held recently by the band. Their wives - Anne and Sadie - also received bouquets of flowers

Sgt Walker Memorial Pipe band is holding a concert and 'Stew Dance' in the Bonte Lodge Birches on Friday 22 March at 8pm.

Artists appearing at the concert include the host band, Sgt White Flute Band, Syerla Drum Corps, Alan McBride, Killeen Pipe band as well as a Drum Majors Display team. Music is by Chapter 1 and admission is £5. For tickets please contact Andrew Chambers 028 87 789457.

Pearl Percussion is holding a Promotion Night and Workshop in Monkstown Community School on 22 March at 8pm.

There will be exhibitions from the drum corps of Simon Fraser University Pipe Band from Vancouver, and Ravara Pipe band. Admission is free.

The following evening the full band of the Grade 1 World champions Simon Fraser will be appearing in concert at the Waterfront Hall Belfast.

Helle Thorning-Schmidt, a Euro MP who had proposed a new noise law to have bagpipes banned, did a U-turn last week

After receiving hundreds of calls from angry supporters, she withdrew her proposals.

She said she was never against bagpipes and really enjoyed the music, which was beautiful. But you could seriously damage your health if you stood beside a piper for many hours.

Scots Tory MEP Struan Stevenson, who backed the fight to save the pipes, was delighted. He said the result was a victory for common sense. Ian Embelton, the Chief Executive of the RSPBA and Jimmy Banks of the Piping Centre in Glasgow, were also celebrating the news.

New York, which will welcome 10,000 pipers to the Scottish Power sponsored Tunes of Glory parade on 6 April, also sent their support.

Rudy Giuliani, former New York mayor and honorary chieftain at the Tartan Day parade, said: "The Scottish Power Tunes of Glory parade is going to be a wonderful event. We are more than happy to welcome bagpipes here.

Ulster Star