Big thank you from

Field Marshal Montgomery get off to a flyer  

Pipe Bands by Mervyn McConnell

THE Fifth Festival of Piping and Drumming organised by the Malahide Pipe Band was held last Saturday at Malahide Castle with forty bands from all over Ireland competing for major prize wins.

This was the first outdoor event of the season and many spectators gathered in the sunshine to enjoy the spectacle and colour of the pipe bands and drum majors.

It was a clean sweep for Grade 1  when they gave a magnificent display of piping and drumming under their Pipe Major Richard Parkes and Leading Tip Andrew Scullion to take the top two first places.

In Grade 2 Upper Crossgare had a brilliant start to their season when they won first prize in piping under Pipe Major Trevor Connor. Ballycoan under their new Leading Tip won best drum corps.

First place in Grade 3 went to Lord Edward's Own from the South of Ireland with Pipe Major C. Murphy and best drum corps was won by Londonderry band Tullintrain under Leading Tip Ian Hetherington.

It was a double win for Co. Tyrone band Aughintobe with Pipe Major A. Ferry when they won both piping and drumming in Grade 4.

The final Fifth grade win went to Co. Down band Gransha from outside Dromore, under their Pipe Major W. Anderson.

The Northern Ireland Piping and Drumming School held their graduation ceremony in Magee University on Wednesday 8 May.

The provost of the university Mr J. Allen (BSc.PhD.C.BIOL.F.I.BIOL.) presented 102 certificates to pupils who had attended the Piping and Drumming School there since October 2001.

The deputy Mayor of Derry was also present at this prestigious event.

Mr Sam Bailie gave an account of the school's progress in piping and drumming and Pipe Major Denver Cardwell, instructor, introduced a complete pipe band drawn from the school whilst Victoria Cochrane, also an instructor, introduced a number of first year children playing music on the practice chanters.

The band gave a very innovative rendering of Highland Cathedral into which Drum Major Gary Smyth introduced a magnificent drum effect with a corps of pupils.

The Chairman of the Northern Ireland Branch Mr John Crozier closed what could only be described as a magical occasion.

The first of this year's five majors is the Scottish Championships which will be held in Dumbarton on Saturday, 18 May.

Several bands from Northern Ireland will be travelling over for this event.

This will be followed by the Co. Fermanagh competition in Enniskillen on Saturday 25 May. The adjudicators are David McConnell, Ian Woods, Sandy Steele and Billy Dunlop. Forty-three bands have entered for these championships - nine in Grade 2 - nine in Grade 3A - eight in Grade 3B - twelve in Grade 4A and five in Grade 4B.

Results of Malahide Festival. 
Grade 5: 1st Gransha; 2nd St.Lawrence Howth; 3rd Corpus Christi (also best drums).
Grade 4: 1st Aughintober (also best drums); 2nd St. Patricks Bandon; 3rd Altnaveigh.
Grade 3: 1st Lord Edwards Own; 2nd Arklow; 3rd Tullintrain (also best drums).
Grade 2: 1st Upper Crossgare; 2nd Ballycoan (also best drums); 3rd Ballinderry Bridge.
Grade 1: 1st Field Marshal (also best drums); 2nd St. Laurence O'Toole; 3rd Ravara.

Invitational solo piping. (held on Friday 10 May in Malahide)

1st Robert Watt
2nd Gary Watterson
3rd A. Tully
4th J. Revilles.

Ulster Star