Big thank you from

Field Marshal show they're the best  

Pipe Bands by Mervyn McConnell

FIELD Marshal Montgomery Pipe Band with Pipe Major Richard Parkes were in outstanding form and in a class of their own when they recorded the final 'Touch of Tartan' on BBC Radio Ulster recently. Especially exciting was their performance of a selection of waltzes, which were unusual and very musical.

Many of their pieces were from their new CD entitled 'Unplugged' which was recorded live at Glasgow Royal Concert Hall.

The band showed the listeners just why they deserve to be acclaimed as the best pipe band in the world. The listing of the adjudicators for the five major championships in 2003 has just been released. It allocates a good number of judges from Northern Ireland, both in piping and drumming

At the Scottish championship in May there will be four from Ulster over the five grades. They are Harry Russell 4A and 413; Harry Stevenson Grade 2 and David McConnell and Gordon Parkes in Grade 1.

The British Championship on 21 June will have David McConnell Grade 4A and 413; Ian Wood and Sandy Steele Grade 3A and 313; Denver Cardwell Grade 2 and Harry Stevenson Grade 1.

The 2003 World championship adjudicators include Harry Stevenson Grade 413; Ian Wood Grade 4A; David McConnell Grade 313; Denver Cardwell Grade 3A; Leslie Geddis Grade 2 and in the Grade 1 qualifying Billy Dunlop.

The Cowal Highland Gathering, which takes place on 30 August, will have Billy Dunlop Grade 4A; Harry Russell Grade 2; and Ian Wood and Denver Cardwell Grade One.

The final major event will be the European championships, which will be held in Belgium on 13 September.

The adjudicators for this will be Denver Cardwell Grade 4A and 413; Gordon Parkes Grade 3A and 3B and Sandy Steel Grade 2.

Ricky Newell is the new Pipe Major of Grade 3A Leapoughs Pipe Band from Dromore.

Ricky is well known in the pipe band world and comes with a wealth of experience. He is looking for experienced pipers and drummers, or anyone willing to learn, to come and join the band which meets on Monday and Thursday evenings. Ricky can be contacted on 92 638442.

Grade 2 world champions Ballycoan Pipe band are the guests at the annual Burns Night in the Europa Hotel on Friday 31 January 2003.

Organised by South Belfast Cultural Society the evening will also include the Ulster-Scots orchestra and dancers and the Scottish show band The Messengers.
Tickets cost £15 including two course dinner or £8 without dinner and can be purchased by contacting John Dean on 90 321766.

Scott Rhynas has resigned as Pipe Major of Grade 1 Bucksburn & District Pipe band due to work commitments. He is the latest in a series of leaders of Grade 1 bands to give up their posts because of demands on time.

Already the 78th Fraser Highlanders, Toronto Police, Glasgow Skye, Field Marshal Montgomery and Scottish Power have lost leading drummers. Bucksburn was founded in 1947 and is one of the oldest bands in Scotland.

Scottish Power Pipe band left for Rome last week to take part in the Vatican Christmas Concert which was televised on Italian television.

They appeared along with musicians such as Bryan Ferry, Delores O'Riordan, Lionel Ritchie and the Corrs. The band will also conduct a weekend workshop with the City of Rome pipe band while in Italy.

Ulster Star