TWO men from Northern Ireland will head up the David Urquhart Travel Pipes and Drums band from Scotland in the new 2004 season.
Re-elected Pipe major Don Bradford, originally from Aughnacloy, and newly elected Leading Tip Gary Corkin from Co. Armagh will be the men at the top of this successful Grade 1 outfit. The band finished eight at this year's world pipe band championships.
Gary led the drum section of the Royal Ulster Constabulary, now defunct, for some years winning seventeen major championship titles, including the world drum corps title in 2000 in Grade One.
Last August the drum corps of the RUC produced a unique book containing 40 drum scores, some of which they won major titles with. Proceeds of the book, which is still available, went to the RUC Widows Association.
Tickets for the St. Andrews night gala concert held in the Ulster Hall last Saturday were in such a demand that an extra 150 tickets had to be printed.
On stage was Scottish Power with Pipe Major Roddy MacLeod, and Field Marshal Montgomery with Pipe Major Richard Parkes. Opening the show was Killadeas from Co.Fermanagh, the reigning world champions both in piping and drumming in Grade 3A.
There was a presentation from George Ussher, Chairman of the Northern Ireland Branch of the RSPBA to their Pipe Major Brendan Murphy and Leading Drummer Stephen Young for the band's amazing success over the whole of the 2003 season.
Also entertaining the enthusiastic crowd were the Edinburgh Tattoo Highland ceilidh dancers Rab and Mac (comedy and craic) and compere Billy Forsyth. Congratulations to the Northern Ireland Branch on a very successful evening, and many are asking for more of the same in the future.
If you couldn't get along to the St.Andrew's Night Gala then
perhaps you could make a note in your diary for the
annual concert held by the Mid-Ulster Drumming School which will take place on Saturday, April 24 2004 in Maghera High School.
Guest band will be Scottish Power under the leadership of Pipe Major Roddy MacLeod, and guest solo piper Stuart Liddell from Inverary.
There was also big praise for the William Kennedy Festival event held in Armagh recently. A whole evening was devoted to Scottish Bagpipes and featured the Vale of Atholl and Killeen Pipe Bands with guest solo artists Ross Ainslie and Robert Watt.
The Belvoir Independent Drum Major's class, which will be continuing each Saturday in January and February 2004, will be holding their Annual Display on Friday, March 5. Their special guest will be John Noble from West Lothian, the 12 times world champion senior drum major, and who has lifted other major championships titles as well.
John will also be taking a workshop in Belvoir Parish Church Hall on Saturday, March 6 from 1 to 5 pm and this will be open to all drum majors.
This is one event every drum major should plan to attend. Touch of Tartan' will be returning to Radio Ulster on Sunday 21st December just after the 2.00 o,clock news.
This successful show with the ever-popular Tommy Millar will continue for eight weeks and will feature the top bands from both Grade 1 and Grade 2.