Big thank you from

Ryan and North Belfast drummers
bring home Cowal Highland titles 

Pipe Bands by Mervyn McConnell

DRUM Major Ryan Ferry and the drum corps of North Belfast Pipe Band were the only representatives from Ulster to win a Cowal Highland Championship title last Saturday at Dunoon, Scotland.

Playing in the junior section of the drum majors, Ryan retained the title he won last year and the year before. Ryan competes with Aughintober Pipe Band who are all justly proud of this young lad's success.

Ex world solo drumming champion, Leading Tip Bobby Rea, also retained the title he and his drummers from North Belfast Pipe Band won last season in Grade 3A. This was indeed a magnificent achievement for this veteran champion.

The Highland Games, which attract more than 3,500 competitors each year and around 30,000 spectators, are the most spectacular and influential in the world and provide a Mecca for enthusiasts and participants alike.

In Grade 1 the tussle continued between Field Marshal Montgomery Pipe band and The House of Edgar - Shotts & Dykehead.

Although Field Marshal claimed two first places in piping they were denied winning the top prize by their old challengers Shotts. Strathclyde Police took 3rd place and won the best drum corps.

It was also a good result for St.Laurence O'Toole band from Dublin when they took fifth placing.

The other bands from Northern Ireland who won prizes at the Cowal Championships were Cullybackey and Bleary who were second and third respectively in Grade 2; North Belfast who were third and winners of the best drum corps in Grade 3A; Hollymount who took fourth in Grade 313; and Castlerock who were fifth in 4A.

The final major event this year will be the European Championships, which will take place at Alden Biesen Castle Belgium on Saturday 13 September when over 90 bands will compete for the coveted titles.

The winners of the recent solo-piping event at the Ulster Championships were:

Under 14 section. Ist Joshua McKee. 2nd Elaine Campbell. 3rd G. Kees. 4th Aaron Osmar.

Under 16 section. 1st Jamie Gibson. 2nd Leigh Anderson. 3rd Philip Lewis. 4th Mairead Wilson. The solo adjudicator was Bobby Brannigan.


For those who love music of all kinds - Irish and Scottish - there will be an opportunity to join in the fun at the Portglenone Festival to take place this Saturday 6 September.

The big attraction in the pipe band scene will be the appearance of this year's Scottish champions - the Field Marshal Montgomery Pipe Band with Pipe Major Richard Parkes.

As well as music there will be singing and Scottish and Irish dancing.

The CD of the 2003 World Pipe Band Championships held at Glasgow Green Scotland in August will be available very soon.

This CD also contains the Grade One qualifying round, and orders can be placed now with Adrian Hoy, "Beat Street" music Store, 53-55 Station Road, Cullybackey. Telephone number 25 880210.

Results of the Cowal Championships.
Grade 1 House of Edgar-Shotts. 2nd F. M. Montgomery. 3rd Strathclyde Police (also best drums). 4th Boghall & Bathgate. 5th St. Laurence O'Toole. 6th Scottish Power.
Grade 2. 1st Clan Gregor (also best drums). 2nd Cullybackey. 3rd Bleary & District. 4th Dumbarton. 5th ASCO Buchan. 6th Denny & Dunnipace.
Grade 3A. 1st West Midlands Police. 2nd Lanarkshire. 3rd North Belfast (also best drums). 4th City of Amsterdam. 5th Antwerp. 6th Strathclyde Fire Brigade.
Grade 3B. 1st Oban. 2nd Turriff. 3rd Dunoon (also best drums). 4th Hollymount. 5th Inverness. 6th Arbroath.
Grade 4A. 1st Bo'ness. 2nd Williamwood. 3rd Linlithgow. 4th.Engineer Regiment.5th. Castlerock. 6th.Nairn.
Grade 4B. Ist. Kilsyth Thistle. 2nd.Stow. 3rd.Oldmeldrum. 4th Newmains & District. 5th Duns. 6th Nottingham Police.
Senior Drum Majors. 1st John Noble. 2nd Wm. Jordan. 3rd Brian Wilson. 4th Grant Craig. 5th Ian Young.
Juvenile. 1st Alan Morton. 2nd Jennifer Elvin. 3rd Barry Purcell. 4th Victoria Singer. 5th Paul Spence. Junior. 1st Ryan Ferry. 2nd Iona Burns. 3rd Caroline Clydesdale. 4th Andrew Symon. 5th Aimee Craig.

Ulster Star