Big thank you from

Changes proposed at annual general meeting of branch  

Pipe Bands by Mervyn McConnell

THE 53rd Annual General Meeting of the Northern Ireland Branch of the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association will take place in the Bridge Community Centre in Lisburn on Saturday 11 October at 10.30am for l lam start.
The following are the Notices of Motion to be discussed:

1) That a pilot scheme for the World Championships be formulated on the basis of a two day event with all the required and selected finals taking place on the first day and the remaining finals on the second day. Proposed by Field Marshal Montgomery Pipe Band.
2) The RSPBA can be best served through having a corporate identity. That can be achieved through the establishment of the RSPBA as a Company Limited by Guarantee. Proposed by Trillick Pipe Band.
3) A side drummer who is registered with a Grade 3B band may also be eligible to register and play as Leading Drummer with any Grade 4B band, any Novice Juvenile band, any Juvenile Band and any Grade 4A band. Proposed by Altnaveigh Pipe Band.
4) The remit of the Ulster Solos Committee be broadened. Proposed by the Executive Committee.
It is in the interest of all members to attend this important meeting.

The Piper of the Year invitation solo competition will take place on Saturday 11 October in the Adair Arms Hotel, Ballymena where 16 of the top solo players in Ireland will compete for the coveted title.

This event is promoted by the Northern Ireland Piping Society, which celebrates its 25th anniversary this year. The two adjudicators will be Pipe Major Jimmy Banks, who will adjudicate the Piobaireachd and then join along with Pipe Major Brian Donaldson for the March Strathspey and Reel.

Sam Hodgen from Andante Drums Rathfriland is once again the sponsor for this year's World Solo Drumming Championships, which will take place on 25 October. The venue is the recently refurbished Bathgate Academy.

Northern Ireland drummers usually do well at this event and there will be fierce competitiveness in all grades.

Hopefully a world title will be brought back home.

A date for your diary comes from the Mid Ulster Drumming School who will be presenting a concert in the New Year featuring the Grade 1 Scottish Power Pipe Band and solo piper Stuart Liddell.

It will take place either the last Saturday in April or the first Saturday in May 2004 in Maghera High School. There will also be performances from the drummers of the school.

For further information please contact Gary Smyth on 79645799. The Co. Down section of the RSPBA is hoping to soon launch a new Drum Majors class to be held in Banbridge. These classes will be managed by fully qualified adjudicators.

For further information please contact Mervyn Herron, Co. Down Secretary, by telephone 40624849. Mervyn can also be contacted about the new 2004 Pipe Band Calendar, which is in the process of printing at the moment.

These calendars will contain colour photographs of winning bands and drum majors this past season as well as information on dates of the forthcoming competitions for 2004.

These calendars are very popular and early ordering is advised as last year they sold out in a very short space of time.

The 2004 Major Championships will be held in the following venues:

Scottish at Dumbarton on 22 May; British in Turriff on 12 June; European in Lisburn City, Co. Down on 31 July; Worlds on Saturday 14 August and the final championships of the Cowal Highland Games in Dunoon on Saturday 28 August.

Grade 1 bands should note that qualifying for the Worlds will be the top six bands from the first three _ championships and not two as in other years.

Ulster Star