Big thank you from

Minister's praise for champion bands  

Pipe Bands by Mervyn McConnell

PARLIAMENTARY Under-Secretary of State Angela Smith hosted a reception last Saturday at the Great Hall in Parliament Buildings to celebrate the winning performances of local bands in the 2002 World Championships held in Glasgow.

The Minister congratulated the pipers and drummers of the Field Marshal Montgomery Pipe band on becoming world champions in Grade 1 for the third time as well as Ballycoan Grade 2 champions and Killen Grade 4A champions.

Emphasising that interest in pipe bands and pipe band music in Northern Ireland crosses the community divide, Angela Smith said:

"While this can be seen as another manifestation of the strong historical and cultural links between the Province and Scotland, there is much more to it that that.

"The Pipe Band scene has always embraced both cultures here and it is also a thriving one south of the border. It is evident that this type of music not only transcends cultures, but also will not be constrained by national barriers.

"In recent years, the World Championships have featured bands from Japan and the Middle east and, in any year, there will be a host of competitors from all over Europe, Africa, New Zealand, and the USA and Canada.

And you can't get much more cross-cultural and international than that!"

She also praised the members of the Northern Ireland branch of the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association for their unstinting hard work and selfless dedication without which, she said, local bands would not enjoy such success.

The 16th Annual solo competition organised by Cullybackey Pipe band was held last Saturday in Cullybackey High School, and was well supported with a total of 110 entries.

This band is regarded as one of the forerunners in the promotion of piping and drumming with a special emphasis on the development of young pipers and drummers at all levels.

A total of 53 Achievement Certificates were awarded from the drum pad and practise chanter classes through to all entries in the juvenile sections. Cullybackey wish to thank all those who helped to make the day a success and also a special word of thanks to the local community for their continued financial support

Grade 3A Syerla Pipe Band and Grade 2 Howard Memorial Pipe Band are hosting a joint band concert on Friday 11th April in Dungannon Swifts Football Club starting at 8pm.

It will feature Syerla senior and junior bands, Sgt. Walker and the Howard Memorial.

This promises to be a feast of piping and drumming for all enthusiasts, and admission can be paid at the door.

The first of the 'Pipes and Drums' programme on Radio Ulster was last Sunday and featured the reigning world champions - the Field Marshal Montgomery Pipe Band.

Hosted by Tom Miller, next week's show will spotlight Strathclyde Police Pipe Band when they were under the leadership of Pipe Major Ian MacLellan who won the world title an amazing 12 times.

This Friday and Saturday 11 and 12 April will be the seventh annual Ulster Festival of Piping and Drumming held in Monkstown Community School, Doagh Road, Newtownabbey. Friday get under way at 7pm and continues on Saturday from 9.30am..

Results of Cullybackey Solos.
Novice Drum Pad 1st, Robert Thompson; 2nd, Jason Bell; 3rd, Richard Green.
Advanced Drum Pad 1st, Alvin McMullan; 2nd, Callum Gibson; 3rd, Aaron Stephens.
Novice Practice Chanter 1st, Neil Milliken; 2nd, Bradley Parker; 3rd, Rachael McFadden.
Advanced Chanter   1st, William Fisher; 2nd, Philip Lewis; 3rd, Jade Neely.
Juvenile Drumming 12-14   1st, Stephen Paynter; 2nd, Mark Featherstone; 3rd, John Beverland; 4th, Andrew McClelland.
Juvenile Piping Under 14   1st, Jemma Redmond; 2nd, Jonathan Lamberton; 3rd, Aaron Osmer. 
Juvenile Drumming 14-16 1st, Jonathan Irvine; 2nd, Jonathon Hoy; 3rd, Christopher McNicholl.
Juvenile Piping under 16    1st, Mairead Wilson; 2nd, Ryan McDowell; 3rd, Darren Milligan.
All of these competitors won Gold Achievement Awards as well. 
Junior Drumming   1st, Nigel Anderson; 2nd, William Glenholmes; 3rd, William Lenton.
Junior Piping   1st, Lynsey McNicholl; 2nd, Andrew Shilliday; 3rd, William Quinn.
Intermediate B Piping   1st, Graham Stirling; 2nd, Robert Black; 3rd, Lee Hannah.
Intermediate A Piping   1st, Andrew Carlisle; 2nd, Clive McFarland; 3rd, Glen Cupples.
Open Drumming   1st, Philip Bell; 2nd, Neil Ussher; 3rd, Gavin Noade.
Senior Piping   1st, Jonathan Greenlees; 2nd, Amos Gilmore; 3rd, Peter Dorman

Ulster Star