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Field Marshal to feature in St. Andrew's Night Gala  

Pipe Bands by Mervyn McConnell

FIELD Marshal Montgomery Pipe Band, champion of champions in Grade 1 this season, will be one of the star attractions at the St. Andrew's Night Gala concert, organised by the Northern Ireland Branch on Saturday 29 November in the Ulster Hall.

They will be joined by the brilliant Scottish Power pipe band from Glasgow along with the Edinburgh School of Highland dancers.

As tickets are only £5 this should be an event not to be missed.

Ticket information can be obtained from Mervyn Herron on 40 624849.

After the pipe band competition season has finished the time for holding the Annual General Meeting of bands commences. It is a time that bands take stock of their pipers and drummers and plan for the New Year ahead.

Recently North Belfast Pipe band, one of the few Belfast based bands in existence, held their meeting to discuss and plan the way forward for next season.

The band appointed Jackie Moore as Pipe Major and his brother Billy Moore as Pipe Sergeant.

Their Leading Tip is Bobby Rea, ex-world drumming champion.

The band had a terrific end to their 2003 season by winning the drumming and been placed third overall in Grade 3A at the Cowal Highland Games in Dunoon.

The Seven Towers Pipe Band held their Annual General Meeting recently in Ballymena. There was a full turnout of members and supporters and all 22 trophies won last season were on display, including the two for Champion of Champions in both piping and drumming.

Much credit was given to Pipe Major David Reid and Leading Tip Michael Cathcart for all their dedication and hard work last year which earned the band promotion to Grade 3B.

The band has a unique Pipe Major in David Reid, as he is the only man in Ireland who has won the All Ireland championship title playing one year as a drummer and the next year as a piper with McNeillstown Pipe band.

The band plans to travel to four of the five majors next year as well as all the local competitions.

Northern Caledonia Pipe Band based in Newtownabbey are looking for experienced and learner pipers and drummers.

The band competes in Grade 3B under Pipe Major Sammy Todd and Leading Tip Alistair McCartan. The practices arc on Tuesday and Thursday evenings in Mossley Orange Hall.

For further information please contact Pipe Major Sammy Todd on 90 801459.

Here are some dates worth noting this month for the William Kennedy Festival, which is taking place in Armagh.

Sunday 16 November in Armagh City Hotel at 8pm there will be a concert featuring Altan, Lunasa, Robert Watt (champion solo piper) and Sruth na Maoile.

Wednesday 19 November in the Market Place Theatre, again at 8pm, there will be a whole evening of Scottish Bagpipes featuring the Vale of Atholl and Killeen Pipe Bands with soloists Ross Ainslie and Robert Watt.

And on Saturday 22 November at 8pm a world-piping concert will take place in Armagh City Hotel and will feature a host of talented players including Robert Watt and Scottish piper Fred Morrison. Information on all these events can be obtained by telephoning 37511248, and full details of the 10 day festival can be viewed on website -

Belvoir Drum Majors held their Annual General Meeting recently, which was well attended.

Elected to office were the following: Jeffrey Dickson Chairman, David Clydesdale Vice-Chairman and Mrs Margaret Donnon treasurer. Ronnie Davidson remains the secretary with Alicia Dickson the class instructor.

In the New Year the class will be organising an Open Day and Workshop seminar with Drum Major John Noble who has won the world championship title twelve times. The date has yet to be confirmed.

The Northern Ireland Branch Meeting of the RSPBA will take place in the Bridge Community Centre on Saturday 29 November commencing at 2pm.

The Veteran Drumming Contest, originally to be held on 29 November, has been postponed and will now take place on 14 February 2004 in the Abbey Lodge Hotel Downpatrick.

Ulster Star