Big thank you from

New, chairman Kevin takes helm at RSPBA  

Pipe Bands by Mervyn McConnell

KEVIN Reilly was elected to the post of Chairman of the Royal Scottish Pipe Band association at the recent Annual General Meeting in Glasgow.

In his first letter to all band members and supporters he thanked the outgoing chairman George Ussher from Ballinderry for all the work that he had done over his two and a half years as Chairman. He also wished George all success in his new position of President of the Association.

Kevin will host the first major in Dumbarton, and hopes that the membership will feel that he is approachable and will do his best to get satisfactory answers, if at all possible, to any problems they should have.

He finishes his letter by saying that in his opinion the RSPBA is the best organisation of its type in the world and hopes that everyone will work together to keep it at the top.

He offers all bands his best wishes for the coming season and looks forward to meeting everyone.

The first heat of the Piping Quartets Knockout Competition was held at the end of March at the National Piping Centre, Scotland with five bands competing for the three places in the final.

First place went to the David Urquhart Travel band, second to Strathclyde Police and Lothian Borders Police took the third placing. The adjudicator was Malcolm McKenzie from Glasgow.

Also playing but not getting through to the finals were Boghall & Bathgate Caledonia and the Dumfries & Galloway Police.

Each band had to play a March, strathspey and reel and then return later to perform a medley.

The second heat of the contest is scheduled for 25 April with Scottish Power, Dysart & Dundonald, Vale of Atholl, Glasgow Skye, Clan Gregor and the 52nd Lowland Regiment. The finals will be held on 30 May.

Two of last year's world champion drum majors were honoured at the reception on Saturday 5 April hosted by Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State Angela Smith MP in the Great Hall in Parliament Buildings.


Alistair Patterson, who won the senior world championships, and Ryan Ferry, who took the junior championship, were congratulated on their superb victories .

Two solo pipers - Lynsey McNichol, who plays with  Bleary & District Pipe Band, and Ashley McMichael of Ravara band played a selection of tunes for all the guests.

George Ussher, chairman of the Northern Ireland branch of the RSPBA, handed over a plaque from the Branch to the parents of Minister Angela Smith, whose mother was a former piper in a Scottish band.

Congratulated at the reception as well were the pipers and drummers of the Field Marshal Montgomery Pipe band, Ballycoan and Killen who were all world champions in their grades.

Saintfield Mini Bands will take place at Ballygowan Presbyterian Church Hall this Saturday, 19 April, commencing at lpm.


At the moment there are 20 entries and the adjudicators will be Ian Wood for piping and Ciaran Mordaunt for drumming.

ON Saturday 26 April the unique Full bands competition organised by Mervyn Herron, Secretary_ of the Co. Down section, will take place in Banbridge.

This is the only one of its kind in the world and there are 38 bands entered including five in Grade 2.

The adjudicators - two piping, one ensemble, one drumming - for this event are Dixie Ingram, Ian Wood, Denver Cardwell and Ciaran Mordaunt.

The Northern Ireland Branch of the RSPBA send their deepest sympathy to the parents of the late Jeffrey Steele who died very suddenly on 6 -April.

His father Sandy is a well known drumming adjudicator, _and a long time member of Dromara Pipe Band.

Also deepest sympathy is extended to the family of the late Bertie Campbell who also died recently. Bertie was a well known figure in the piping world and was a bass drummer with Gransha band.

Ulster Star