Big thank you from

Celebrating 80 years of piping at Tullylagan  

Pipe Bands by Mervyn McConnell

TULLYLAGAN Pipe Band celebrated the 80th anniversary of the formation of their band this year. Named after the area from which it originated it has become one of the best-known and well-respected bands in piping circles.

Their story began in 1923 when a group of men from the Ulster Special Constabulary, based just outside Cookstown, decided to form a band. That day marked the dawn of a new era in the pipe band fraternity for that was the day Tullylagan was born.

The founder members donated a fraction of their wages to pay for instruments and uniforms, while committing their free time to learning piping and drumming.

It was during the 1930,s that Tullylagan entered the competition arena and under the management of Tommy Green went on to win practically every contest they entered, including a total of six Ulster Championships.

In the summer of 1962, in Balmoral Grounds Belfast, the band, then in Grade 3, became the first band from outside Scotland to lift a World Championship trophy. This achievement put the name of Tullylagan down in history and despite all other victories, this one was, and still is, the most coveted.

The band moved from success to success under the Warnock family and in the early 1980's David Chesney took over the reins. He led the band to becoming All Ireland Champions and Champion of Champions in Grade 3, while the drum corps won the coveted world drumming title in 1985.

For some reason the band ceased all contest activity until 1993 when the young David Trainor was installed as Pipe Major with the able assistance of Geoffrey Hamilton as Leading Tip. There followed many successes under this leadership, which saw tire band promoted to Grade 3.

Now competing in Grade 2 under the leadership of Pipe Major Warren Robinson, Tullylagan is once again thinking and preparing for the new season ahead.

The main aspirations of everyone associated with the band are the same today, as they were all those years ago, to keep Tullylagan at the top, were it belongs.

The annual Veteran drumming evening organised by Upper Crossgare Pipe band will be held on Saturday 14th February in the Abbey Lodge Hotel Downpatrick starting at 7.30pm.

This is always a popular fun night for all the golden oldies, in drumming and competition is stiff in all sections, but the entertainment value is first class.

For further details please contact Wilby Hanna telephone 028 9753 2448.

Two evenings of Breton music were held recently by the Northern Ireland Piping and Drumming School in the Belfast Campus York Street Belfast.

These were taken by Patrick Molard from France, and all the features of Breton music, its history since the second world war, its peculiar aspects, modes and forms of performance were presented and demonstrated.

Participants also had the opportunity to play some Breton music on the bagpipes at the close of the session.

Touch of Tartan will be returning to Radio Ulster on Sunday, December 21 just after the 2 o'clock news.

This successful show with the ever popular Tommy Millar will continue for eight weeks and will feature the top bands from both Grade 1 and Grade 2.

Ulster Star