Big thank you from

Rule changes get backing from the Northern Ireland branch  

Pipe Bands by Mervyn McConnell

AT the recent annual general meeting of the Northern Ireland Branch of the RSPBA held in Lisburn City, some notices of motion and rule changes were put forward for discussion.

The first one, which was proposed by Trillick Pipe Band and explained by Jim Henderson, president of the Fermanagh Section, considered that the RSPBA could be best served through the organisation having a corporate identity.

That identity can be achieved through the establishment of the RSPBA as a company limited by guarantee.

This was carried unanimously.

The proposal from Altnaveigh Pipe Band, put forward by Pipe Major David Hanna, was that a snare drummer who is registered with a Grade 3B band may also be eligible to play as leading drummer with any novice juvenile band.

This was also approved.

The NI executive committee proposed that the remit of the Ulster solos committee be broadened to compile and maintain a database for all solo players wishing to compete in NI competitions, to be known as the Northern Ireland Society of Solo Pipers and Drummers.

This was carried unanimously.

Finally it was proposed by Field Marshal Montgomery Pipe Band that a pilot scheme for t h e World Championships be formulated on the basis of a two-day event with all the required qualification and selected finals taking place on the first day and the remaining finals on the second day. This was also carried.

All these notices will now have to be brought up at the annual general meeting of the Association to be held in Headquarters Glasgow next March.

It was also disclosed that the competition held last season in Portrush was one of the biggest ever held in the town with an estimated 25,000 people flooding into the resort.

Some consideration will have to be given now to finding the necessary parking space for all the visitors coming to the town.

In a report given from the Northern Ireland Piping School, the good news was that 85 pupils attend the Lisburn School with 40 at the Londonderry school.

This augurs well for the future of piping in Northern Ireland.

And finally such is the volume of work now having to be carried out in a voluntary capacity by the officials of the Northern Ireland branch, consideration will have to be given to appointing a full time worker to handle all the affairs of the Branch.

The 10th anniversary of the William Kennedy Festival will be launched on Friday 14 November at the Market Place Theatre, Armagh with the opening of an exhibition resulting from a year long collaboration between Belfast poet Gearoid MacLochlainn and Armagh artist John B. Vallely on the theme of `The Travelling Musicians'.

The exhibition will run through until 29 November and will then be transferred to the David Gallery in Dublin.

To mark the 10th anniversary, the Festival is presenting for the first time a concert devoted solely to the Highland pipes with both bands and solo performers.

This concert takes place on Wednesday 19 November in the Market Place Theatre and will feature the Vale of Atholl pipe band from Perthshire in Scotland and the local Armagh Killeen Pipe band with solo performances from Robert
Watt and Ross Ainslie.

The Vale of Atholl and Killeen pipe bands are two of the top concert bands and have a large repertoire of music they feature in their performances.

This should be an event well worth planning to attend. Booking information and further details can be had from the Armagh Pipers Club telephone 3751 1249.

It is with sadness that we record the death of Sidney Bell, a piper from Ballycoan Pipe band. The sympathy of the pipe band association is extended to all his family members.

Ulster Star