THE Northern Ireland Piping and Drumming School was founded in 1980 by its current Director - Mr. Sam Bailie.
The school carries out all education functions and requirements of the Northern Ireland Branch of the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association, but its courses are not exclusively for pipe band members.
Ages of students range from 7 to 70 with the majority being within the 16-25-age band.
The school also offers help for pipers and drummers wanting to use their knowledge and skills to gain the General Certificate of Education or The Duke of Edinburgh Award.
The 2004 sessions kick off with a lecture entitled `Piobaireachd in Ireland' and will be taken by Alan McDonald. It will be held in the Piping and Drumming School at Laurelhill Community College, Lisburn on Friday 16 January at 7.30pm. Here the connection of Piobaireachd with Ireland will be explored together with the historic links between Ireland and Scotland in relation to the ancient music of the day.
Then there will be a Piobaireachd workshop for beginners held on Saturday 17 January from 2.00 to 5.30pm, under the instruction of Norman Dodds.
The next and final class will be on 21 February, again at the same time and venue, and by the end of all four sessions participants should be capable of playing a complete Piobaireachd.
Andrew Carlisle will be the instructor for a Computer Literacy in Bagpipe music session to take place on Wednesday 21 January with a follow up on Wednesday 11 February. Both classes are from 7.30 to 9.30pm.
A weekend of advanced Piobaireachd master classes will be held on Saturday 10 and Sunday 11 January from 10.30am to 4.30pm, with the final session on Saturday 14 and Sunday 15 February from 2pm to 5.30pm.
These classes will be taken by visiting instructor Andrew Wright H.N.C. RSPBA adjudicator.
Drummers are not left out, as an enhanced drumming class, to be taken by Gordon Brown and Tom Brown, will be held on Friday 30 January from 7.30 to 9.30pm, and on Saturday 31 January from 2.00.to 5.30pm.
All aspects of snare drumming will be demonstrated and participants will be expected to try out the techniques presented.
The sessions are designed for those who already have achieved a fair standard of playing and have experience in, or are on the verge of, competition work.
For further details of all these classes please contact Sam Bailie at the Piping and Drumming School on telephone 9048 5436.
A very successful party was held last Saturday when the recently formed Banbridge Drum Majors celebrated their end of term Christmas party in Banbridge Bowling Club.
About fifty people attended, including drum majors, their parents and friends, as well as President of the Northern Ireland Branch Ronnie Crawford, vice-chairman Winston Pinkerton, Councillor Wilfred McFadden, and class organiser Mervyn Herron.
The Seven Towers Pipe Band would like to thank everyone who supported them when they entertained the shoppers recently outside the Fairhill Shopping Centre.
The Officers and members of the Northern Ireland Branch of the RSPBA' extend their deepest sympathy to George Ussher, Chairman of the Branch, on the recent death of his sister June, and to her husband Donald, son Christopher and daughters Lyndsay and Nicola.