Big thank you from

First event of the 2003 season set for Saturday  

Pipe Bands by Mervyn McConnell

ON Saturday, 1 March, the Seven Towers solo piping competition will take place at St. Patrick's Barracks Ballymena commencing at 1pm.

This is the first competition of the new 2003 season and there is a good entry of competitors, including four senior, seven intermediate, 13 junior and 1 l juvenile.

Adjudicators will be Willie McCallum from Scotland and Bobby Brannigan from Belfast.

Qn 15 March the Ulster Piping and Drumming Quartets will take place in Ballynahinch High School commencing at 1 pm. There is an entry of 24 and for the first time drumming quartets will be included.

In charge of the drumming will be Sandy Steele and for the piping Richard Parkes.

'Trophy Officer Mervyn Mayes has requested that all bands return their trophies at this event and section officers will be on hand to receive their trophies.
A Drum Majors Seminar will be held on Saturday 22 March in Dromore High School from 10am-1pm. . Everyone is welcome.

All bands are notified that a registration tent will be in operation at all local competitions to be held in Northern Ireland from the beginning of this season. All bands must register on arrival at the start of the contest.

Lydney McNicholl from Comber, who pipes with Grade 2 Bleary & District Pipe Band, had a successful day out when she competed at the recent competition for under 18s at Glasgow's Piping Centre.

She secured two seconds in the Piobaireachd and the jig sections.

This event was judged by Angus McClelland and Pipe Major Jimmy Banks.

Lynsey was back at the Piping Centre last Saturday where she competed at the Duncan Johnston Memorial for under 18s.

This is the last chance to attend the Annual General Meeting to be held at Headquarters on Saturday 8 March.

Delegates will leave Belfast on Friday 7 March at approximately 5pm : and return on Sunday in the afternoon.

Secretary Lorraine McVeigh would remind all bands they must be registered for the 2003 season with Headquarters. You can contact Lorraine on 97521657 or 07808 761623.

The last Branch Meeting before the start of this year's competitions will be held as usual in the Bridge Community Centre, Lisburn on Saturday 29 March commencing at 2pm.

Kilkenny Castle will no longer be the venue for the All Ireland Championships held alternate years between the North and South of Ireland.

The IPBA are looking for new sponsorship and a new venue for this event. Let's hope that they find somewhere a lot more convenient for the Northern Ireland bands to travel to.

The 2003 All Ireland will take place in Newcastle, Co. Down where, as well as the pipe band championships, a family fun day is also planned.

It will be held on Saturday 5 July from 12 noon at Donard Park where over 60 bands will compete to take the coveted All Ireland trophy.

The visitor information leaflet for the new 2003 season is now available. Done in colour this attractive leaflet gives all the pipe band and drum major contest dates and venues for the year.

Anyone requesting free copies of these for distribution in hotels, leisure centres and tourist offices please contact Mervyn Herron on 43-723635.

The European Pipe Band Championships, which will take place in Belgium on Saturday 13 September at Alden Biesen Castle, will receive sponsorship money to allow bands to travel to the event.

They should receive no less than £400 up to £900 depending on the number of bands entered for the - championship.

Ulster Star