BANBRIDGE is gearing itself for a unique musical 'first' on Friday 28 March in Banbridge Leisure Centre.
This spectacular show entitled 'Piping Hot' is aimed at bringing together people of different creeds and cultures to celebrate, enjoy and better appreciate Northern Ireland's differing musical traditions.
It features a host of entertainment from Highland and Uillean piping, Lambeg and Bodhran drumming, Irish and Scottish dancing, whistle and flute through to harp, song, poem, and story.
Guests on the evening will include Brendan Monaghan, who is fronting the event, the current All Ireland Grade 3A champions - Banbridge Pipe band, Altnaveigh Memorial the Curran School of Dancing, Saval Clanrye Dance Troop from Newry and the Ulster-Scots orchestra.
Tickets for 'Piping Hot' are available from a number of outlets in the Banbridge area or contact Gary McDonald on 4062 6543 (Home) or mobile 07802 505611.
Monkstown Mossley Pipe band are hosting a concert on Friday 28 March in Ballyclare Secondary School commencing at 7.45pm.
The show will feature Joe Cauley compere and comedian, Sharon Moore (Singer) Alan Crawford (multi-talented instrumentalist) as well as both bands from Monkstown Mossley and other supporting artists. Admission is £5.
Friday 11 and Saturday 12 April are the dates for the 7th annual Ulster Festival of Piping and Drumming in Monkstown Community School, Doagh Road, Newtownabbey.
Competitions start at 7pm on the Friday for all juvenile piping and drumming grades with all others continuing on Saturday.
The adjudicators for piping will include Donald MacPhee, an accomplished soloist and gold medal winner; Ian McLellan MBE, former Pipe Major with Strathclyde Police and Stuart Sheddon, another gold medal winner.
Local adjudicators will be Richard Parkes, Pipe Major of Grade 1 world champions Field Marshal Montgomery, David Caldwell, former Pipe Major of Eden Pipe band, Harry Stevenson, former Pipe Major of the Armstrong Memorial Pipe Band from Belfast and Norman Dodds piping tutor, who has coached some of the best pipers in Ireland.
The drumming adjudicators will be former double world solo champion Bobby Rea; Barry Wilson Leading Tip with Scottish Power; Brian Purves drum sergeant of Chivas Regal Pipe band; Terry Smyth and Fred Noade.
Entries close on Saturday 29 Match with Solos Secretary Samuel Lawson, 8 Annaghanoon Road, Waringstown, Craigavon BT66 7RZ Tel no. 3882 0374.
In a letter received last week from Pipe Major Winston Pollock regarding the recent article about the Quinn Memorial Pipe band, he writes "Yes, congratulations to the mighty Quinn for an excellent 2002. However the best year in the band's history was most definitely 1965 when the band under Pipe Major Jim Gordon and Leading drummer David Bolton was crowned Grade 1 All Ireland Champions in the football grounds Banbridge on 3 July of that year."
Winston concludes his letter: "The triumph of the Quinn band was built on the very significant foundation work of Sloan Bolton who to this day remains an avid supporter of the Quinn Memorial Pipe band."
Pipe Major Harry Bloomfield would also include the valuable dedication and long service of many of its members - David Paul, David McGinnis, Rvan Millen, Winston Mateer, Winston Mateer Sen. David Linton and Ivor Bolton.
To celebrate all the successes of the Quinn Memorial, the band will be holding a concert in Garvagh High School on Thursday 3 April at 8pm.
They will be performing their new medley along with last year's winning selection and will be accompanied by keyboard and drum kit.
Also on the programme will be Robert Watt and Emma Culbert with compere Robert Ramsey.
Tickets for this Evening of Traditional Music are available from all band members or by calling Alex on 295 40510, and admission is by ticket only.
Finvoy Pipe Band will be holding a concert on 10 April in Ballymoney High School commencing at 8pm.
The band had a fantastic year last year gaining promotion to Grade 3B. For further information about tickets please contact Pipe Major Chris Getty 028 2766880.
Saintfield Pipe Band will be holding their popular Mini bands competition on Saturday 19 April in Ballygowan Presbyterian Church Hall commencing at 1pm.
This is the longest running Mini bands event in the British Isles and Secretary Wendy McKibben is the lady to contact for entries.
Her telephone number is 028 9752 8995.
Adjudicators will be Ian Wood for piping and Ciaran Mordaunt for drumming.