BANBRIDGE District Council are delighted with the news that Banbridge town will be host to the European Pipe Band Championships in 2005.
The Co. Down town hosted the British Championships in 2001 and the organisers, The Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association, were so impressed with the organisation and facilities of that event they recommended Banbridge for the Europeans.
Members of the council are pleased the town has been selected for another major event and the RSPBA in Scotland has been promised all the co-operation necessary to ensure the success of the Championships.
The Co. Fermanagh Championships, the first of the local outdoor competitions for 2003, will take place at Celtic park Enniskillen on Saturday 31 May, commencing at 12.45pm, when 37 bands will be competing for top prizes.
There will be four in Grade 4B, eight in 4A, ten in 3B, eight in 3A, five in Grade 2 and two in Grade 1.
On Saturday 7 June the Co. Antrim Championships will be held in Ahoghill village commencing at 12 noon.
The Mid Ulster Championships in Coolnafrankey School Grounds, Cookstown will follow on Saturday 14 June.
The second of this year's five major competition will be the British Championships in Pitlochry, Scotland on Saturday 21 June.
The final section organised event will be the Co. Down Championships on Saturday 28 June in Banbridge Academy Grounds.
Three times world champions Field Marshal Montgomery Pipe band
will appear in concert in the Burnavon Arts
and Cultural Centre, Cookstown on Saturday 7 June at 8pm.
Fresh from their success in winning the Scottish Pipe Band Championships in Dumbarton, the band will perform on stage under the direction of Pipe Major Richard Parkes and new Leading Tip Keith Orr.
The concert is being organised by the Matt Boyd Memorial Pipe Band, and tickets are available from the Burnavon Booking office 86-769949.
If anyone missed the recent concert by the Strathclyde Police Pipe Band, which was held in Maghera High School and organised by Gary Smyth and the Mid- Ulster Drumming School, then they will be pleased to know a video has been made of the event and should be on sale shortly.
The concert featured not only the Strathclyde Police under Pipe Major Jimmy Warke and Lending Tip Eric Ward but solo piper Stuart Liddell.
The drum corps of the Strathclyde Police were successful in winning the Grade 1 title at the recent Scottish Championships in Dumbarton.
Monkstown Mossley Pipe Band will be performing on Sunday 1 June at Sir Thomas and Lady Dixon Park Belfast from 3 to 4pm.
This is part of the Music in the Parks 2003 programme organised by Belfast City Council Parks and Amenities Section.
The second heat of the annual Piping Quartet Knockout competition was held at the National Piping Centre in Scotland recently. Six quartets competed and three went through to the final. Each band played a March strathspey and reel and returned to play a medley.
Quartets from the 52nd Lowland Regiment, (a new Grade 2 band under the leadership of Pipe Major Gordon Walker), Dysart & Dundonald and Vale of Atholl were chosen to compete against heat one winners David Urquhart Travel, Strathclyde Police and Lothian & Borders Police on 30 May, again at the Piping Centre.
Competing but not going through were Scottish Power, Clan Gregor and Glasgow Skye Association.
Shotts & Dykehead Caledonia competed at the recent Scottish Championships under their new name of 'house of Edgar Shotts & Dykehead Caledonia Pipe Band'. "They have now officially accepted a deal from one of Scotland's leading specialist tartan companies for a sponsorship for £30,000
At the recent Scottish Championships the band wore a specially modified version of the MacLean of Duart tartan that they have worn since the 1950s.