CULLYBACKEY Pipe Band will hold their 17th Annual Solos in Cullybackey High School on Saturday 3rd April.
Cullybackey, like so many other bands, have realised the necessity and importance of encouraging young pipers and drummers.
Recent years have seen a significant increase in the numbers entering at all juvenile levels. It is believed this has been as a result of the measures introduced to cater for young people.
The band has instigated the Young Achievers Awards, which have been extremely popular, and which now have been adopted by the Ulster and All Ireland solos committee.
Two other events taking place in April will be the Saintfield Mini bands competition, which will take place at Ballygowan on Saturday 10th April, and the Ulster Festival of Piping and Drumming which will be held on Friday and Saturday 16th and 17th April in Monkstown Community School.
The only indoor full bands competition in Ireland, (and indeed it is believed the only one in the whole world), takes place on Saturday 24th April in Banbridge High School commencing at 11.45am.
This event is organised by Mervyn Herron, secretary of the Co. Down section and his excellent team of workers, which have made this event unique in pipe band circles.
A special event has been planned for all drum majors at the Banbridge competition. They will have an opportunity to compete in a refresher competition, held outside, when all the judges nominated to judge this season will be there. There will also be pipe bands providing the music for them.
Entries close on Saturday 3rd April and the adjudicators will be John Wilson, Jennifer Hutcheson for piping and Jim Baxter for ensemble - all from Scotland - with local man Leslie Geddis for drumming
Drumlough Pipe Band from Hillsborough are seeking a bass drummer to compete with the band in Grade 4B this new season.
They practise in Drumlough Orange Hall every Wednesday at 8 pm under the direction of Pipe Major Ian Burrows and Leading Tip William O'Brien. Any pipers and drummers interested in joining the band will be also made very welcome. Contact 92 667524 for further details.
Seven Towers Pipe band will be promoting their annual concert in St. Patrick's Church Hall on Saturday 3rd April at 8pm.
Special guests will be the Low Country Boys, Kellie Hanna, Edith and Mark with compere R. Agnew. Saturday 10th April, Upper Crossgare Pipe Band will be promoting their annual veterans' drumming night in the Abbey Lodge Hotel, near Downpatrick, when the special guest will be 14 times world solo drumming champion, Jim Kilpatrick, Leading Tip of the House of Edgar-Shotts & Dykehead Pipe Band.
On the same date and at the same venue, Jim will also be conducting a workshop for juvenile drummers and those interested in learning drumming.
This will run from 5 to 7 pm, and is a great opportunity for all would be drummers to learn from the master himself. Please contact Ann Mack on 9756 1454 or Wilby Hanna on 9753 2448 if you are planning to attend.
There is a postal strike in the South of Ireland and all bands planning to compete at the Malahide event which takes place on Saturday 15th May are informed that their entries now can be sent to Mervyn Herron, Contest Secretary, 9 Ballydown Meadows ,Castlewellan Road, Banbridge Co. Down. BT32 4QX telephone number 4062 4849.
An Ulster-Scots concert, organised by the Frederick Irvine Memorial Pipe Band, will be held in the Wesleyan Hall, Fivemiletown on Friday 16th April at 8 pm.
Taking part in the concert are the Grade 3 Matt Boyd Memorial Pipe band from Pomeroy, John Trotter and Clogherney Scottish Country Dance Group. Admission is £5.