THE only indoor full bands competition in Ireland takes place on Saturday 24 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.
The adjudicators for piping will be John Wilson, and Jennifer Hutcheson who has just recently been approved as a fully qualified RSPBA adjudicator, and Jim Baxter for ensemble - all from Scotland.
Local man Leslie Geddis will be in charge of the drumming.
Bands and drum majors who won trophies. last year need to return their trophies not later than 24 April. These can be given in at the Indoor competition in Banbridge, when the trophy officers will be present to receive them.
On Saturday 10 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.
It was standing room only when the Seven Towers Pipe band took to the stage last Saturday in St. Patrick's Church Hall, Broughshane. It was a very successful concert and the organisers were delighted with the support the band received.
Special guests were Jimmy Warke, Pipe Major of the Strathclyde Police and two representatives from the Vale of Atholl. These men were over in Northern Ireland as the guests of the Broughshane Village Committee to finalise arrangements for competing at the Co. Antrim competition to be held on 5 June. The entertainment was provided by the Low Country Boys, Kellie Hanna, Edith and Mark with compere Robert Agnew.
The Cullybackey 17th Annual Solos took place last Saturday 3 April 2004. There were competitions for practise chanter, juvenile, intermediate and senior piping, as well as novice and advanced drum pad, juvenile intermediate and senior drumming.
Two other events taking place in April will be the Saintfield Mini bands competition, which will take place at Ballygowan on Saturday 10 April, and the Ulster Festival of Piping and Drumming which will be held on Friday and Saturday 16 and 17 April in Monkstown Community School, Doagh Road Newtownabbey.
Adjudicators for the Ulster Festival will be Walter Drysdale, Stuart Liddell, Tom Spiers, Michael Egan, Bobby Brannigan, Nigel Davison, Mark Faloon and William Garrett for piping, Alistair Aitken, Arthur Cook and Michael O'Neill for drumming.
An Ulster-Scots concert, organised by the Frederick Irvine Memorial Pipe Band, will be held in the Wesleyan Hall, Fivemiletown on Friday 16 April at 8pm.
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.
The names of the adjudicators for this season have just been released.
For the Scottish Championships, which will be held in Dumbarton on Saturday 22 May, the names are as follows:
Grades 4A/4B -Ian Roddick, David Clark, Gordon Parkes and Trevor Dear.
Grade 3A/3B - Jim Campbell, Robert Shepherd, Gordon Craig and Denver Cardwell.
Grade 2/Juvenile - Ian Wood, Dixie Ingram, Jim Hutton and Alistair Aitken.
Grade 1/Novice - Ian Mathieson, John Wilson, Sandy Steele and Malcolm MacKenzie.