Big thank you from

Three new drummers join up with world champion corps

THREE new drummers have joined the 2003 world champion drum corps of the House of Edgar Shotts & Dykehead Caledonia Pipe band.

They will spend this year's competition season under the leadership of 14 times world solo drumming champion Jim Kilpatrick, who is the Leading Tip of the band.

Twenty two-year-old Tyler Fry was tenor drummer with the 78th Fraser Highlanders for nine years and resigned from the band in the middle of January to join with Shotts.

Norman MacLeod, the well-known tenor drummer with the Vale of Atholl and most recently the David Urquhart Travel, will join the bass section. Then at the end of January Carl Lenny, who was Leading Tip with the Los Angeles Scots (USA) and played with them for several years, returned to Scotland and rejoined Shotts.

Carl played with Shotts during the drum section's eleven world championship victories.

Anyone wishing to hear this band with their world class drum corps can do so when the band will compete at the European Championships to be held in Lisburn on Saturday 31 July.

Anyone wishing to travel to the Annual General Meeting in Glasgow on Saturday 13 March should notify secretary Lorraine McVeigh as soon as possible. A coach will leave Belfast on Friday 12 March to connect with the ferry leaving at 5 10pm, and returning on Sunday 14 March at 2.45pm.

Lorraine has all the details so please contact her on 9752 1657 or mobile 07808 761623. Armagh Pipers Club have released a new album entitled 'Live Recording from the William Kennedy Piping Festival'. This 70 minute CD was recorded during the first nine years of the Festival and launched at the l0th Anniversary in Armagh in November 2003.

The album is a diverse collection of bagpipe music from all over Europe, featuring musicians from the piping traditions of Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Northumberland, England, Galicia, Asturias, Sardinia and Italy, and including two of Ulster's best - Field Marshal Montgomery Pipe Band and solo piper Robert Watt.

The album is a celebration not only of the individual virtuosity of some of the contributors but also of the vibrancy and diversity of the piping traditions across Europe. The CD is distributed by Claddagh Records and Ossian Publications Cork, and further details can be obtained by telephoning 37-511248.

David Barnes, the son of the late Johnny Barnes, has returned to Grade 2 Polkemmet Pipe Band with the aim of restoring the band to the elite Grade 1. Under his leadership David led the band to winning the Grade 1 Scottish and European championships and finished as high as second in the Worlds.

Also joining the band as Leading Tip will be James King, who worked with David previously in the band. He is best known for his work with Dysart & Dundonald when they won the world championship title in the late 1970s.

James MacHattie is the new Pipe Major of the Grade 1 Toronto Police Pipe Band. He was directly responsible for the band's chanter sound, and has played with the band for several years.

He takes over from Ian MacDonald who led the band to qualifying for the Grade 1 finals of the world Championships in 2001, 2002 and 2003, and who will stay on with the band as a piper.

The Toronto Police also changed leading drummers after the 2003 season with Jeremy Keddy resigning and Craig Stewart taking on the role.

The Queensland Police Force of Australia have decided that their pipe band will not be allowed to take part in competitions. This also happened to the Victoria Police Pipe Band in 1998 after they won the world championship title, under Pipe Major Nat Russell.

The Queensland Police will continue but will only take part in ceremonial occasions. The only remaining competing police band in Australia is the Western Australian Police Pipe band.