Big thank you from

Capacity crowd thrills to performance from St. Laurence O'Toole 

Pipe Bands by Mervyn McConnell

A splendid evening of music was held last Saturday in the Slieve Donard Hotel, Newcastle when the St. Laurence O'Toole Pipe band performed their three-hour extravaganza of Traditional Scottish and Irish Piping and drumming.

In front of a packed to capacity audience, Pipe Major Terry Tully and his band gave an exciting and imaginative performance, which thrilled the crowd of enthusiastic supporters.

For anyone who didn't get along to the event, BBC Radio Ulster recorded the evening and it will be broadcast on the Tommy Miller show later this year.

Certainly a big thank you and much credit must go to Chairman Gary McDonald and Banbridge Pipe Band for arranging such an entertaining evening, and we hope there will be many more top pipe band shows brought to Northern Ireland.

The Malahide Festival of Piping and Drumming takes place next Friday and Saturday, 14th and 15th May, at Malahide Castle Grounds in the South of Ireland.

The Friday event is the invitational solo competition, which will be adjudicated by Tom Anderson, the new Pipe Major of Grade 2 Niagara Regional Police from Ontario, and Ian MacLellan ex Pipe Major of the Strathclyde Police Pipe Band.

Around 40 entries have been received for the Malahide event and they include all the top Grade 1 bands from Ireland. They are St.Laurence O'Toole, Field Marshal Montgomery, Ballycoan, Ravara and Bleary & District.

Malcolm MacKenzie and Ian Wood will join Tom Anderson and Ian MacLellan to adjudicate the piping and Ciaran Mordaunt and Gordon Parkes will judge the drumming.

The Ensemble men are John Noble and Denver Cardwell.

The Glasgow Pipes and Drums is a new Grade One pipe band that is a union of the former pipe corps of the David Urquart Travel Pipes and Drums and many of the members of the former world championship winning drum corps of the Royal Ulster Constabulary.

These two units have decided to create a new pipe band and have chosen the name of the Glasgow Pipes and Drums.

The band was granted Grade 1 status at the recent AGM of the RSPBA in March this year.

This makes it only the third newly formed band in the RSPBA history to be put straight into Grade 1.

The Pipe Major is Don Bradford and the Leading Drummer is Gary Corkin. Don was the Pipe Major of the David Urquart Travel band for the 2002 and 2003 seasons. He was also Pipe Major of the band from 1989 to 1992 when it was sponsored by Black Bottle Whiskey.

Originally from Northern Ireland he started piping at the age of 12, where his first band was the Howard memorial under Pipe Major Rab Moffett, in 1981. He was also a member of McNeillstown Grade 1 under Pipe Major Frank Andrews, Boghall & Bathgate, Field Marshal Montgomery under Pipe Major Richard Parkes, Strathclyde Police, 78th Fraser Highlanders and the David Urquart Travel Pipes and Drums.

He is also a well known composer with tunes such as the Sandpiper, Spice of Life, Isle of Jura and the Calm before the Storm which have all been performed by Field Marshal Montgomery.

Glasgow Pipes and Drums has its drum corps rooted in the drum corps of the Royal Ulster Constabulary. Gary Corkin was the Leading Drummer of the RUC from 1988 to 2000, during which time the corps succeeded in winning 35 major championships prizes. The drum corps won the World Championships in 2000.

The band has a multi talented line up of pipers and drummers, which includes many from Northern Ireland.

Ulster Star