THE 17th Annual Cullybackey Solo Piping and Drumming championships took place on Saturday 3rd April in Cullybackey High School, where a large entry of competitors battled it out for top honours.
Cullybackey Pipe Band is regarded as one of the forerunners in the promotion of piping an drumming with a special emphasis on the development of young pipers and drummers at all levels.
Achievement awards in the form of gold, silver and bronze were given out for all practise chanter, drum pad and novice drumming entries.
This idea has been found to be extremely popular and as a result, both the Ulster and All Ireland Solos Committees have adopted it.
Winning the senior grades were Gavin Noade for drumming and Jonathan Greenlees for piping. The 38th Annual contest organised by Saintfield Pipe band was held last Saturday, in Ballygowan Church Hall. This contest only attracted Grade 4A and 4B bands but nevertheless there was a good crowd of supporters in the hall. Adjudicators were John Moles for piping, and stepping in in place of Billy Dunlop, who was unable to attend due to illness, was Sandy Steele for drumming.
Battlehill took 1st and 2nd place prizes in 4A followed by Sgt Walker Memorial and Gransha who were 4th and won the drumming.
Grade 4B was won by Cleland Memorial with Banbridge Junior taking 2nd and 3rd and-winning best drums.
Stanley McBride from Vancouver in Canada, who is an ardent reader of the Ulster Star, has sent this get well note for Richard Parkes Pipe Major of the Field Marshal Montgomery on his recent illness.
"Get well wishes from Vancouver. All your friends here in Canada who follow you and the Field Marshal Montgomery wish you a fast return to good health. Our prayers are with you. One day at a time Richard."
It is believed that Richard has made remarkable recovery, and although still not piping, is already planning to attend the band's practise session later this month.
The Ulster Festival of Piping and Drumming will take place on Friday 16th and Saturday 17th April in Monkstown Community School.
Don Bradford, originally from Northern Ireland and formerly Pipe Major of the David Urquart Travel Pipe Band, has taken on the job of forming a new Grade 3 outfit to be known, for the present, as Glasgow Pipes and Drums.
The Leading Tip will be Gary Corking who led the drum corps of the Pipes and Drums of the RUC to world championship status.
Novice Drum Pad. 1st Jake McVeigh. 2nd Clarke Campbell. 3rd Matthew Henderson.
Juvenile drumming 12-14. 1st Stephen Paynter. 2nd Aaron McClean. 3rd.John Beverland.
Juvenile drumming 14-16. 1st Jonathon Hoy. 2nd Mark Featherstone. 3rd Jonathan Irvine.
Junior Drumming. 1st Jason Hoy. 2nd.William Glenholmes. 3rd Jonathon Colville.
Open Drumming. 1st Gavin Noade. 2nd Philip Bell. 3rd Thomas Sloan.
Novice Practise Chanter under 14. 1st Bradley Parker. 2nd Jonathan Gardener. 3rd Ross Hume.
Advanced Practise Chanter under 16. 1st Faith Hawthorne. 2nd Alan Glenhomes. 3rd Grace Hawthorne.
Intermediate Piping A. 1st Clive McFarland. 2nd James Gibson. 3rd Glen Cupples.
Intermediate Piping B. 1st Ryan McFarland. 2nd Alan Ferguson. 3rd Graham Stirling.
Junior Piping. 1st Andrew Shilliday. 2nd Kris Coyle. 3rd Michelle Redmond.
Juvenile Piping under 16. 1st Connor McCallion. 2nd Laura Jane Lawson. 3rd Laura McWhirter.
Juvenile Piping under 14. 1st Emmet Conway. 2nd Joshua McKee. 3rd Jemma Redmond.
Senior Piping. 1st Jonathan Greenlees. 2nd Andrew Carlisle. 3rd Amos Gilmore.