Big thank you from

Final meeting before branch AGM in March  

Pipe Bands by Mervyn McConnell

A MEETING of the Northern Ireland Branch of the RSPBA will take place on Saturday 28 February in the Bridge Community Centre, Lisburn commencing at 2pm.

This will be the final meeting before the Annual General Meeting to be held on 13 March in Glasgow, and all representatives are urged to try and attend.

The Seven Towers (reigning Ulster and British Champions) will be one of the guest bands appearing at the recently formed Warren Cultural and Education Society in Ballymena.

The concert will take place at Cambridge House Grammar School on Saturday 21 February.

This will be an Ulster-Scots heritage night featuring the Pride of Ballinran Flute Band from Kilkeel, the Fifes and Drums group, gospel singers William McCrea and Paul Berry and the Dunloy Accordion Band.

Compere will be Robert Agnew and tickets can be obtained by telephoning 2564 2587.

Several other concerts have been arranged for the coming months.

The first is in Kilkeel Town Hall on Friday 26 March commencing at 8pm. Among the guests will be Bleary & District Pipe band under the leadership of Pipe Major Nigel Davidson, Ballywalter Senior Flute band and a mini band from the Mourne Young Defenders.

Special guest on the evening will be Jim Kilpatrick, fourteen times winner of the world solo drumming championships. Tickets cost £8 and can be purchased from the Essey Music Stores, Albertbridge Road telephone 90 456177.

Finvoy Pipe Band are holding their concert on Thursday 1 April at 8prn in Ballymoney High School.

As well as the host band, there will be appearances from Dunloy Accordion band and other artists. Any member of Finvoy band will have further details.

The Frederick Irvine Memorial Pipe Band (Clabby) will hold their concert in the Wesleyan Hall, Fivemiletown on Friday 16 April at 8pm.

The Matt Boyd Memorial Pipe Band from Pomeroy, the Clogherney Scottish Country Dance Group and compere John Trotter are the guests on the evening. Again any band member will have tickets.

The Scottish Power Pipe Band and solo piper Stuart Liddell are the guests appearing at the Mid Ulster Drumming School concert to be held in Maghera High School on Saturday 24 April at 7.30pm.

Admission is by ticket only and details can be obtained from Gary Smyth telephone 79-645799.

Belvoir Parish Drum Majors will be holding their annual Display and Presentation of Certificates in their Church Hall on Friday 5 March at 8pm. The evening will feature Cleland Memorial Pipe Band Ballygowan, Brian Boru Pipe Band as well as solo piping and highland dancing.

Guest of Honour will be the reigning world senior drum major champion John Noble and the presentation of certificates will be by Lady Faulkner of Downpatrick.

Admission is free and everyone is invited.

The Belvoir Parish Drum Majors will also be presenting a workshop and seminar for drum majors in Belvoir Parish Church Hall on Saturday 6 March from 1 to 4pm.

Instruction will be given by 12 times world senior drum major John Noble, and all drum majors are invited. Admission is free.

This year's Ulster Piping Quartets will be held in Ballynahinch High School on Saturday 20 March. This is the only remaining quartets event still taking place, and is supported by the Down District Council.

Last year there was an introduction of drumming quartets but it is not known whether this will be repeated in future competitions.

There has been another resignation from the position of Pipe Major in a leading pipe band. Al Ash, who until recently was the Pipe Major of Grade 2 Niagara Regional Police Pipe band, has stepped down from this position.

Under his leadership the band has consistently been at the top of Grade 2 in North America. In 2001 they finished runners up at the World Pipe band Championships, and had a successful season in 2003 when they finished sixth at the Worlds. His replacement is not yet known.

Ulster Star