THE Scottish Pipe Band Championships were held last Saturday in Levengrove Park, Dumbarton, Scotland where 129 bands competed for top honours, in this the first of the 2004 major competitions. Levengrove Park is on the banks of the river Clyde, and with a background of Dumbarton Castle, is a truly fitting location for the pipe. band championships.
It was victory for Field Marshal Montgomery Band in Grade 1 under their acting Pipe Major Alistair Dunn, ably assisted by Richard Parkes and Frank Andrews. It was also the first major win for their drum corps with Leading Tip Keith Orr from Drumahoe Londonderry, since he assumed leadership of the corps a year ago. Shotts & Dykehead were runners up followed by Boghall & Bathgate.
There was a really pleasing result for St. Laurence O'Toole from Dublin when they finished in fourth place. Strathclyde Police and Scottish Power completed the winning line up. Ballycoan just missed out on getting into the top six and finished in seventh position.
Unfortunately it was a bad day for Bleary & District as they were disqualified for playing under the time. A sad mistake for the band but they can be excused as this was their first time playing in Grade 1, which requires a longer selection time.
Also crowned Scottish Champions were Seven Towers Pipe band from Ballymena, who were competing in Grade 3B for their first season.
They won overall piping and best drums under Pipe Major David Reid and Leading Tip Michael Cathcart. Altnaveigh Memorial from Newry took fifth place.
Other Ulster bands who were successful in winning trophies were Ballinderry Bridge who took runners up place in Grade 2, just missing out on first place to Drambuie Kirkliston, who won on ensemble preference.
Cullybackey were also in the prizes in this grade as they took fourth place.
Quinn Memorial, who were promoted this season to Grade 3A, took fifth place and Sgt Walker Memorial were second in 4A on ensemble preference.
Ian Young from Ravara won the Scottish Senior drum majors title with Ryan Ferry from Aughintober claiming the Juvenile title. Andrew Symon from Dumbarton & District won the junior section.
The first of the local competitions will be the Co. Fermanagh Championships, which will be held at Celtic Park, Enniskillen on Saturday, 29th May commencing at 12.45. There is an entry of 41 bands for this event.
Ballycoan will be competing in Grade 1 along with a number of Grade 2 bands. The adjudicators will be Leslie Geddis and Sandy Steele for drumming, with Ian Wood and David McConnell for piping. Bleary & District Pipe band will host their annual concert on Saturday 29th May in the Market Place Theatre Armagh commencing at 8 pm.
As well as the host band there will be appearances by other artists and the evening will be compered by Ian Coulter.
Grade 1. 1st Field Marshal Montgomery plus best drums. 2nd Shotts & Dykehead House of Edgar. 3rd Boghall & Bathgate. 4th St.Laurence O'Toole. 5th Strathclyde Police. 6th Scottish Power.
Grade 2. 1st Drambuie Kirkliston on ensemble preference - also best drums. 2nd Ballinderry Bridge. 3rd Buchan. 4th Cullybackey. 5th Lanarkshire. 6th 52nd Lowland Reg.
Grade 3A. 1st City of Amsterdam also best drums. 2nd Strathclyde Fire Brigade. 3rd Coalburn. 4th Newross & District. 5th Quinn Memorial. 6th Pontefract.
Grade 3B. 1st Seven Towers also best drums. 2nd Beauly Firth and The Glens. 3rd Williamwood. 4th Arbroath RBLS. 5th Altnaveigh memorial. 6th Troon Blackrock.
Grade 4A. 1st Linlithgow & District plus best drums. 2nd Duns RBL. 3rd Sgt Walker Memorial. 4th Stow. 5th Cumnock & District. 6th City of Brechin.
Grade 4B. 1 s t Letterkenny. 2nd Kirkcudbright & District. 3rd Concord (Netherlands). 4th Ellon & District. 5th Nottinghamshire Police plus best drums. 6th Lanark.
Senior Drum Majors. 1st Ian Young. 2nd Wm. Jordan. 3rd Brian Wilson. 4th John Noble. 5th Kathy Megarry.
Juvenile. 1st Ryan Ferry. 2nd Alan Morton. 3rd Brian Purcell. 4th Victoria Singer. 5th Gail Gordon.
Junior. 1st Andrew Symon. 2nd Laura Jane Lawson. 3rd Craig Clydesdale. 4th Sharon Martin. 5th Iona Burns.