GILNAHIRK Pipe Band was greatly honoured last week to be asked to take part in the funeral service of legendary footballer George Best.
Two pipers from the band met the coffin at the RAF airbase at Aldergrove and piped it from the aircraft.
They were Piper Stephen Jackson, the chairman of the band and Pipe Major Mervyn Mayes.
At the funeral service on Saturday lone piper Hubert Greer played a lament both at the house and at Stormont.
When the cortege left the front of Stormont Building the full Gilnahirk Pipe Band stood at the foot of Carson's monument and played a selection of tunes including 'Amazing Grace' and 'Abide with Me'.
Gilnahirk Pipe band offer their condolences to the Best family and thank them for allowing them to be part of such a special homecoming.
In a recent press release from the Field Marshal Montgomery Pipe Band it was stated that after many years of outstanding service John McFetridge and Trevor Buckley have decided that the time is right to change direction with their pipe band careers.
Bass drummer John McFetridge has made a powerful contribution to the success of the band since joining them in 1991 helping them to achieve success in many major championships including four world championships and five Champion of Champions titles.
During a period of several years John also served the hand in the position of Chairman Vice Chairman and Trophy Officer. He will continue to serve the pipe band community with his teaching activities at the Northern Ireland Piping and Drumming School and with the Ulster Youth Ensemble.
Leading tenor drummer Trevor Buckley joined Field Marshal Montgomery in 1993 having previously played with McNeillstown and the Quinn Memorial. He has shared in all of the band's successes over a period of 12 years and has been a distinctive force in the development of the tenor section.
He also has contributed as a tutor in the Northern Ireland Piping and Drumming School.
The new bass drummer of the Field Marshal Montgomery is Irvine Woods who formally played with the Pipes and Drums of the RUC. He had been a former member of the band back in the 1980's.
The new leading tenor drummer is Norman MacLeod regarded as one of the foremost exponents of tenor drumming in the world and who enjoys international demand as an instructor. He has contributed to many prize-winning bands and drum corps including the world champion best bass section of ScotRail's Vale of Atholl Pipe Band. He will be joined by a number of other new players to the band's tenor section.
A very successful afternoon of solo piping was held recently at the Fort Barm Dungannon organised by Pipe Major Sean Faloon.
The winner of the MSR was Jonathan Greenlees followed by Andrew Carlisle and Mark Faloon. The winner of the Hornpipe and Jog was Andrew Carlisle with runner up Connor McCallion and in third place Amos Gilmore. Andrew Carlisle was declared the overall winner for the second time in succession.
Pipe Major Richard Parkes was the adjudicator and is also a top solo piper in his own right.
A very special honour has been given to Pipe Major Brendan Murphy from Keady, Co. Armagh and who is member of the Strathclyde Police Pipe band. He jetted off last weekend to give a recital on the bagpipes for the Pope in Rome. Brendan was a former pipe major of Killadeas Pipe Band from Co. Fermanagh.
Due to unforeseen circumstances, the Belvoir Drum Majors Master Class did not take place but will hopefully be held at a later date.