Big thank you from

Bands enjoy a day out down by the river 

Pipe Bands by Mervyn McConnell

PORTGLENONE'S sixth annual 'Gig 'n the Bann' music and dance festival took place last week in the village alongside the beautiful river Bann.

This popular event has now become one of the major events on the Summer Festival Calendar, having built a reputation for offering a most impressive line-up of top performers spanning traditional, Scottish and Folk Music circles. It showcases the huge depth of Ulster-Scots and Irish traditional musical talent that exists in Ulster and beyond.

This year's Festival built on the success of previous years and saw artists from across Ireland and Scotland being brought to Portglenone for the weekend.

For pipe band enthusiasts the centre of attraction was the pipe band competition, which saw 14 bands battle it out in the four sections.

Section A was won by Ballinderry Bridge with Ravara second, Seven Towers third Marlacoo fourth and Battlehill fifth.

Section B was won by Marlacoo with Seven Towers and Battlehill making up second and third places.

Section C was won by Sgt Walker Memorial with Gransha, McNeillstown and Cleland Memorial in the remaining places.

Cleland Memorial won section D followed by Killadeas, Antrim and Grove.

Adjudicators were Jonathan Greenlees, Brendan Murphy Gavin Noade and Gary Smyth.

On the Saturday evening the concert in the Old Factory at Wild Duck Inn featured the highly acclaimed Four Men and A Dog, The Swinging Fiddles and the Finlay McDonald Band.

It is with deep regret that we record the sudden death of Bob Montgomery MBE.

Bob was Chairman of the Mid-Ulster section of the Northern Ireland Branch of the RSPBA for many years and was a well-known figure at competitions, playing the bass drum for both Gortaclare and Augharonan pipe bands.

The sympathy of the association is extended to his family members.

The All Ireland Solos will take place on Saturday 17th September in Dublin. At the moment there are 70 pipers and 60 drummers from the north of Ireland entered for this event.

Drum Majors are reminded of the dates for the Belvoir Drum Major classes which begin on Saturday 17th September and then continue every Saturday until the 10th December. They will take place in Belvoir Parish Church Hall from 2 to 4 pm.

Ronnie Davidson is the class secretary and he can be contacted on 90298837 or mobile 077 34151494 for further information.

Drum Majors classes are also held in the Bowling Club Pavilion, Banbridge from 10.30am to 12.30pm commencing on 3rd October 2005.

These classes are taught by qualified instructors, many of who are ex world champions themselves. More information can be obtained from Mervyn Herron on 40624849.

The first of the Northern Ireland Branch meetings will take place on Saturday 24th September at 2pm in the Bridge Community Centre Lisburn.

Any band having a change or alteration to any rule, Notice of Motion, or Recommendation should for-ward these in writing to the branch secretary so that they can be read at the branch meeting.

Branch Secretary is Margaret Montgomery, 15 Cockhill Road, Maze, Lisburn BT27 5RS telephone 92621621.

There will also be another branch meeting on Saturday 29th October with the 55th Annual General Meeting now being held on Saturday 12th November commencing at 11am again at the Bridge Community Centre Lisburn. Please note this is a new date for the AGM.

All bands are urged to keep this date free as it is for their own benefit to have their views and ideas discussed at this important meeting.

The dates for next year's major championships are as follows: -

• Scottish Championships - 20th May in Dumbarton.
• British Championships - 24th June in Pitlochry.
• European Championships - 29th July in Greenock.
• World?s - 12th August.
• Cowal Highland Gathering - 26th August.

Ulster Star