Big thank you from

Local bands prepare for 75th World Pipe Band Championships 

Pipe Bands by Mervyn McConnell

THE 75th anniversary of the biggest pipe band event in the world will take place on Saturday August 13 at Glasgow Green in Scotland.
The World Pipe band Championships will host 232 bands with bands coming from Canada USA New - Zealand Oman Australia Italy France South Africa Belgium and Eire along with 60 bands from Northern Ireland.

With attendance upwards of 30,000, the Worlds is the biggest annual open air event outside football and pop concerts to take place in Scotland, and its popularity increases every year.

This year Ulster bands will travel over to Glasgow to see if they can repeat their successes of last year when they made world history by winning all six grades.

Field Marshal Montgomery will defend their title in Grade 1 and although they will come up against stiff competition, everyone in Northern Ireland is confident of their victory.

The RSPBA have also made a deal with recording company KRL to produce a DVD of the Grade 1 competition, which will capture the greatest day in the pipe band calendar – not only in sound but also in pictures.

It will include the last 13 bands in the finals along with general shots of the day, interviews with pipers, drummers pipe majors band officials and RSPBA administrators. Certainly a great memento to get and keep of this special 75th anniversary world gathering.

The following week on August 20 the last of this year's local competitions will take place with the Ulster Championships held in Portrush.

The Champion of Champions trophies will also be given out at this event.

After the prize giving there will be the now annual parade of the town when over 20,000 spectators will line the streets of Portrush to show their appreciation to all the pipe bands and drum majors that make up the pageant of the pipe band association.

The City of Lisburn Pipe Band and Drum Major's Championships were held last Saturday at Moira Demesne where 59 bands and 42 drum majors competed for the championship titles.

This was the final rehearsal before the world championships and with the good weather and a large crowd bands showed their determination to make the most of the occasion.

Field Marshal Montgomery won the Grade 1 championships with Ravara taking Grade 2. There were new winners in Grade 3A and 3B when Marlacoo won the title in 3A and Battlehill in 3B.

Tyrone band Aughintober were first in Grade 4A and Drumlough had another successful day when they won Grade 4B.
Winning drum majors were Ian Young, Donna Gillespie, Simon Kerr and Kiera Wilson.

Prince Charles Pipe band from the USA were given a reception by the City of Lisburn Council last Friday. Later that day the band gave a demonstration of piping and drumming when they paraded through the shopping centre of Lisburn.

BBC television will be showing highlights of the 60th All Ireland Pipe Band Championships which took place in Newcastle on July 2. There will be two broadcasts on Wednesday 24 and Thursday August 25 in the evening on BBC 1.

The Ulster Youth Ensemble has just returned from Scotland after a three-day trip where they gave two concerts in Montrose. Reports indicate that the events saw two outstanding performances from the Ensemble and the Angus Council were both surprised and delighted by the young talent and versatility of the group.

The Ensemble had 35 active players on stage including dancers and drum majors and some traditional pipe and drum music as well as a section on Irish music was performed.

All in all the Ensemble held the crowds enthralled and a special feature of the traditional pipe band out-door display led by senior drum major Paula Braiden were all greatly appreciated.

The Ensemble is still recruiting and is an excellent opportunity for all young players to display their artistic skills to a wider audience and to demonstrate the versatility of pipes and drums by employing vision and imagination.

A full training programme covering Irish Scottish classical piobaireachd and contemporary music is being arranged through the University of Ulster's Institute of Ulster-Scots Studies starting in September. For further details contact 9262 8591 or email or log on to

Grade 1 - 1st. F.M.Montgomery (also best drums best bass and M&D) 2nd. Ballycoan. 3rd. Ballinderry Bridge.
Grade 2 - 1st. Ravara(also M&D) 2nd. Cullybackey. 3rd. Eden. 4th. Killeen(also best drums and best bass).
Grade 3A - 1st. Marlacoo (also best drums Best bass and M&D). 2nd. Seven Towers. 3rd. Banbridge. 4th. North Belfast.
Grade 3B - 1st. Battlehill(also M&D) 2nd. Annsborough (also best drums and best bass) 3rd. Cottown. 4th. Killen.
Grade 4A - 1st. Aughintober. 2nd. Queen Elizabeth (also best bass). 3rd. McNeillstown. 4th. Castlerock. Best Drums Gransha.
Grade 4B - 1st. Drumlough. 2nd. Cleland memorial. 3rd. Antrim (also best drums and best bass) 4th. Raffrey.
Senior Drum Majors - 1st. Ian Young. 2nd. Kathy Megarry. 3rd. Paula Braiden. 4th. Brian Wilson. 5th. David Brownlee.
Juvenile - 1st. Donna Gillespie. 2nd. Ryan Ferry. 3rd. Alicia Dickson. 4th. Jemma Clydesdale. 5th. Emma Chambers.
Junior - 1st. Simon Kerr. 2nd. Linzi Hamilton. 3rd. Gemma McKinney. 4th. Samantha Gordon. 5th. Sharon Martin.
Novice Juvenile - 1st. Kiera Wilson. 2nd. Lauren Muldrew. 3rd. Laura Abraham. 4th. Dale Fisher. 5th. Lauren Hanna.

Ulster Star