Big thank you from

Northern Ireland RSPBA hold 55th annual general meeting 

Pipe Bands by Mervyn McConnell

THE 55th Annual General Meeting of the Northern Ireland branch of the RSPBA took place on Saturday November 12.

Chairman George Ussher welcomed representatives to the meeting especially the Mayor of Lisburn Councillor Jonathan Craig, Kevin Reilly Chairman and Ian Embleton, Executive Officer of the RSPBA and Finbar Connolly from the Irish Pipe band Association.

Following the resignation of Ronnie Crawford, Executive Officer Fred Walker was nominated and accepted into the office of President of the Northern Branch of the RSPBA.

Fred is one of the best-known figures in the branch having served as secretary for 36 years, He is a very popular person among all band members and it is good to have him play an active part in the ranks of the pipe band movement once again.

The other new members of the committee were David Scott as secretary, Darren Frew piping representative and Neil Ussher drumming representative. All other officers remain the same.

The following Notice of Motions were passed:

  • When the march past of any competition has commenced no band will sound except the centre duty bands or the massed band. Proposed by Executive.
  • From the 2007 season insert the following new rule 3.81.2

At the RSPBA world championships, the number of adjudicators for the final events in Grade 1, 2, 3A and 4A shall be as follows:

  • Grade 1MSR - 6 piping, 3 ensemble and 3 drumming.
  • Grade 1 Medley -6 piping, 3 ensemble and 3 drumming.
  • Grade 2-3A and 4A - 4 piping, 2 ensemble and 2 drumming.

In Grade 1 the same panel of adjudicators shall be used for both the MSR and Medley events. In all of the above finals, the highest and lowest ranked placing shall be eliminated when calculating the final aggregate band total. The placing system will continue under the current procedure.

In all of the above, the best drum corps award shall be determined on the bases of the addition of ALL drumming adjudicators. This was proposed by Field Marshal Montgomery.

  • Amendment to rule 3.28. Remove '35 bands' and substitute '20 bands'. Proposed by Altnaveigh Memorial Pipe Band.

Both of the above recommendations need to be ratified at the AGM at Headquarters in Match 2006.

Seven Towers Pipe Band proposed a motion that all local competitions should have 2 piping, 1 ensemble and 1 drumming adjudicator starting in the 2006 season. This was passed and accepted by members present.

Please note the change of venue for the function to honour world championships. It will now he held at the Park Plaza Hotel at Belfast International Airport Aldergrove at 7.30pm on the same date - Friday November 25.

On Saturday November 19 there will be a concert featuring six of the top piping soloists in the Market Place Studio Theatre Armagh commencing at 2pm.

The full line up includes Andrew Carlisle (Ulster and All Ireland champion), Ross Ainslie (Vale of Atholl Pipe Band), Brendan Murphy (Strathclyde Police Pipe Band), Rory Campbell, who plays with high pro-file Scottish Polk bands such as Deaf Shepherd and Old Blind Dogs, Simon McKerrell who was awarded the Seamus MacNeill Scholarship from the College of Piping in 1999 and Roddy MacLeod MBE one of the world's most accomplished solo competitive pipers and Pipe Major of the Scottish Power Pipe Band. Roddy is also the founding director of piping at the National Piping Centre in Glasgow.

Tickets are available from the Box Office 3752 1821 and cost £4.

Earlier in the week Scottish Power Pipe Band featured in a special concert at the Market Place Theatre, which marked Roddy MacLeod's retirement from the role of Pipe Major - a role that he has held for the last 10 years.

Also appearing at this pipe band concert were Ballinderry Bridge under Pipe Major Noel Mullen who competed for the first time in 2005 in Grade 1.

Ulster Star