Big thank you from

Large crowds turn out to support new indoor competition 

Pipe Bands by Mervyn McConnell

THE first venture of Saintfield Pipe band to stage a full indoor bands contest was an outstanding success.

The organisers were delighted with the support from the bands and especially from the spectators who turned out in large numbers to support them.

Saintfield have been running a competition for 38 years as a mini bands event but after some serious thinking this year they changed it to a full bands contest. Now this competition looks set to continue into the future and along with the Banbridge indoor, this format of competition seems to be the way forward for indoor events.

Grade 4B. 1st Cleland Memorial Memorial (Plus Best Drums). 2nd Rafrey. 3rd Drumlough.
Grade 4A. 1st Gransha (plus Best Drums). 2nd Sgt. Walker. 3rd. Raffirey.
Grade 3B. 1st Battlehill (Plus Best Drums). 2nd Cottown. 3rd Ballydonaghy.
Grade 3A. 1st Battlehill. 2nd Banbridge (Plus Best Drums). 3rd Marlacoo.
Grade 2. 1st Cullybackey (plus Best Drums). 2nd Marlacoo. 3rd Killeen.

The Co. Down Full bands indoor competition organised by Mervyn Herron will take place on Saturday 30th April commencing at 11.45am.

This event just goes from strength to strength and this year will see 38 bands challenge for top honours in the five grades.

Adjudicators for piping will be John Wilson and Jim Warke, for drumming Gordon Parkes and ensemble David Clark.

The Gortaclare Mini Bands event scheduled for 7th May has been cancelled. Unfortunately this seems to be the end of the road for mini bands and full indoor bands is set to replace them.

The next competition following will be the Malahide Festival of Piping and Drumming which will be held at Malahide Castle on Friday and Saturday 13th and 14th May.

Then on Saturday 21st May the first of this year's big five major championships will take place in Dumbarton with the Scottish Championships.

Adjudicators include Ian McLellan, Andrew Wright, Trevor Dear, Harry McNulty, Billy Dunlop Robert Shepherd, Malcolm Mackenzie, Ian Roddick, Sandy Steele, John Noble Dixie Ingram, Alan Ronaldson, Billy Goodall and John MacInnes.

The Northern Ireland Piping and Drumming School will be holding their Presentation of Certification Ceremony and 25th Anniversary celebration on Wednesday 11th May at 7.30pm in the Lisburn Civic Centre.

The musical entertainment will be by the newly formed Youth Ensemble so a most enjoyable evening is promised as well as seeing all the pupils receiving their certificates.

The guest of honour will be Andrew Wright, a former Piobaireachd champion, and a well-known teacher. For further information please contact Sam Bailie director on 90 485436.

For over half a century the esplanade at Edinburgh Castle has been the stage for military ceremony and spectacle of the most unexpected kind. This year is no exception as the South African Irish Pipes and Drums have been invited to appear at the 2005 Edinburgh Military Tattoo.

This is a great honour for the band and in its own way makes a bit of history, as this will be the first time that an Irish military regiment other than those from the British Army will be attending.

In Johannesburg, where the Regiment is based, the members of the band are furiously organising aspects of the trip - preparing uniforms, learning tunes, perfecting drill and raising funds. They have no shortage of enthusiasm but request help, advice and guidance to spread the word to potential sponsors in Ireland who may have an interest in seeing them succeed.

To support the Pipes and Drums of the SA Irish Regiment on their march to Edinburgh, please visit

Ulster Star