Big thank you from

Preparations for world drumming championships 

Pipe Bands by Mervyn McConnell

THERE are over 140 entries for this year's world solo drumming championships to be held in Monkstown Community Centre Newtownabbey on Saturday October 28.

The first section, which is the Juvenile section 1, will commence at 9.30am. This will be followed by juvenile sections 2 and 3 and the four adult sections, finishing with the final of the adult drumming championships at around 2.45 pm.

This will be the first time that Northern Ireland will host this event, which is again sponsored by Sam Hodgen and Andante Percussion from Rathfriland. The adjudicators still have to be decided for this competition and entries have now closed.

`Piper and Drummer' the very popular and informative website for pipers and drummers have now changed their name to `Pipes/Drums'. This new and fully independent site went live after several months of development and will continue with the same content and style that the previous site had offered for more than a decade.

Andrew Berthoff, editor and publisher of the website said: 'We wanted to make a clean break with the past. As I had decided to devote all of my publishing efforts to the website, it made sense to develop a new name, while carrying over the strong brand that had been built since 1996."

The website is a combination of free and subscription-based content. Visitors can expect to receive the content that they are used to reading at no charge, while readers will need to pay an annual subscription fee to access substantial new and exclusive feature articles. It is usual to see a change over of band personnel at the end of one season and the beginning of another. Already there is news of pipers and drummers moving on to compete in another band or seeking to restart an old one.

Finvoy and the Quinn are just 'two of those who are seeking to rekindle the interest of competing next year.

Also in Scotland there is change about. Pipe Major David Barnes left the Polkemmet Pipe Band in September to take over the reins of Lothian & Borders Police.

He had been the Pipe Major of Polkemmet since 2003 and has left the band in a better state than it was at the time of his arrival according to spokesperson Ian McAlister.

The band is planning a special meeting to discuss its future and is opening the pipe major position to applicants who can contact them by email.

Cottown Pipe Band, under the leadership of Pipe Major John Griffiths, were surprised but delighted to gain promotion to Grade 3A next season. The band has only been competing for two years under Johns leadership and had featured in the prize list many times. Already they have had some new pipers and drummers joining them for next season.

This is one of the oldest bands in the Northern Ireland Branch and it is good to see them going from strength to strength.

The Annual General Meeting of the Northern Ireland branch of the RSPBA will take place on Saturday November 11 with an 11.00am start.

Any bands wishing to make rule changes or recommendations would need to put those in writing and given to the secretary David Scott before this date. David's address is 13 Sleepy Valley, Rathfriland, BT34 5HL.

Ulster Star