THE 2006 World Pipe Band Championships to take place at Glasgow Green Scotland on Saturday August 12 to mark the association's 60th anniversary is set to be the biggest and best in their history.
Interest in the championships has never been greater with record entries of bands plus many events leading up to the day.
The RSPBA is especially excited about the 50-minute programme that BBC Scotland has confirmed it will be televising to celebrate the event.
Record company KRL are also planning another DVD after sales of the 2005 one proved so successful, as well as a sound CD.
Glasgow City Council, the main sponsor of the world pipe band championships, has also launched a new website to keep everyone informed of all that is happening, not only on August 12 itself but all the events leading up to this special occasion. The new website address is www.gotoglasgow.com.
The site has a full list of bands that have entered the championships and has all the ticket information, location etc. There is also a 15-minute webcast from the 2005 championships.
Television companies from Ireland, Canada, USA, Europe and Australia have all expressed interest in purchasing this recording to broadcast from their own television stations.
Last year it was estimated that 40,000 visitors including 8,000 bandsmen and women, attended the world's event.
In the run up to the worlds there will be a daily pipe band parade in Glasgow city centre from 12 noon right up to the Friday August 11.
This parade usually combined with a Highland dancing display has always proved popular with the public.
For anyone travelling to the worlds the tickets are £7 with the concession £4. A Family ticket costs £17 and those wishing to enter the seated Grade 1 arena can buy a ticket for £19. This price included the £7 admission charge. The ticket hotline number is 0141 564 4242 and for online tickets the site number is www.secxtra.com.
There is also good news about the parking situation at the worlds this year. Following talks with the fire department and safety officials it has been agreed that the majority of bands will be allowed to take their coaches in or around the park. There will be room for a total of 180. This will mean that few will have to take the long walk to the main arenas at the Green as had happened last year. On July 29 the third of this year's major events will take place with the European Championships in Greenock Scotland.
The most important event to take place in Europe this year in the world of music is the 36th InterCeltic Festival held in Lorient Brittany.
From July 28 to August 6, 4500 musicians from around the world including Ireland, USA, Canada and Australia, and 650,000 plus visitors will converge on Lorient to see and hear the spectacle and the pageantry of this festival.
Dancers and musicians from all aspects of music will take part in the biggest annual Celtic gathering in the world. For further information contact www.festival-interceltique.com.
Plenty of summer events for local pipe bands
PIPING Live', Glasgow's International Festival of Piping, will take place from August 7 to August 13 in the run up to the 2006 World Pipe Band Championships.
With over one thousand musicians and many thousand spectators frorr across the globe, the Glasgow Piping Festival is one of the largest and moss colourful of its kind in the world.
This year `Tenor drummer dot com' will be included in the Festival. Known as `Back2BASSics' this will be their second annual international bass and tenor workshop and will be held at the University of Strathclyde Glasgow on Tuesday August 8.
The day will consist of fun and instruction in bass and tenor drumming from Trevor Buckley, Michael Cole, Scott Currie, Tyler Fry, Stephen Kilbride, John McFetridge and Stephen McQuillan.
The first workshop in 2005 welcomed a total of 51 students from five countries. As well as classroom activities there was a master class with leading drummers Gordon Brown and Jim Kilpatrick MBE and a city centre massed bass section performance with Lorne Cousin, a piper to Madonna's Re-invention tour. The site address is www.tenordrummer.com and further information on this event, including how to enrol, can be found on the website.
Also on Tuesday August 8 at 4.30pm a Masters drumming recital sponsored by Andante Percussion, Pearl Drums and Premier Percussion will take place. It will feature Jim Kilpatrick, Gordon Brown, Eric Ward and Barry Wilson and the drum corps of the House of Edgar-Shotts & Dykehead and Boghall & Bathgate Caledonia.
On Thursday August 10 there will be the University of Strathclyde's Recital Challenge featuring Jack Lee, Angus MacColl, Roddy MacLeod and Gordon Walker. Tickets are now on sale at £7 for this event. For further information visit www.pipingfestival.co.uk or call 0141 353 0220.
On Wednesday August 9 the Vale of Atholl Pipe Band will be in concert at Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, 2 Sauchihall Street Glasgow. Tickets are available from the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall telephone 0141 353 8000 or visit www.grch.com.
The second half of the season will kick off with the North Down Pipe Band Championships to be held on July 22 at Bangor Castle.