Big thank you from

Countdown to solo championships  

THE Seven Towers solo piping and drumming championships will be held at Bailee Community School Ballymena on Saturday March 3 starting at 12 noon.

There are 90 entries for this event with sections including practise chanter, drum pad, junior and intermediate drumming, junior intermediate and senior piping.

Adjudicators to date will be Brian Donaldson, Mark Falloon and Ashley McMichael. Drumming judge still to be confirmed.

For further information please contact Patricia Pedlow on 9261 3092 or 07712 194981.

The Annual General Meeting of the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association will take place on Saturday March 10 at the Quality Hotel 99 Gordon Street Glasgow.

There is no organised transport available for representatives to attend this meeting and those seeking to go will need to arrange their own transport.

A reminder that the closing date for the 11th Ulster Festival of Piping and Drumming 2007 incorporating the Northern Ireland solo championships is Monday March 12.

Anyone still requiring a set of rules and entry forms should contact secretary Samuel Lawson 8 Annaghanoon Road Waringstown Craigavon BT66 7RZ on 3882 0374 as soon as possible.

The solos take place on Saturday March 31 at Monkstown Community High School commencing at 9am. These excellent facilities, which allow all competitions to be held under one roof, and with catering facilities available, should prove to be very amenable for both competitor and spectator alike, especially for those who have to travel a distance.

On Wednesday February 14 Belvoir Drum Majors attended a reception in Belfast City Hall where they were welcomed by the Lord Mayor Councillor Pat McCarthy. The Mayor presented class instructor Kathleen Smyth with a City of Belfast Council Shield in recognition of her cross community work with the class. The afternoon finished with a guided tour of the City Hall.

The Mayor has also invited Belvoir Drum Majors to head the Belfast Lord Mayor's show on Saturday May 26 where they will be lead by the Cleland Memorial Pipe Band from Bangor under Pipe Major Caldwell Hamilton.

Marlacoo Pipe Band are presenting a concert featuring the 2006 world pipe band champions, Field Marshal Montgomery, under the leadership of Pipe Major Richard Parkes and Leading Tip Keith Orr.

The event will be held on Saturday April 14 at 8pm in the Armagh City Hotel and tickets are now available at £8 each.

Ticket outlets are McVeigh Highland Exports on 3756 9838; Richard Hare Kilts on 9073 9757; and Armagh City Hotel on 3751 8888.

The 2007 Cowal Highland games will play host this year to over 3500 competitors from all over Scotland, England, Ireland, Canada, USA, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.

Scheduled to be held in Dunoon Scotland on Thursday August 23, Friday August 24 and Saturday August 25, the games include pipe bands, highland dancing, heavy events, solo piping, athletics and drum majoring.

Over the years since their formation back in 1894 the Cowal has made many changes. 2007 will also bring much welcomed change. The spectators will now be allowed to gather round the arena in a new layout, which has been designed to allow greater access to listening to the bands. Also the playing fields adjacent to the stadium have been acquired and will facilitate more room for some of the grades to compete in.

The parking arrangements have also been improved and will accommodate more buses and cars.

With the unique March Past and Salute to the Chieftain of around 150 bands, make up of 3,000 pipers and drummers down the main Street of Dunoon, makes the Cowal Highland Gathering one of the most spectacular Highland Games worldwide.

Ulster Star