ALTHOUGH only eight bands travelled over to compete at this year's European Pipe band Championships, they were successful in winning four out of the six grades.
On a rainy day in Inverness Field Marshal Montgomery under Pipe Major Richard Parkes succeeded in taking first place in Grade 1. Coming a very close second with only one point behind them though was Strathclyde Police who also won the drumming title.
In Grade 2 Seven Towers with Pipe Major David Reid added the European title to the Scottish title won in Dumbarton in May. Killeen was runner up in this grade. This was a great result for these two bands as they were the only Ulster bands to enter this grade and they took the top two places.
It was a tight result in Grade 3A when Annsborough tied on 13 points with Johnstone but took the overall first placing on ensemble preference. Again they were the only band from Northern Ireland to compete in this grade.
No local band had entered 3B, which was won by Lanark and District who also won the drumming title. It was the same for 4B and this grade was won by Black Bottle of Islay But what a marvellous result for Cullenfad in Grade 4B under Pipe Major David Trainor. Sweeping all before them they took four first place wins to give them the European championship title. The runner up band Troon Blackrock was an amazing 8 points behind the winner.
Our drum majors also had a successful day at Inverness when they took the three European titles. Kathy Megarry won the senior grade, with Ryan Ferry the Juvenile and Emma Barr the junior titles.
Moira Demesne is the venue for this year's Ulster Championships on 4th August. Competing at this event will be the Hamilton Police Pipe band from Ontario as well as the College of Piping Pipe Band from Prince Edward Island in Canada. This will be a good trial run for both these bands before they travel over to Glasgow for this year's world pipe band championships.
Also after the championships are over the Tannahill Weavers, one of Scotland's premier traditional bands, will be appearing at a free concert at the Marquee in Moira Demesne starting at 7pm.
Friday 3rd August, the evening before the Ulster Championships take place, both these bands along with Ryan Canning solo piper with the reigning world champions - Field Marshal Montgomery- will be in concert at Trinity Methodist Church Hall, Knockmore Road, Lisburn commencingat 8pm.
On Friday 3rd August 2007 there will be an invitational recital held at the Catering College in Portrush commencing at 7pm. Adjudicators will be Pipe Major Terry Lee and Ken Eller.
Congratulations poured in to Donald and Gwen MacPherson, who recently celebrated their diamond-wedding anniversary at Murrayshall House Hotel in Scotland.
Donald is a living legend in the piping world and his record number of wins at the two premier meetings held in Oban and Inverness has distinguished him as being the most outstanding competitive piper to have ever lifted the bagpipes.
At Inverness, Donald has a record 9 first prizes in the Gold Clasp event, a record 15 firsts at the Senior Piobaireachd event at Oban and, amongst other records, 6 first in the Former Winners March, Strathspey and Reel event at Inverness.
The couple received a greeting card from the Queen and a floral tribute from The Lord Lieutenant.
Grade 1. 1st. Field Marshal Montgomery. 2nd.Strathclyde Police (also best drums). 3rd.House of Edgar Shotts 4th. Boghall and Bathgate. 5th. St.Laurence O'Toole. 6th.Robert Wiseman- Vale of Atholl.
Grade 2. 1st. Seven Towers. 2nd.Killeen. 3rd.Dumfries and Galloway. 4th Torphichen (also best drums). 5th.Buchan. 6th.Phoenix Honda Glasgow Skye.
Grade 3A. 1st. Annsborough. 2nd.Johnstone. 3rd.Dornach. 4th.University of Strathclyde. 5th. Beeston. (also best drums) 6th.Royal Burgh of Annan.
Grade 3B. 1st. Lanark. (Also best drums) 2nd.Greater Manchester Fire Service. 3rd.Methill. 4th.City of Brechin Mercury Signs and Designs. 5th.Ayr Pipe band Society. 6th.Central Scotland Police.
Grade 4A. 1st. Cullenfad (also best drums). 2nd.Troon Blackrock. 3rd. Kirkcudbright. 4th. Clydesdale. 5th. Kirkcaldy. 6th. Newtongrange.
Grade 4B. 1st. Black Bottle of Islay. 2nd.East Kilbride. 3rd.Northern Con. Community. 4th.Stockbridge. 5th. Badenoch & Strathspey.6th. Denny and Dunipace. Best Drums Burnisland.
Senior Drum Majors. 1st. Kathy Megarry.2nd. Alicia Dickson. 3rd.Brian Wilson. 4th.Paula Braiden. 5th. S. Stewart. 6th. W. Jordan.
Juvenile. 1st. Ryan Ferry. 2nd.Samantha Gordon. 3rd.A.Symon. 4th.Linzi Hamilton. 5th.C.Brown. 6th. L. Renton.
Junior. 1st. Emma Barr. 2nd.B.Martin. 3rd.G.Scanlon. 4th.M.McKinney. 5th.K.Renton.