THE 10th Malahide Festival of Piping and Drumming will take place in the beautiful setting of Malahide Castle on Saturday May 12. There is a good entry of 43 bands for this event, which gives them their first outdoor run of the new season. The number is divided over 5 grades, with 7 in Grade 1 including the Scottish Power Pipe Band and 8 in Grade 2.
As usual generous prize money is being offered for the winning bands totalling over 5000 Euros.
Adjudicators for piping are Tom Anderson, John Moles, Ian Mclellan, Finbar Connolly and for drumming David Brown (Scotland) and Billy Dunlop. The Ensemble judges are Denver Cardwell and Ciaran Mordaunt with Alistair Patterson and Jim Graham for the drum majors.
Also on Friday May 11 there will be a solo competition in Malahide when 14 international pipers will compete for the Malahide solo championship title.
There was a good attendance in support for the recent Saintfield Indoor Full Band competition and although the number of entries competing was small, it presented a good opportunity to try out the whole band at this start to the new season.
The winners in Grade 3B were newly promoted Drumlough Pipe Band from outside Lisburn. Raffrey was in runner up place and winners of the best drum corps.
In Grade 4A Dromara took the first place title with Cullenfad second and Gransha in third place. The drumming title was won by St. Laurence of Howth.
There were only three grades competing and Cleland Memorial were the victors in Grade 4B, followed by Moneygore in second and winners of the best drum section, and Dr. Wright took the final third place.
There are 33 bands, over 5 grades, entered for the Co. Down Full Indoor Bands competition to be held on Saturday May 5 in Banbridge High School.
Adjudicators include Trevor Dear and Jim Baxter from Scotland, with local men Denver Cardwell and Mark Wilson.
There will be an appearance by the Red Hot Chilli Pipers at this year's annual Co. Down Pipe Band Championships on Saturday June 16. The group will also be appearing at a concert to be held in the Iveagh Movie Studies Banbridge on Friday June 15. Tickets are available from the Iveagh .
At the recent New Zealand Pipe Band Championships, the Mayor of Dunedin welcomed everyone to what he described as the Edinburgh of the South, a place where pipe music and the accompanying drums are so well received.
He continued that Dunedin was unique in so far as it is the only city in New Zealand where both karakia and the music of the pipes - representing the two founding cultures - could be heard at most civic receptions.
Forty-seven bands entered for this event including six in Grade 1. New Zealand Police, who will compete at the World Pipe Band Championships in Glasgow this August, were the winners of this grade.
The draw is now available for the Scottish Pipe Band Championships, which will take place at Dumbarton on Saturday May 19. This will be the first of this year's five major championships and there are 14 bands from Northern Ireland travelling over to take part with a total of 156 altogether.
Last year Field Marshal Montgomery won the Scottish Grade 1 title and McNeillstown the Grade 4A title. This is a feat both bands are hoping to repeat again this year.