THIS year's All Ireland solos were held in St. Colmcille's Junior School, Dublin with a large entry of 160 competitors from both the North and South of Ireland. In the results Ulster players dominated all but one grade with Andrew Carlisle from Field Marshal Montgomery winning the senior piping and Steven McWhirter the senior drumming prize. Steven is the reigning world solo-drumming champion and will be defending his title at this year's championships to be held in Glasgow Caledonia University on October 27.
In the Piobaireachd Open section Jonathan Greenlees claimed the first place title and lemma Redmond won the Piobaireachd B section.
The Northern Ireland Piping Society will hold its Piper of the Year competition on Saturday October 6 in the Adair Arms Hotel Ballymena with the Piobaireachd commencing at 12 noon and the MSR at 7pm.
This is an invitational competition and 16 pipers have been invited to compete against each other to claim the prestigious title.
Adjudicator will be Pipe Major Roddy MacLeod who is a double gold medal winner and director of the National Piping Centre in Glasgow. At the close of the event Pipe Major MacLeod will give a short recital. Pipe Major Tom Anderson, who was one of the guest adjudicator at this year's All Ireland solos, has taken over the reins of the Georgetown Pipe Band of Georgetown Ontario. He has been au instructor for the band for several years, and will take over from Tracy Porter.
Tom is a legendry figure in the piping world and has the distinction of been the only non-Irish winner on. two occasions of the All Ireland solo piping championships.
He comes from Paisley Scotland and was the Pipe Major of Renfrew Pipe Band and then moved to Dublin where he was Pipe Major of St. Patrick's Donaghmore, Co. Tyrone. He was also a strong force with the McDonald Pipe Band from Dromore, along with the late Tom Geddis, and it was while travelling up from Dublin to play with the McDonalds that he wrote his famous and well know tune `Train Journey North'.
Tom immigrated to Canada in the 1980's and was Pipe Major to the Peel and the Niagara Regional Police bands. He also played with the 78th Fraser Highlanders for much of the late 1980's and the early 1990's.
Georgetown Pipe Band hope to compete in Grade 3 in the 2008 season having had a great 2007 year in Grade 4.
A meeting of the Northern Ireland branch of the RSPBA was held last Saturday and much discussion was centred round the Branch's promotion of next Year's competitions and events. Dates of next year's major championships were given as follows: 24th May - Scottish in Dumbarton - 28th June British in Birmingham - 26th July - European in Lisburn - 16th August -Worlds in Glasgow - 30th August - Cowal..
The next meeting will be held At Trinity Methodist Church Hall Knockmore Road Lisburn on Saturday October 27. This will be the last meeting before this year's Annual General Meeting on November 10.
Field Marshal Montgomery Pipe band will be taking part in this year's Belfast Festival at Queens. They will be performing at the opening concert at the Waterfront Hall on Friday October 19. The concert also features Irish music legends The Chieftains, the Ulster Orchestra and Ulster. Youth Choir. Tickets can be obtained from the Box Office on 9097 1197.
11 year old Bradley Parker has added yet another title to his ever growing collection of trophies, when he won the Scottish Junior Solo Piping championship recently at Carnoustie Scotland. He took first place in the Practical Pipers Society under 13 Piobaireachd and runner up in the Talisman Energy UK under 13 MSR giving him first place overall. His next competition is the Festival of Juvenile Solo Piping at Saltcoats Ayrshire on 20th October and we all wish him every success once again.
We are sad to report the news of the sudden death of. Mitchell Hutchinson. 'Mitch', as he was known, was the ex Executive Officer of the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association for many years. He made frequent visits to competitions in Northern Ireland and will be greatly missed by his many friends here. Sympathy is extended to all his family and friends.
Results of All Ireland -
Juvenile Piping - 1st. Scott Barr. 2nd. Neil Badger. 3rd. Dean Cinnamond.
Juvenile Piping - 1st. Mark Adair. 2nd. Scott Wallace. 3rd. Jamie Walker.
Junior Piping - 1st. Rachael Corr 2nd, Michael Harvey. 3rd. Philip Tasker.
Intermediate Piping - 1st. Kris Coyle. 2nd. Kevin Rogers. 3rd. Shane Lillis.
Senior Piping - 1st. Andrew Carlisle. 2nd. Alen Tully. 3rd. Johnathon Greenlees.
Piobaireachd B - 1st. lemma Redmond. 2nd. Rachael Corr 3rd. Colette O'Connor.
Piobaireachd Open - 1st. Johnathan Greenlees. 2nd. Andrea W. 3rd. Andrew Carlisle.
Juvenile Drumming - 1st. Blake McVeigh. 2nd. Dean Smyth. 3rd Matthew Shaw.
Juvenile Drumming - 1st. John Stewart. 2nd. Garreth Carrick. 3rd. Ian McCombe
Junior Drumming - 1st. Jason Hoy. 2nd. Alastair Hopper. 3rd. Gareth McLees. Best Lady Michelle Rankin. Intermediate Drumming - 1st. Chris McNicholl. 2nd. William Glenholmes. 3rd. Ian Lawson.
Senior Drumming - 1st. Steven McWhirter 2nd. Stephen Creighton. 3rd. Philip Bell