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Soloists get chance to shine at annual invitational event 

THE Competing Soloists' Organisation will again promote a special invitational event for solo pipers this Friday, 7th September.

This competition will run in association with Dungannon and South Tyrone Council's 'Return of the Earls' programme. The venue will once again be the clubrooms of Dungannon Swifts Football Club at Ranfurly Road where the first competitor will take to 'the boards' at 7pm.

Each young competitor's performance will be keenly scrutinised by guest adjudicator Alastair Dunn, formerly from Newtownards but now working and residing in Glasgow. Alastair is a Gold and Silver Medal winner among numerous other accolades in the solo piping world.

He is currently Pipe Sergeant of Field Marshal Montgomery Pipe Band — the six times Grade 1 World Champions. After his judging duties, and if time permits, Alastair will demonstrate his own considerable talents by performing a short recital which all piping enthusiasts will enjoy.

This year's 'Gig'n The Bann' cross community Music and Dance Festival will take place from the 6th to 9th September at Portglenone Co. Antrim.

The Pipe Band competition will be held on Saturday at the Playing Fields, Portglenone Community Centre starting at 1 pm.

The European and Scottish Grade 2 champions- Seven Towers - will be appearing in concert at the Wild Duck Factory on the Saturday at 8.30pm

Further details on all the events over the week-end can be obtained by visiting

The Northern Ireland Piping and Drumming School commence their new classes on Saturday 29th September at loam in both Laurelhill Community College Lisburn and at the University of Ulster Magee Campus Londonderry. They will run each Saturday until March.

Instruction is given in both practical and theory of music to advanced level, with all ages and standards catered for by fully qualified instructors.

The School was established in 1980 to teach piping and drumming to all and to improve the skills of existing players. There will also be classes in Piobaireachd and Bass and Tenor drumming as well a series of Master classes especially arranged for those wishing to reach a higher standard of playing.

There will be an Open evening at both centres on Wednesday 19th September at 7.30pm where you can meet the teachers and hear more about what takes place at the classes. For further information contact the Northern Ireland Piping and Drumming School on 9262 8591 or visit their web page

Television times for broadcasting this year's All Ireland Pipe Band Championships, which took place at Newcastle Co. Down on 7th July, have now been finalised. There will be two 40-minute programmes on Monday 24th and Tuesday 25th September at 10.35pm, both on BBC1.

St.Laurence O'Toole, for only the second time in the band's history, won the coveted Grade 1 All Ireland title, defeating the reigning All Ireland champions — Field Marshal Montgomery Pipe Band.

The next competition will be the All Ireland solos which will take place on Saturday 15th September in Dublin.

The last two Branch meetings of this year will be held on Saturday 29th September and Saturday 27th October with the AGM on Saturday 10th November.

All these events will be held at the temporary venue of Trinity Methodist Church Hall, Knockmore Road, Lisburn.

Grade 2 Scottish and European champions - Seven Towers Pipe Band - will be appearing at an Ulster-Scots concert in Broughshane Community Centre Co. Antrim on Friday 14th September at 8pm.

Also appearing at this event will be the Sir George White flute band, Lower Burnside accordion orchestra and Marlagh Fife and drum band. Admission is £5.

Ulster Star