Big thank you from

Seven Towers Solo Championships held last weekend in Ballymena  

THE Seven Towers solo piping and drumming championships took place last Saturday in Bailee High School Ballymena.

There were a total of 95 entries for this the first of the 2007 solo events taking place in the Northern Ireland Branch of the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association.

Adjudicators were Brian Donaldson from Scotland and local men Mark Faloon, Ashley McMichael, Neil Ussher and Neil Pinkerton. Secretary Patricia Pedlow provided the results.

The senior piping winner was Andrew Carlisle from the Field Marshal Montgomery Pipe Band with William Glenholmes from Cullybackey Pipe band taking the top drumming title.

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 on telephone number 3882 0374.

The solos will take place on Saturday March 31 at Monkstown Community High School commencing at 9am. There are quite a few events planned to be held on Saturday March 17 - St. Patrick's Night.

One is a concert in the Waterfront Hall headlined by the Ulster Orchestra and Phil Coulter and his Orchestra. The final line up of solo performers is still being finalised but at this stage it is intended to include Pipe' Major Richard Parkes, and drummers Lee Lawson and Mark Wilson.

The event which promises to be a really good evening of entertainment to suit everyone will also be recorded for the BBC television. Then the Cleland Memorial Pipe Band along with the Belvoir Drum Majors will be taking part in the annual St. Patrick's Day parade in Downpatrick.

Finally on March 17 the Ulster Youth Ensemble will be performing at a concert in Dungannon Swifts Football Club at 8pm.

The Ensemble is a cross-cultural, cross community project which includes piping, a full range of percussion, drum majors, Highland, Irish and Scottish country dancing. It boasts a wide repertoire of music and at previous concerts have always produced a lively and entertaining evening of music. Tickets can be obtained from Linda Lawson on 3752 2369 or pay at door.

It will be a busy month for the Belvoir Drum Majors as they hold their annual display and Presentation of Certificates on Friday March 23 in Belvoir Parish Church Hall. The guest of honour at this event will be the Patron of the Northern Ireland branch -The Earl of Erne and Lady Erne. The Inspecting Officer for the evening will be the current senior world drum major champion Alistair Patterson, who is also a past pupil of the class when it was held in Carryduff.

A date for your diary is Saturday April 7 when the 20th Cullybackey Pipe Band annual solo competition will take place in Cullybackey High School.

Also on that day there will be a workshop and master classes with Barry Wilson - Leading Tip of Scottish Power Pipe Band.

Barry has also had a successful solo career as well and came fifth in the 2006 world solo drumming championships held at Monkstown Community School in October last year. Unfortunately Jim Kilpatrick who was originally booked to come and take the master classes has had to cancel due to unforeseen circumstances.

Marlacoo Pipe Band are presenting a concert featuring the 2006 world pipe band champions - Field Marshal Montgomery - under the direction 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 on sale at £15 each. Tickets outlets are McVeigh Highland Exports on 3756 9838; Richard Hare Kilts on 9073 9757 and Armagh City Hotel on 3751 8888.

Results of Seven Towers Solos

Drum Pad under 14 - 1st. Dean Bingham. 2nd. Cameron Sharp. 3rd. Mark Watt. 4th. Renwick Sharp.

juvenile drumming under 14 - 1st. Dean Smyth. 2nd. Matthew Shaw.

Juvenile 14/16 - 1st. Stephen Paynter. 2nd. Clarke Campbell. 3rd. Ian McCombe. 4th. Cathy Callaghan.

Juvenile 16/18 - 1st. John Stewart. 2nd. Geoffrey Presho.

Junior - 1st. Jonathon Hoy. 2nd. Jason Hoy. 3rd. Geogory Patton. 4th. Aaron MacLean. (All Cullybackey drummers)

Intermediate Drumming - 1st. William Glenhohmes.

Practice Chanter under 14 - 1st. Hugh O'Donnell. 2nd. Scott Barr. 3rd. Andrew Hagan. 4th. Dale Fisher.

Practice Chanter 14/16 - 1st. John O'Donnell. 2nd. Sam Taylor.

Juvenile piping under 14 - 1st. Robert Green. 2nd. Jonathan Gardiner. 3rd. John Fittis. 4th. Adam Fittis

Juvenile 14/16 - 1st. Janice Walker. 2nd. Graham Harris. 3rd. Joshua McKee. 4th. Mark Adair.

Juvenile 16/18 - 1st. Jemma Redmond. 2nd. Emmett Conway. 3rd. Stuart Higgins. 4th. Jonathon Lamberton.

Junior - 1st. Phillip Tasker. 2nd. Brian Reynolds. 3rd. Laura Jane Lawson. 4th. Wm. Quinn.

Intermediate - 1st. Connor McCallion. 2nd. Charles Noin. 3rd. Chris Coyle. 4th. Michelle Redmond.

Senior - 1st. Andrew Carlisle. 2nd. Ashley McMichael. 3rd. Glenn Cupples. 4th Amos Gilmore.

Jig - 1st Andrew Carlisle. 2nd. Glenn Cupples.

Ulster Star