LOCALLY based Field Marshal Montgomery are back on top of the world after another amazing display in the World Pipe Band championships in Glasgow.
In spite of rain for most of the day, spectators flocked to this unique event to see and hear the sound and colour of the pipes and drums of over 220 bands- all competing to win the coveted crown of world champion.
And what a day of successes it was for Ulster bands when they won seven world titles.
Retaining their supremacy in Grade 1 was Field Marshal Montgomery.
Winning the elite grade for their sixth time the band gave a flawless performance under Pipe Major Richard Parkes MBE.
A comment made by one of the adjudicators was that they had a sound that many bands could only dream off. Field Marshal Montgomery had a clear nine points lead over their nearest challengers Simon Fraser University who took runner up place. Shotts were third, followed by 78th Fraser Highlanders who also won the overall drumming championship title. In fifth was Strathclyde Police with St. Laurence O'Toole from the South of Ireland competing the final sixth placing.
The success continued in Grade2 when Cullybackey Pipe band with Pipe Major Robert Cupples and Leading Tip Adrian Hoy took first place and won the drumming title as well. Runners up were Seven Towers with Ravara taking fourth placing.
Another world title came in Grade 3A to Annsborough when they claimed the drumming championship crown. They also took overall third placing in this grade, which was won by Southern band Arklow. Aughintober also gained a prize in 3A by winning sixth place.
Two more world titles were won in 4A when Cullenfad with Pipe Major David Trainor took first place with Gransha winning the world drumming championship title. Killadeas were runner-ups with Dromara taking third place.
And the final pipe band world title went to the Dr. Wright Memorial from Newtownards when they won the drumming championships in 4B.
This grade was won by the University of Bedfordshire with Moneygore in runner up place and Bready Ulster Scots taking fourth.
The only grade that didn't have an Ulster band taking a world title was in Grade 3B which Cullen from the South of Ireland won along with the drumming championship title. Raffrey were 5th and Killen 6th.
In the juvenile drum major championships Ryan Ferry took the world crown completing an amazing season for him with an almost faultless series of first place wins. Indeed in the juvenile grade every place was won by Ulster drum majors.
Gary Scanlon from Thiepval Memorial in Donegal won the junior grade and Jason Paquio from Kevin R. Blandford Memorial the senior grade.
The 2007 world pipe band championships have been recorded for television by BBC Scotland and will be shown in Northern Ireland very soon. DVDs have also been made and will be available in the next few weeks from the RSPBA Headquarters and on their website
This week's action moves to Ramore Head Portrush where 54 bands will compete at the North West Championships on Saturday 18th August.
There will be a parade of Portrush town centre on Friday 17th August as part of the 'Youth in Action' programme organised by the Northern Ireland Branch of the RSPBA.
It will leave the Comfort Hotel around 7pm and parade to the Bandstand. Taking part this year along with the Novice and Junior drum majors will be the Robert Malcolm Memorial Pipe Band from British Columbia in Canada.
Afterwards the annual individual recital competition will be held in the Catering College from 7.30pm.
Players who have obtained places at solo competitions throughout the year will be invited to give a recital of approximately ten minutes.
Adjudicators for this event will be Pipe Major Terry Lee from the Simon Fraser University Pipe band in Vancouver and Pipe Major Ken Eller from Ontario.
Both these men have a wealth of piping talent and success to their credit. The final major championship event of the 2007 season will be the Cowal Highland Gathering on Saturday 25th August in Dunoon Scotland.
This competition will also decide who is champion of champions for this year.
Grade 1 - 1st. Field Marshall Montgomery. 2nd. Simon Fraser University. 3rd. House of Edgar-Shotts. 4th.78th Fraser Highlanders. (Also drumming). 5th.Strathclyde Police. 6th. St.Laurence O'Toole.
Grade 2 - 1st. Cullybackey (also drumming) 2nd.Seven Towers. 3rd. The Band Club. 4th. Ravara. 5th. Buchan. 6th. Torphichen & Bathgate.
Grade 3A - 1st. Arklow. 2nd. RAF Halton. 3rd. Annsborough (also best drums). 4th. MacKenzie Cal. 5th. Kevin R. Blanford Mem. 6th. Aughintober:
Grade 3B - 1st. Cullen. (Also best drums) 2nd. Manchester Fire Service. 3rd. Lanark & District. 4th. College of Piping. 5th. Raffrey. 6th. Killen.
Grade 4A - 1st. Cullenfad. 2nd. Killadeas. 3rd. Dromara. 4th. Paris Port Dover 5th. Duns. 6th. Kirkwall City. Best Drums - Gransha
Grade 4B - 1st. University of Bedfordshire. 2nd. Moneygore. 3rd. East Kilbride. 4th. Bready Ulster Scots. 5th. Black Bottle of Islay. 6th. Badenoch & Strathspey. Best Drums - Dr: Wright Memorial
Senior Drum Majors - 1st. Jason Paquio. 2nd. Kathy Megarry-Calvin 3rd. Paula Braiden. 4th. Ian Young. 5th. Brian Wilson. 6th. Kevin MacHeffner.
Juvenile - 1st. Ryan Ferry. 2nd. Linzi Hamilton. 3rd. Samantha Gordon. 4th. Laura Jane Lawson. 5th. Caroline Clydesdale. 6th. lemma Clydesdale
Junior - 1st. Gamy Scanlon. 2nd. Lorna Robinson. 3rd. Rachel Caldwell. 4th. Robert Le Var. 5th. Craig Clydesdale. 6th. Dale Fisher.