Big thank you from

New Year meeting of  NI RSPBA  

THE first meeting of the Northern Ireland branch of the RSPBA will take place at the new venue of Trinity Methodist Church Hall, Knockmore Road Lisburn on Saturday January 27 at 2.00pm. The old venue of the Bridge Community centre will be closed for at least 6 months for renovation.

It is hoped to have copies of the 'Officials and Programme of Events' booklet available for this coming year at this meeting.

Contact person is Walter McKibben, who also has new RSPBA Northern Ireland Branch ties for sale. He can be contacted on mobile 077 9556 1135.

BBC Scotland television has confirmed that they will be back at Glasgow Green in 2007 for the World Pipe Band Championships. They promise that there will be an even bigger outside broadcast crew than last year.

BBC top brass have been highly impressed with the 500,000 plus viewing figures the September 3 broadcast achieved – the highest on BBC Scotland television that weekend. The broadcast won an award for Event of the Year 2006 held by Scots Traditional Music Awards. This was the first time in 75 years the RSPBA has won such a prestigious award.

The National Piping Centre is delighted to announce a new competition league for adult amateur solo pipers.

CLASP is the very first competition league for amateur pipers in the UK and Ireland with membership open to pipers worldwide. It has been established to provide a circuit of graded solo piping competitions for adult amateur pipers, to maintain a grading system, to raise the standard and profile of amateur piping and to work in harmony with existing competition organisers. For information. membership and entry details visit

A very special drumming exhibition in aid of the Kilronan Special Schools Magherafelt will take place on Saturday February 24 in the Royal Hotel Cookstown from 6pm until 9pm.

Those taking part in this very worthwhile event will be the new world solo drumming champion, Stephen McWhirter (Simon Fraser University Canada); Jim Kilpatrick (16 times winner of the' worlds solo drumming); Gordon Brown (Boghall & Bathgate); Barry Wilson (Scottish Power); Stephen Creighton (St.Laurence O'Toole); Philip Bell (Field Marshal Montgomery); Brendan Megoran (Ballycoan); Chris McNicholl (Strathclyde Police); and Gareth McLees (Ravara).

If anyone wishes to contribute to this charity event please contact Gary Smyth on 0781 444 6179.

A recording by the BBC of the very popular and successful visit of the Scottish Fiddle Orchestra which appeared at the Ulster Hall last September will be televised on Tuesday January 23.

This three-hour show was the first venture of its kind for the Northern Ireland branch of the RSPBA and proved a resounding success.

The new Piping and Drumming School under the tuition of local Ballymena men David Reid Pipe Major and Stephen Purvis Leading Tip of the Seven Towers Pipe band will commence on Tuesday January 23 at Houston's Mill.

This is a good opportunity for young boys and girls to be taught the pipes and drums by experienced and dedicated teachers. Contact Valerie Brake at Houston's Mill on telephone 2586 2777 for further details.

Ulster Star