A NEW era has begun for Banbridge Pipe Band with the recent election of the youngest pipe major in its 55-year old history.
Nineteen-year-old Leigh Anderson from Dromore was formally appointed to the top role at the band's recent annual general meeting in Ballymoney Orange Hall.
He succeeds Alan Gourley, who has been in the role of Pipe Major for the last 12 years, and who will continue to pipe in the band.
Leigh said: "I'm delighted to have been elected to this prestigious position and I will thoroughly relish the challenge in the years ahead."
Alan, who was presented with an engraved watch to mark his long service as piper and pipe major, said: "Leigh will be a fantastic asset and he has already made a major impression as the band begins its preparations for the 2008 contest season in Grade 3A."
This year's world solo drumming championships will take place on Saturday October 27 at Glasgow Caledonian University situated near Glasgow city centre.
There are entries from drummers from around the world including Spain, Australia, USA, Canada, New Zealand Europe and both the north and south of Ireland. As for some years now the championships will be sponsored by Sam Hodgen and Andante Percussion from Rathfriland.
Sam approaches drum making in the way he approaches most things in life – with perfectionism, intensity, resourcefulness, persistence and vision. The result of these qualities is evident in the end product, which he produces at his factory in Rathfriland. This is where the world famous range of Andante percussion products are manufactured. The inspiration behind the development of the Andante Pipe Band Snare Drum came from necessity - the mother of invention.
An increasing number of pipe bands throughout the competition grades are now using Andante drums and in addition the company now boasts a number of Grade 1 bands using their products including Alberta Caledonia (Canada), Bleary and District, Boghall and Bathgate, Lothian and Borders Police, Robert Wiseman Dairies Vale of Atholl, and Tayside Police.
The Pat Faloon Senior Solo Piping Competition will be held in the Fort Bar Scotch Street Dungannon on Saturday November 17 and the guest adjudicator will be Fred Morrison.
Pipers from France, Scotland and the North and South of Ireland will compete for the title.
One of the interesting and most entertaining features of the evening will be a session of 'Kitchen Piping' where each piper plays a set of tunes of his own choice and mostly composed by himself.
It is with deep regret that we learn of the death of Charles (Charlie) Rea. He was a well known figure in pipe band circles and drummed with many bands in Northern Ireland including Armstrong Memorial, Ravara, North Belfast and Ballydonaghy.
The sympathy of all in the pipe band association is extended to his wife Linda son Ian and brothers Bobbie and Andrew Rea and all the family circle.