Big thank you from

Standing ovations as musicians lay down the Path to Peace 

LAST Friday night the Waterfront Hall was alive with the sound of music as the Cross Border Orchestra of Ireland and Altnaveigh House/Piping Hot presented their concert entitled 'Path to Peace'.

Music that promoted the rich diverse culture of the Island of Ireland included Highland pipes, Bodhran, Drums, Flute, Fiddle, Violins, Clarinet, Trumpet, Trombone, Guitars, Uilleann Pipes, Whistles and Lambeg drums.

And what a night it was. Standing ovations were given to all the artists, especially the 500 children from the l7 schools from Belfast, Down and Louth.

The Cross Border Orchestra led by Jennifer Murphy under conductor Gearoid Grant, Piping Hot from Altnaveigh House and Irish Tenor Emmanuel Lawler were absolutely brilliant. The variety of music and the enthusiasm of everyone resulted in a superb night of entertainment.

It was also good to see Mark Wilson back to his old self again when he gave an exciting solo performance on the drum.

As pipe band enthusiasts know Mark has been battling a long illness but last Friday he proved that he not only has regained much of the strength but also lost none of his talent.

Congratulations to everyone involved in bringing this new, exciting and adventurous show to Belfast. Let's hope the overwhelming support of everyone present last Friday will encourage the promoters to bring more of this quality show to our city aimed at promoting the 'Path to Peace' - at least among all music lovers.

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

With the line up prepared to take part in this event, it promises to be a feast of drumming never heard before in Northern Ireland.

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 world solo drumming - the House of Edgar Shotts & Dykehead Pipe Band); Gordon Brown (two times world champion- Boghall & Bathgate); Eric Ward (World Finalist – Strathclyde Police) Barry Wilson (World Finalist - Scottish Power); Stephen Creighton (World Finalist -St.Laurence O'Toole); Philip Bell (World Finalist - Field Marshal Montgomery); Brendan Megoran (World Finalist - Ballycoan); Chris McNicholl (Juvenile Section Three world solo champion - Strathclyde Police); and Gareth McLees (Juvenile section two world solo champion-Ravara).

Pearl, Andante and Premier have donated a set of drums each which will all be up for ballot on the night and all proceeds will also go to Kilronan Special School. This surely has to be an event no drummer or indeed anyone interested in drumming will want to miss. Admission is £10 and all proceeds will go to Kilronan Special School. If anyone wishes to contribute to this charity event please contact Gary Smyth on 0781 444 6179.

The adjudicators for the 2007 pipe band championships have just been released. They include from Northern Ireland Denver Cardwell, Ian Wood, Harry Stevenson, Winston Pollock, John Moles for piping and for drumming Billy Dunlop, Sandy Steele,and Harry Russell.

The full list of adjudicators can be found on the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association website

A meeting of the Northern Ireland branch of the RSPBA will take place on Saturday 24th February at the new venue of the Methodist Church, Knockmore Road Lisburn commencing at 2 pm.

Ulster Star