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Ballydonaghy gets a new  Pipe Major  

BALLYDONAGHY Pipe Band from outside Glenavy will have a new Pipe Major next year as they compete in Grade 3B.

Following in his father's footsteps is Darren Pinkerton, son of Winston Pinkerton, who is a well-known figure in pipe band circles.

Darren was a piper with Grade 2 Ravara Pipe Band and has a wealth of piping knowledge, which will be valuable to Ballydonaghy.

The ex Pipe Major of the band, Stephen McAuley, has had to step down from the post owing to work commitments. His greatest success with the band was in winning the world pipe band championship title in Grade 3B some years ago.

Pipe Major Winston Pinkerton, who is Chairman of the Co. Antrim section of the RSPBA NI, is in charge of the Ballydonaghy junior band, which is made up of young boys and girls. Winston has also been running a very successful piping class for beginners.

At the recent Annual General Meeting of the Northern Ireland branch of the RSPBA an official new logo was presented to the representatives.

The logo, which took six months to design, has three lines to represent the drones of a set of bagpipes and a green hexagon, which is to represent the six countries of Northern Ireland. The new logo is hoped to be marketed on key rings, hats and tee shirts.

The Annual General Meeting of the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association will take place on Saturday March 8 at the Quality Central Hotel, 99 Gordon Street, Glasgow. It is hoped that some representatives from Northern Ireland will attend. To book your place please contact Mervyn Herron telephone 4062 4849 or mobile 07702 681189.

The William Kerr Memorial Pipe Band under Pipe Major Andrew Shilliday is a band that has made steady progress during last season. The highlight of their season was winning the All Ireland title in 4B at Newcastle and also taking the best drum corps award.

Now they are keen to add to their Drum Corps. They practise every Monday evening in the Drummond Hall outside Moy under Leading Drummer John Johnston.

Anyone interested in finding out more about joining the band should contact telephone 07704 641914 or 07711 644365 for further information.

Colin MacLellan originally from Edinburgh, but who also lived for 23 years in Ontario, retired from solo competitions at the beginning of November 2007.

Colin has a long list of successes including winning the Glenfiddich Invitational solo piping seven times.

He has taught at 17 different summer schools in North America, and for many years ran the teaching programme in Maxville Ontario. He also taught at the National Piping Centre and currently teaches piping at Edinburgh Academy.

He was President of the Competing Pipers Association for six years pushing for reform in judging and fairer representation for non- Scottish members. He also has extensive experience in pipe bands, having played with the 78th Fraser Highlanders, Grade 1 Dunvegan Pipe Band and was Pipe Major of the Lothian and Borders Police and Glengarry bands.

The venues and dates for next years major pipe band championships are as follows: Scottish in Dumbarton on May 24, The British in Birmingham on June 28, The European in Lisburn on July 26.

The Worlds will be held in Glasgow on August 16 and The Cowal in Dunoon is set for August 30.

Ulster Star