SATURDAY March 31 will see the 11th annual Ulster Festival of Piping and Drumming, organised and promoted by the Competing Soloists' Organisation.
The Festival will also encompass the third Northern Ireland Solo Piping and Solo Drumming Championships.
With support from Newtownabbey Borough Council and held in excellent facilities at Monkstown Community School, Bridge Road, Monkstown, the competitions are scheduled to get underway from 9.30am on the day with the Open Piobaireachd, the under 18 years 'B' piping and junior grades starting off the proceedings.
All remaining competitions will follow at various times throughout the day. Entries have now closed with 120 soloists vying for top honours on the leader-board for each of the nineteen competitions as well as the overall championship titles.
Piping Adjudicators are Pipe Major Jimmy Banks, Fife, Pipe Major Gordon Walker a multi Gold Medal, Silver Star and Clasp winner from Ayrshire, and Pipe Major David Caldwell from Omagh. Others include Stephen Power from Waterford and locals Alfie Rea, Brian Rea and Harry Stevenson. Responsibility for the drumming competitions will be former senior drumming champions Stephen Creighton, Mark Wilson and David Brown.
This feast of solo piping, both classical and light music, and drumming at its finest is an event not to be missed.
Cullybackey Pipe Band will hold their 20th Annual solos in Cullybackey High School on Saturday April 7.
The closing date for entries will be Saturday March 31 and no late entries will be accepted. Please contact Mr. J. Gribben, 52 Elmwood, Cullybackey, Ballymena BT43 5PY or telephone 2588 1901.
Also on Saturday April 7 Cullybackey Pipe Band will proudly present a Day of Workshops and Master Classes with Barry Wilson Leading Tip of Scottish Power Pipe Band. Barry came fifth at the world solo drumming championships held at Monkstown Community Centre last October.
All classes are free and not to be missed by any drummer or anyone interested in drumming. They will be geared to individual standards and will be organised around the competitions throughout the day.
A meeting of the Northern Ireland Branch of the RSPBA will take place on Saturday March 31 at Trinity Methodist Complex, Knockmore Road Lisburn, where details arising from the AGM in Glasgow will be discussed.
Marlacoo Pipe Band will be presenting the 2006 world pipe band champions, Field Marshal Montgomery, in concert on Saturday April 14 at the Armagh City Hotel. Tickets are still available. Please contact McVeigh Highland Exports on 3756 9838, Richard Hare Kilts on 9073 9757 or the Armagh City Hotel direct on 3751 8888.
The 2007 Ulster Piping and Drumming solos under the auspices of the Northern Ireland Branch of the RSPBA will take place on Saturday April 21 in Monkstown Community School commencing at 9.30am.
Entry forms and details of this event are available from Contest Secretary Mervyn Herron 9 Ballydown Meadows, Castlewellan Road, Banbridge Co. Down BT32 4QX telephone 4062 4849.
The Saintfield Full Band Indoor competition will take place on Saturday April 28 in Saintfield High School. Contact Jonathan McCaughtry on telephone 9056 7387 for entry forms or further details. Entries close on April 14.
If anyone has pipe band news to share with other pipers and drummers in the Ulster Star please contact Mervyn McConnell at email@example.com.