ONE of Northern Ireland's oldest band supply retailers has recently changed ownership. The new owner is David Montgomery, who following the retirement of Mary Crowe has bought the Essey Musical Stores on the Albertbridge Road Belfast.
The Essey was established in 1933 by Mary's father Bobby Hillis who was succeeded by Mary in 1960 after her father's death. David intends to continue the business along the same lines including the supply of kilts and pipe band accessories, added to which is his new Andante Percussion agency. Mary however will continue to be in the shop on a part time basis adding her many years experience. David was a drummer in Broomhedge Pipe Band under PM Billy Jackson and Leading tip lain Mines when the band were crowned All Ireland Champions and the Drum corps won European, All Ireland, Ulster and Champion of Champions awards. Since then David has taught drumming in a number of the country's top Melody flute bands and currently plays with the radical sounding Hounds of Ulster, an indoor entertainment group playing pipe band style music but with flutes.
Phoenix Honda Glasgow Skye Pipe Band will be pulling out all the stops as they start to make plans to celebrate their 40th anniversary this year.
They will be inviting all current and former members and supporters to the Glasgow Marriott Hotel on Saturday April 19 for a champagne reception.
The band is under the leadership of Pipe Major Craig Campbell and Leading drummer Murray Stewart and competes in Grade 2. This season they will travel over to take part in the 2008 All Ireland Championships on July 5 in Ennis, Co. Clare in the Republic of Ireland
The band is well known as the sponsors and promoters of the very popular concert, which take place every year just before the world, pipe band championships in Glasgow, where the elite of pipe bands perform. St.Laurence O'Toole from Dublin, Field Marshal Montgomery from Ulster and Shotts Dykehead from Scotland are just a few names who have thrilled the audience with brilliant performances at this event Tommy Millar is back on Radio Ulster with his 'Touch of Tartan' pipe band programme. Next week the show will feature Seven Towers Pipe Band and Ravara. The programme starts just after the 2 o'clock news every Sunday.
A Charity Piping and Drumming night has been planned to take place in the Royal Hotel Cookstown on Saturday February 23 from 6pm to 10pm.
Organised by Gary Smyth, this evening will see the cream of many of the best pipers and drummers gathered in one place in aid of the Fort Riding Centre for Disabled children in Maghera.
This worthwhile event has attracted Barry Wilson (Scottish Power Pipe Band Scotland) the reigning 2007 world solo drumming champion, Steven McWhirter, Eric Ward, Stephen Creighton, Gavin Noade, and William Glenholmes.Then for piping there will be Stuart Liddell, Alen Tully, Chris Armstrong, and Andrew Carlisle.
Also introduced in the evening event will be Northern Ireland's Youth piper Alan McPherson, drummer Dean Smyth and Scotland's Youth drummer Cameron Ward. Before the charity event though and in the same venue, there will be an introduction into solo tenor drumming and bass section seminar starting from 12 noon to 4pm.
In this seminar drummers will learn how to optimise their solo tenor drumming performance. This session will be instructed by Stephen McQuillan from Boghall Bathgate Caledonia Pipe Band, winners of the world bass section six times.
Stephen will outline the key features for a competent solo performance and additionally will present an overview of the function of the bass section within the modern day pipe band ensemble. John Dunne from the St.Laurence O'Toole Pipe Band twice world bass section champions, will present the function, roll and styles of a competent Bass Drummer.
February 23 promises to be a great day's instruction and entertainment for all pipers and drummers and anyone wishing for more details can contact Gary Smyth on 07814446179
This is surely a line up of talent no piper or drummer would want to miss and given that all proceeds will go to such a worthy charity, it is a must date for your diary.