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Soloists compete for 'Young Player of the Year' title  

THE 'Young Player of the Year organised by the Competing Soloists Organisation, will take place on Friday at Dungannon Rugby Clubs Stevenson Park, commencing at 7.00pm

This is an invitational event for solo pipers with two sections - under 15 and 15 to 18 years old. The guest adjudicator is Mark Faloon.

The 'Piper of the Year' invitational solo event, organised by the N. I. Piping Society will be held on Saturday October 11 at the Adair Arms Hotel, Ballymena.

The adjudicator for this event is Tom Speirs from Edinburgh. Tom has won all the major individual piping awards including Gold Medal at Inverness in 1980 and The Clasp at Inverness in 1983.

He has won the March competition and Strathspey and Reel competition at both Oban and Inverness and has competed at the Grants Invitation competition at Blair Atholl on five occasions.

Tom was one of the first adjudicators at the Piper of the Year competition in 1978, and he will perform a recital at the close of the competition.

The Piobaireachd competition will commence at 1.00pm and the draw is as follows:

1. Mike Egan Limerick 2. Andrew Hall Upminster 3. Connor McCallion Cookstown 4. Emmett Conway Cookstown 5. Alen Tully Dublin 6. Alastair Murray Ballygowan 7. Andrew Carlisle Ballygowan 8. Peter Donnan Dublin.

The Piper of the Year competition will commence at 7.00pm and the draw is as follows: 1. Ashley McMichael Antrim 2. Amos Gilmore Ballymena 3. Kris Coyle Carrickfergus 4. Brian Crawford Ballymena 5. Lindsay McNicholl Lurgan 6. Alen Tully Dublin 7. Andrew Carlisle Ballygowan 8. Connor McCallion Cookstown 9. Peter Donnan Dublin 10. Alan Ferguson Cookstown 11. Andrew Hall Upminster 12. Kevin Rodgers Kilkeel 13. Richard McGrath Castledawson 14. Glen Cupples Newtownards 15. Robert Black Donemana 16. Philip Tasker Glenavy.

The Northern Ireland Branch of the RSPBA are looking for anyone who may have old programmes, photographs, band member lists, or other memorabilia, that could be used to put together an archive of material relating to the local pipe band scene.

Items can be donated or photocopied and returned to owners. Please contact the branch office at 32a Bachelors Walk Lisburn BT28 1UA or by telephone 9267 0445.

Last year it was a big disappointment to pipe bands when the popular Malahide contest had to be cancelled.

Fortunately contest secretary Mervyn' Herron stepped in to save the day, and at short notice organised a competition in Banbridge to replace this event.

The good news coming from the branch meeting held recently is that the Malahide contest will go ahead for the year 2009.

This event is always well supported by bands and supporters alike. St. Laurence O'Toole, Field Marshal Montgomery, Ballycoan, Ballinderry Bridge and, St.Laurence Howth have been attending the Malahide event without fail every year since it started in 1998.

Last week saw the premiere of 'On Eagles Wing' at the Grand Opera House, Belfast. The show featured Peter Corry and Alyth McCormack and a cast of some very well known names.

The pipe band scene was also very well represented with solo performances from Robert Watt from Maghera on bagpipes and whistle, and Mark Wilson on drums.

Mark thrilled the audience with an outstanding performance on drums which brought many of the audience to their feet in appreciation.

At the Finale both of these men were joined by Pipe Major Sammy Connolly and some of the pipers from Ravara Pipe Band.

Ulster Star