THE fourth annual 'Young Player of the Year' solo piping competition, an invitational event organised to help develop the competition skills of our younger players, took place on Friday October 10.
The event organised and promoted by the Competing Soloists' Organisation, was held in Dungannon Rugby Football Club at Stevenson Park.
Named as 'Young Player of the Year' was Emmett Conway from Cookstown who won the over 15-under 18 years solo section, and who competes with Grade 1 Ballinderry Bridge. Emmett was also successful in the Piobaireachd competition in the 'Piper of the Year' the following day and won a well deserved third placing.
Winning the under 15 competition was 11 year old Scott Barr from Ballygowan who pipes with Ravara. This is the second victory for Scott as he had won the All Ireland solo competition in September. This is a name to look out for in the future.
In his introductory remarks, CSO Chairman Winston Pollock explained that each young player taking part had "earned their invitation" through achieving success already. He promised an evening of competitive piping from some of Ireland's finest young solo pipers, and the audience were certainly not disappointed.
All concerned, including guest adjudicator Mark Faloon from Rathfriland, commented on the excellent playing standard by all the competitors in both age groups.
At the close of the competition the soloists entertained the audience with their renditions of hornpipes, jigs and reels, followed by adjudicator Mark Faloon who also demonstrated his own considerable skill on the bagpipes.
As well as being supported by Dungannon RFC, the competition was further supported by donors of additional prizes and ballot prizes, and the CSO is indebted to everyone who helped to make the evening such tremendous success.
Other prize winners were 1st Scott Barr, 2nd. Andrew Hegan and 3rd Dean Cinnamond who all competed in the under 15 years.
Over 15 — Under 18 winners were 1st. Emmett Conway, 2nd. Jonathan Lamberton. 3rd. Alan MacPherson and 4th Jamie Walker.
Andrew Carlisle was named as the 'Piper of the Year' at the Northern Ireland Piping Society's solo competition event held on Saturday October 11 at the Adair Arms Ballymena.
This is an invitational event and solo pipers are selected from the cream of top senior and junior pipers from all over Ireland.
Andrew successfully defended the title he won last year, and as this was the 30th year of this event, a special prize was awarded to mark the occasion.
The performer with the highest aggregate points in the Piobaireachd and MSR event was presented with a silver mounted chanter, donated by WARMAC Bagpipes, and this was won by Andrew Carlisle.
Piobaireachd - 1st. Andrew Hall. 2nd. Andrew Carlisle. 3rd. Emmett Conway. Jig and Hornpipe - 1st. Andrew Carlisle. 2nd. Phillip Tasker.
MSR - 1st. Andrew Carlisle. 2nd. Phillip Tasker. 3rd. Ashley McMichael. 4th. Connor McCallion. Best Junior Piper was Phillip Tasker.
Ballydonaghy Pipe Band are holding a dinner evening to mark their 60th anniversary on Friday October 31 at the Ballymac Hotel at 8.00pm.
There will be some musical entertainment and any past member of the band or anyone else interested in attending will be made very welcome.
Tickets cost £25 and are available from any band member or by telephoning Rondal Stewart on 9082 5650 or Winston Pinkerton on 9446 6488.