Big thank you from

Bands gear up for the European Championships in Lisburn  

THE third of this year's five majors will take place on Saturday 26th July when the European Pipe Band Championships come to Lisburn.

There are a large number of pipe bands and drum majors entered for the championships, and many thousands of competitors and their followers will travel to Lisburn to support and compete at this event — an event not to be missed.

More than 60 years on since its formation in the town land of Drumalig, the Field Marshal Montgomery Pipe Band has amassed a total of 35 RSPBA major championships including six world championships and seven Champion of Champions titles.

The band has secured its place among the most prominent pipe bands of the past two decades.

Over the years Field Marshal Montgomery has contributed to many high profile concerts but it is only occasionally that the opportunity arises to perform before an audience drawn from the scattered pipe band global community.

That occasion was when they performed at their 2007 RE-CHARGED concert in Glasgow when they displayed a pictorial history on a giant screen above the stage, telling just part of the history of the band up until the early 1990's.

They then added to the concert material a few interviews from some past members. Names such as founding member Billy Russell, Pipe Sergeant Ian Wood, Pipe Major Ricky Newell, Drum Sergeant Richard Coffey and Gordon Parkes and Pipers Dorothy Barham and Karen (Jackson) O'Brien. Also interviews from current members Drum Sergeant Keith Orr, Current Chairman Earl Glasgow and of course their Pipe Major Richard Parkes MBE.

With their DVD now on sale everyone has the opportunity to sit back, listen and enjoy the amazing performance of the reigning Grade 1 world champions Field Marshal Montgomery Pipe Band.

The draw is now out for the 2008 World Pipe Band Championships, which takes place in Glasgow on 16th August. Just over 220 bands will battle it out to win the supreme prize in piping.

Scott Currie, a tenor drummer with the Grade 1 House of Edgar Shotts and Dykehead Pipe Band has organised a "Bring back our Best Bass Section Awards" petition

The RSPBA's National Council decision to eliminate this award caused an outcry from most of the world's tenor and bass players.

Up to the present some 688 names have been gathered including P.M. Robert Mathieson, Jim Kilpatrick, (House of Edgar-Shotts) Pipe Major Terry Tully, Stephen Creighton, (St.Laurence O'Toole) Pipe Major Bill Livingston Drew Duthart (78th Fraser Highlanders). Other signatures have come from Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Eire, England, France, Germany, Hong Kong, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Northern Ireland, Scotland, South Africa USA and Uruguay.

A copy of this petition will be presented to Chief Executive Ian Embelton before the end of the season. Scott also intends to speak with some other supporters at the European Championships in Lisburn to discuss the best way forward in this matter.

Best bass awards are given at most competitions organised by the Northern Ireland section of the RSPBA.

Ulster Star