GRADE 1 St. Laurence O'Toole Pipe Band have formed a 'Friends of the Band' programme which enables supporters to contribute funds and in return receive band merchandise. This programme gives the band an outlet to distribute various items, such as tee shirts, etc to fans which will be used to generate funds and subsidize their various trips to Scotland. And if anyone makes a donation to the band funds, their names will be displayed in the 'Hall of Fame'.
St. Laurence had their most successful season last year when they won the All Ireland and the Scottish and British championships.
They are planning two concerts in March 2009. The first one will be on March 21 in the City Hotel Co. Armagh, with the second one on March 28 in the Guild Hall Derry City. Further information is available from their web page: - www.slotpb.com.
Aughintober Pipe Band from Castlecaulfield Co. Tyrone, originally a flute band but changed to the pipes in 1949, will be celebrating their 60th anniversary next year. The band joined the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association in 1997 and now compete in Grade 3A. Along its journey from then to now they have collected 7 world titles, and various British, European, All Ireland, Ulster and Champion of Champions trophies. 2008 saw them winning the Grade 3A Ulster and All Ireland championship titles and the overall Champion of Champions trophy in their grade.
Since its inception in 1949, the band has formed strong links in the community with local families providing the majority of band members.
Each week classes continue for teaching local children the pipes and drums thus securing future members for the band.
Aughintober have always played an active part in local community events such as church functions, charity concerts, festivals and parades.
They compete under the leadership of Pipe Major Glenn Ferry. The band now has a new Leading Tip- Chris Johnston, who was formally with Grade 1 St.Laurence O'Toole and Dysart and Dundonald Pipe bands and also the Leading Drummer of Ballycoan. Along with several new members, this combination of talent will certainly make this outfit the one to watch next season.
Kenny Ferguson is the new Pipe Major of Grade 3A Killen Pipe Band from outside Castlederg. Kenny Was originally the Pipe Major of Killadeas band and has a wealth of knowledge. He led that hand to win many trophies including world and All Ireland titles.