Big thank you from

Bands ready for All-Ireland Championships  

THE All Ireland Solo Piping and Drumming Championships 2008 will be held in Rathfriland High School, on Saturday September 20.

There is a very large entry of 80 pipers and 60 drummers, with the solo piping beginning at 10.00am, and the solo drumming at 10.30am.

Rathfriland High School is the only school available for this year's solos, and as it is smaller than has been used in the past, the organisers would request everyone's help and co-operation in making the event a success.

Adjudicators are for piping J. Murray and B. Donaldson, and for drumming G.Craig and D.Brown. Piobaireachd will be judged by Stuart Liddel.

At the CSO's annual Festival of solo piping and drumming held last Saturday, the award for the 'Silver Quaich', given to those recognised for meritorious service to the piping and drumming fraternity, was shared between two people- Walter Porter and Tommy Millar.

CSO secretary Samuel Lawson, in his remarks about Walter Porter, outlined a brief history of Walter's involvement in the piping and drumming world.

Since its inception, he had proved to be a true and loyal friend to the CSO and was inspirational when it came to press coverage of its events and promotions.

Starting his citation about the second of these two men, Chairman Winston Pollock spoke of the extensive knowledge and passion Tommy Millar brought to the pipe band and solo scene through his press, radio and television work.

The Silver Quaich, together with replicas for each recipient, was accepted by Neil Ussher on behalf of Walter Porter, and by Steven McWhirter for Tommy Millar who was on holidays.

A new competitor Grading system was in place for the first time with two new grades being added. Grade 4 provided competition for total beginners, and the Premier Grade for competitors who meet a strict criterion, is effectively a 'Champion of Champions' competition. The first Premier Grade winners were Andrew Carlisle for piping and Lee Lawson for drumming.

Two new trophies were handed over to the CSO. The 'Samuel and Sarah Jane Lawson' cups were donated by the Lawson family in memory of their late parents. Chairman Winston Pollock, in thanking them, spoke of the huge debt of gratitude owed to the Lawson family-especially Samuel Margaret and Lee.

At the close, the perpetual trophies, Gold, Silver and Bronze medals, and a monetary prize fund of almost £2000, were handed over to prize-winning drummers by Nigel Hodgen of Andante Percussion, to pipers by Michael Egan, and to tenor drummers by Gary Smyth.

The Celtic Thistle Festival of Piping and Drumming has 'kick-started' an exciting period for the solo performer, with the All Ireland Solos this Saturday, the 'Young Player of the Year' on Friday October 10 in Dungannon, and the 'Piper of the Year' in the Adair Arms, Ballymena on Saturday October 11.

This year's classes for learning to play the pipes or drums, organised by the Northern Ireland Piping and Drumming School, will commence on Saturday September 27, at 10.00am, and run each Saturday through to March 2009 at all centres.

The School was established in 1980 to teach piping and drumming to all, and to improve the skills of existing players. Tuition is given in both practical playing and theory of music to Advanced level, and examinations will take place in December and March of every year.

The centres are Laurelhill Community College (contact 02892 628591); University of Ulster Londonderry (contact 07895620337); and Erne Integrated College Enniskillen (contact 07533979404.

There will be an Open Evening at all the centres to enable interested pupils to learn more about the school, and to meet the instructors. It will take place on Wednesday September 24 at 7.30pm.

For further information, please contact the School on 02892628591 or email


Under 12 Tenor Drumming - 1st Calum Smyth - also best newcomer.

12-15 Tenor Drumming - 1st. Jordan Bailie. 2nd. Lindsay Hasson. 3rd. Lochlainn Ferguson.

12-15 Tenor Drumming MSR - 1st. Cameron Burke. 2nd. Ryan McGavigan. 3rd.Tara Dunne.

15-18 Tenor Drumming - 1st. Eilioh Fyfe. 2nd. Karen Quinn. 3rd. Iona Underwood.

Open Grade - 1st. Charlie Archibald. 2nd. Ross Bingham. 3rd. John McCready.

Grade 1 MSR - 1st. Chris Johnston. 2nd. John Henderson.

Grade 1 H&J - 1st. John Henderson. 2nd. Chris Johnston.

Grade 1 - Overall drumming. 1st. Chris Johnston. 2nd. John Henderson.

Premier Grade - 1st overall Lee Lawson.

Novice Drum Pad - 1st. Ryan Murray. 2nd. Lochlainn Ferguson.

Under 12 Drumming - 1st. Adam Morrow. 2nd. Neil McFadyen. 3rd. Andrew Thompson.

12-15 Drumming - 1st. Dean Smyth. 2nd. Billy Archibald. 3rd. Matthew Shaw.

15-18 Drumming - 1st. Steven Shedden. 2nd. Graham McMillan. 3rd. John Stewart.

Grade 3 Drumming - 1st. Glenn Faloon. 2nd. Aaron McLean. 3rd. John Murphy

Grade 2 Drumming - 1st. Nicholas Harvey. 2nd. Paul Brown.

Novice Chanter - 1st. Jake Walker. 2nd. Joshua Truesdale. 3 rd.Tineke Westerhius.

Advanced Chanter - 1st. Hugh O'Donnell. 2nd. Pamela Starritt. 3rd. Cameron Wright.

B. Piobaireachd - 1st. Stephanie Brodie. 2nd. Rachel Corr. 3rd. Sarah Muir.

Open Piobairachd - 1st. Jonathan Greenlees. 2nd. Men Tully. 3rd. Andrew Carlisle.

12-15 Piping - 1st. Dean Cinnamond. 2nd. Scott Barr.

15-18 Piping - 1st. Grahame Harris. 2nd. Jamie Walker. 3rd. Alen MacPherson.

Grade 4 Piping - 1st. Conor Sandford.

Grade 3 Piping - 1st. Derek Boyce. 2nd. Emmett Conway 3rd. Mark Culleton.

Grade 2 Piping - 1st. Greig Wilson. 2nd. Alan Ferguson. 3rd. Philip Tasker.

Grade 1 Piping MSR - 1st. Kris Coyle. 2nd. Glenn Cupples. 3rd. Kevin Rogers.

Grade 1 H&J - 1st. Kevin Rogers. 2nd. Glenn Cupples. 3rd. Peter Donnan.

Grade 1 Piping Overall Champion - 1st. Glenn Cupples. 2nd. Kevin Rogers. 3rd. Peter Donnan.

Premier Grade MSR - 1st. Andrew Carlisle. 2nd. Ashley McMichael. 3rd. Men Tully.

Premier Grade H&J - 1st. Ashley McMichael. 2nd. Andrew Carlisle. 3rd. Men Tully.

Overall Champion - l st. Andrew Carlisle. 2nd. Ashley McMichael. 3rd. Men Tully.

Ulster Star