LATER this month Ballycoan Pipe Band will be a holding a day of free workshops seminars and performances in the Island Arts Centre.
It will be on March 29 from 1pm to 4pm. Band members will be on hand to show people to the various locations within the Centre where events are taking place. Fred Morrison, renowned piper will be one of the world-class artists appearing at this event. Fred has carved himself an international reputation with an exuberant, highly improvisational style. He is a master of the Highland pipes and the bellows-blown Lowland or Border pipes as well as playing Irish uillean pipes and low whistle.
Stephen McWhirter, world class solo drummer is another artist appearing. A former member of Cullybackey Pipe band and student of world champion drummer Andrew Scullion, Stephen now plays with the Simon Fraser University Pipe Band in Vancouver.
Stephen's honours include the U 15 world solos in 1997 and 1998, the All Ireland junior solos in 2002, and the All Ireland and Ulster Intermediate solos in 2004. In 2006 he won the North American Gold Medal drumming title, the All Ireland senior title and to cap it all was crowned world solo drumming champion all in the same year.
Other artists are Andrew Wright and Sam Bailie on Piobaireachd, the East Antrim Traditional music school musicians, Ben Greaves and the Ellis School of Highland Dancing and the Ballycoan Drum Corps.
The Ballycoan concert is also on Saturday March 29 commencing at 7.30pm also in the Island Arts Centre. Tickets cost £10 and are available from their Box Office 92-509292 or from the band directly 07768 898883. Cullybackey Pipe Band will hold their 21st annual piping and drumming solos in Cullybackey High School on Saturday April 12.
The band, like so many others, have realised the necessity and importance of encouraging young pipers and drummers. Recent years have seen a significant increase in the numbers entering at all juvenile levels. Cullybackey believe that this has been as a result of the measures introduced to cater for young people at all levels.
As initiator of the Young Achievers Awards, which have been extremely popular, and as a result, both the Ulster and All Ireland Solos Committees have adopted them. Cullybackey Pipe Band would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their continued support and also encourage bands that have not entered anyone in the past, to use this forum to assist them in the development of their young pipers and drummers. All practise chanter; drum pad, novice piping and drumming entries will receive certificates in Gold, Silver and Bronze.
The day will start at 10.30am with the practise chanter U 14 and drum pad U 14.This will be followed by the practise chanter and drum pad U 16 juvenile U 14; juvenile U 16;under U 18 piping and drumming; junior; intermediate A and intermediate B and finishing with the senior. Entries must be in before Saturday, April 5. No late entries will be accepted.
Entry forms should be forwarded to Mr. J. Gribben, 52 Elmwood, Cullybackey, Ballymena BT43 5PY telephone number 028 25 881901
Seven Towers Pipe Band will be in concert at the Braid Arts Centre Town Hall, Ballymena on Thursday April 3, 2008 commencing at 8.00pm as part of the 2008 Ballymena Arts Festival.
Also appearing on the evening will be Bob Abbot top accordionist from Scotland. Bob played with the Boghall and Bathgate pipe band at County Hall a few years ago and has written many pipe band tunes. The Ulster Scots group 'Session Beat' will also be on stage and the whole evening will be compeered by Robert Agnew.
Tickets cost £8 and are available from the Ballymena Town Ball Box Office.
A meeting of the Northern Ireland branch of the RPSBA will take place on March 29 in the Methodist Church Hall, Knockmore Road, Lisburn commencing at 2.00pm.