Big thank you from

THE All Ireland Solo Piping and Drumming Championships 2008  

The organisers were delighted with the large turnout of competitors and supporters, and the adjudicators were high in their praise for the standard of piping and drumming from all the solo players. The winner of the senior piping was Andrew Carlisle who pipes with the Field Marshal Montgomery Pipe Band. His fellow bandsman Jonathan Greenlees took runner up place with Alen Tully from the St.Laurence O'Toole pipe band the third placing.

These three men also won the first three places in the Piobairachd but in a different order. Jonathan took first followed by Men and Andrew.

Stephen Creighton, Leading Tip of the St.Laurence O'Toole Pipe Band, was the winner in the senior drumming grade. Stephen McWhirter, who plays with the 2008 world champions - Simon Fraser University from Vancouver Canada - was in runner up place, and Brendan McGegoran from Ballycoan took third. Adjudicators were for piping - J.Murray and B. Donaldson, and for drumming G.Craig and D.Brown, with the Piobaireachd by Stuart Liddel.

This year's classes for learning to play the pipes or drums, organised by the Northern Ireland Piping and Drumming School, start tomorrow (Saturday) at 10.00am, and run each Saturday through to March 2009 at all centres.

The centres are Laurelhill Community College (contact 92 628591); University of Ulster, Londonderry (contact 07895620337); and Erne Integrated College, Enniskillen (contact 07533979404.

With the rapidly growing interest in Highland Dancing, there is an increasing demand for pipers to play for live performances. A new course has been organised by the NI Piping and Drumming School and is designed to enable pipers to play for dancers in competition or in concert.

It will cover the official requirements for all the recognised highland dances. Those opting to sit the examination at the completion of the course, will receive a "Certificate in Piping for Dancing" The enrolment is Wednesday (October 1) at 38a Railway Street, Lisburn, and classes are on alternate Wednesdays from 7.30 to 9.00pm.

There are also classes for Piobaireachd for Beginners, with enrolment on Wednesday October 8 at 38a Railway Street, Lisburn, with co-ordinating tutor R.Brannigan. There will be four sessions for Junior and Senior Piobaireachd, conducted by Andrew Wright, Hon. President of the Piobairachd Society at the University of Ulster Jordanstown. Andrew has won all major honours in piobairachd and teaches throughout the world.

Junior classes are from 2.00 to 4.30pm on 15th November, 13th December 2008, and 10th January and 28th February 2009.

Senior classes are from 10.00am to 4.30pm on 16th November, 14th December 2008 and 11th January, and 1st March 2009.

Fees for all the classes will be £20, and P the school is supported by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland. For further information, contact the School on 92628591-email

The second of the BBC's recording of the Ulster Pipe Band Championships will be on Tuesday (30th September) at 10.35pm.

Field Marshal Montgomery dominated Grade One with Seven Towers taking the title in Grade Two and the show will feature both of their winning performances. At the CSO's annual festival of solo piping and drumming held recently, an award for the "Silver Quaich" given to those recognised for meritorious service to the piping and drumming fraternity, was shared between two people - the late Walter Porter and Tommy Millar.

In last week's report it was stated that the Quaich given to the late Walter Porter was accepted by Neil Ussher. It was in fact accepted by a family member of Walter's - Neil Russell.

Ulster Star