ONE of the biggest and most popular piping and drumming festivals in Ireland has unfortunately had to be cancelled this year.
The Malahide competition scheduled to be held on May 17 will not go ahead this year owing to the ill health of Tony Markey one of the chief organisers of the event.
The Malahide Festival attracted a large entry from the North of Ireland including all of the Grade 1 pipe bands.
This competition has earned the reputation as the top event for prize money in Ireland — North and South-with the winning, bands collecting over 5000 Euros. Field Marshal Montgomery has won this competition for 9 out of the 10 years and only in 2007 did St.Laurence O'Toole take their crown away from them.
Hopefully Tony will make a good recovery and we can look forward to visiting the beautiful Malahide Castle grounds again in 2009.
The Belvoir Parish Drum Majors are holding their annual display and presentation of certificates on FridayMarch 28 at 8pm in Belvoir Parish Church Hall.
The guest of honour this year will be Lord O'Neill, the Lord Lieutenant of County Antrim and the inspecting officer is Mr Jackie Doran with his wife Margaret presenting the certificates. The evening commences with the Drum Majors display team followed by the presentations. Music for the display team will be provided by the Cleland Memorial Pipe Band.
Other guests include performances from The Michelle Johnston School of Dancing and Drum Major Barry Lecky and the Hounds of Ulster.
At the conclusion of the evening everyone is invited to join the drum majors for tea and sandwiches. Admission free.
Cullenfad the Grade 4A World pipe band champions, are hosting a concert in Castlecaulfield Parish church hall on Saturday March 29 commencing at 7.45pm
Some of the artists appearing at this event include Graham Megarity's "River Dance" drum corps, Alen Tully and Stuart McWhirter. Tickets are available from band members or pay at door. For further information contact 028 877 67827.
The Saintfield Full Band Indoor competition is on Saturday April 26 at 1 pm in Saintfield High School. The adjudicators are John Nevans for piping and Sandy Steele for drumming.
Please note the date of this competition is April 26 and not April 5 as printed in the Programme of events book. The closing date for entries is Tuesday April 15.
The closing date for entries for the Ulster Piping and Drumming solos is Saturday March 29. The event will take place in Monkstown High School on SaturdayApril 19 commencing at 9.30am. Adjudicators will be William Morrison, Neill Mulvie, James Banks, Barry Wilson, Tom Johnston and Mark Faloon.
A meeting of the Northern Ireland branch of the RPSBA will take place on Saturday March 29 in the Methodist Church Hall Knockmore Road, Lisburn commencing at 2.00pm.
A report from the recent annual general meeting, which took place in Glasgow on March 8, will he given at this branch meeting.
On March 29 from 1pm to 4pm and prior to their evening concert Ballycoan Pipe band are presenting a day of free workshops, seminars and performances in the Island Centre Lisburn. One of the world-class artists appearing at this event will be Fred Morrison renowned piper.
Stephen McWhirter world class solo drummer is another artist appearing at this event.
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. All this and for free so be sure not to miss out.
The Ballycoan concert is also on Saturday March 29 commencing at 7.30pm also in the Island Centre. Tickets cost £10 and are available from their Box Office 02892509292 or from the band directly 07768 898883.
The well-known Scottish piper and piping judge George Summors died on March 11, 2008 aged 69. He had been ill for some time.
George was a frequent visitor to Northern Ireland as an adjudicator and served as Chairman of the Adjudicators Panel for several years until ill health forced his retirement. Our sympathy is extended to his wife and friends as this sad time.