Big thank you from

Belfast misses out on the World Championships  

IT has been confirmed that the bid for Belfast to stage the World Pipe Band Championships here for 2010/2012 has not been successful.

Belfast competed with Glasgow to hold this major event but George Ussher, Chairman of the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association Northern Ireland has confirmed the event will continue to be held in Glasgow where it has been already booked for 2008 and 2009.

The 'Worlds' have continually been held in Glasgow since 1983 except for 1985 when it moved to Hamilton for the one year. Belfast hosted the championships in 1956 and again in1962 in the grounds of Balmoral.

The first of the 2008 solo competitions will be the Seven Towers C which will take place at Bailee High School on Saturday March 1.

The guest adjudicator will be Major Gavin-Neill MacLeod Stoddart. Please note the error on the entry forms with reference to the date in relations to the age group. It should read November 2007 and not November 2006.

11 year old Bradley Parker from Portavogie, who pipes with Cottown Pipe Band, has started the 2008 season in style by winning the under 15 Piobaireachd competition last weekend. Competing against a field of 20 other pipers at the second junior piping competition organised by the Strathclyde Police Pipe Band and held at the Smithycroft School, Glasgow, Bradley took 1st place and was presented with a new set of bagpipes valued at over £2000.

This competition was conceived by the Bass Drummer of Strathclyde - Alan McGeachie- with the aim of encouraging young people.

Bradley is tutored by Norman Dodds from Ballymena who just recently was awarded the MBE for his services to piping.

The RSPBA Headquarters has released the names of all the adjudicators judging the five major pipe band championships this year. The adjudicators from Northern Ireland are:

For the Scottish at Dumbarton on May 24: Denver Cardwell Grade 3A and Novice Juvenile- Winston Pollock Grade 3B, 4A and 4B- Sandy Steele for Grade 2 and John Moles and Billy Dunlop Grade 1 and Juvenile.

For the British at Birmingham on June 28: John Moles Grade 3A and Novice Juvenile.

For the European in Lisburn on July 26: Harry Stevenson Grade 3A and Novice Juvenile- Ian Wood Grade 3B, 4A and 4B- Denver Cardwell and Gordon Parkes Grade 2-Harry Russell Grade 1 and Juvenile.

For the Worlds on Glasgow on August 16: Grade 4A Gordon Parkes and Denver Cardwell-John Moles and Billy Dunlop Grade 3B- Harry Stevenson Grade 1Med and Novice Juvenile-Harry Russell Grade 4B- Winston Pollock Grade 1 MSR and Juvenile.

For the Cowal Championships in Dunoon on August 30: Harry Stevenson Grade 3B, 4A and 4B- Billy Dunlop Grade 2 and Ian Wood Grade I and Juvenile.

Ballydonaghy Pipe Band are recruiting experienced pipers and drummers in preparation for the new season. They are also interested in hearing from learners - both for the pipes or drums. Classes will be held every Monday commencing on the 3rd March and will run for 20 weeks through to August 14 from 7.30pm to 9.30pm with qualified tutors in attendance. These classes will be sponsored by the Ulster Scots Agency. For more information call 07752 787956 or 07979 366389.

Also on the lookout for pipers and drummers - experienced or learners -is Ballycoan Junior who will be competing in Grade 4 this season.

The band is under the expert eye of Pipe Major Brian. Rea who led the Grade 1 Ballycoan band for some years and who is now also a tutor at the School of Piping. Tele number for more information is 90 649439.

The Percussive Arts Society (UK Chapter) will present their first Day of Percussion in Northern Ireland on April 6 at the Millbrook Lodge Hotel Ballynahinch. Lunch and a11 other refreshments will be available throughout the afternoon.

The event, hosted by local PAS member Dave English Head of Percussion SEELB, is scheduled to begin at 1pm to enable those who have to travel from the far ends of the country to arrive in plenty of time and perhaps have lunch before the programme starts.

The programme will include the 'Just Drummers' percussion ensemble (students of the SEELB Music Centre).

Jim Kilpatrick multi times world champion pipe band drummer, and Michael Skinner a freelance player and lecturer, will both be in attendance to answer questions and give demonstrations. The Day of Percussion is scheduled to end at 5pm.


Ulster Star