Andrew claims top title in solo piping contest

Pipe Bands by Mervyn McConnell

ANDREW Carlisle was the worthy winner of the March Strathspey and Reel contest held on Saturday 18th November at the Fort Bar Invitational solo piping competition in Dungannon. Andrew, who pipes with the 2006 world champion band the Field Marshal Montgomery, also won this year's All Ireland senior solo competition held in September.

In runner up place was Alen Tully from the St. Laurence O'Toole Pipe Band Dublin who also took second place in the Hornpipe and Jig event.

After the competition a much enjoyed recital was given by the adjudicator Pipe Major Gordon Walker. Full results are as follows: - MSR - 1st Andrew Carlisle. 2nd Alen Tully. 3rd Peter Donnan. Hornpipe and Jig - 1st Kris Coyle. 2nd Alen Tully. 3rd Ashley McMichael. The Northern Ireland Arts Council has made funding available for band instruments.

This scheme is only available to bands that did not receive funding for instruments between 2002-2004.

The maximum available for this scheme is now limited to £5,000 for each band. Bands who wish to take advantage of this funding have to do so by 14th December. Contact for further information.

Grade 2 All Ireland champions Killeen Pipe band are pleased to announce the appointment of a new Leading Drummer.

John Cowan from Banbridge was welcomed into the position at the recent Annual General Meeting of the band. He replaces Trevor McGavigan from Drumquin who recently resigned from the post. Trevor led the drum corps to many victories including winning the Grade 2 All Ireland in Letterkenny this season.

John comes to Killeen with a wealth of experience having played with Grade 2 Bessbrook Pipe Band and later with the RUC under Leading Tip Gary Corkin, whose drum corps won all the top honours in Scotland. The band has made good progress this year with up to 16 pipers and eight drummers under the leadership of Pipe Major Derek Boyce and his brother Philip. The appointment of John will continue to make Killeen one of the top challengers in Grade 2 next season.

A new Piping and Drumming School will be staring soon at Houston's Mill, Broughshane every Tuesday evening.

This school will be under the tuition of Pipe Major David Reid and Leading Tip Stephen Purvis from the Grade 2 Seven Towers Pipe Band. This band has won many championships including European and World titles. For further details please contact Valerie Blake at Houston's Mill on 2586 2777.

Plans for the 21st annual display and presentation of Certificates by the Belvoir Parish Drum Majors are well under way, according to secretary Ronnie Davidson.

This year's senior world champion drum major Alistair Patterson will be the inspecting officer.

The evening will feature the Cleland Memorial Pipe Band who will play for the 12 Drum Majors under the direction of class instructor Kathleen Smyth.

James Davidson Tweedie will be the solo drumming guest and there will be displays of highland dancing. The evening will close with the Wildcats Rockabilly band who, we are told, can play anything from Elvis Presley to Jim Reeves.

The date for your diary is Friday 23rd March 2007 and the venue is Belvoir Parish Church Hall commencing at 8 pm.

Ulster Star