Seven Towers championships are the first of the year

Pipe Bands by Mervyn McConnell

THE Seven Towers Country Antrim championships will be the first of this year's solo piping and drumming events and will take place on Saturday March 4 in Ballee Community High School Ballymena commencing at 12.00noon.

The competition has grades for under 14 and under 16 practice chanters and drum pads, juvenile under 14, 14 to 16, and 16 to 18 piping and drumming sections, junior, intermediate and senior piping and drumming sections There is also a jig competition open to senior players only.

In 2006 a pilot scheme is to be held with a league table being produced for the Junior and Intermediategrades calculated across the main Branch affiliated solo competitions with a view to further discussion on possible re-grading for the following years.

Within the league table proposed trial, players will be counted in their appropriate grade and a competitors results from competitions in which 'playing up' has been permitted will be ignored.

Entry fee for all grades is £3 and cheques should be made payable to the RSPBA Country Antrim Section and sent to secretary Patricia Pedlow, 11 Copperfield Court, Hammond Road, Maghaberry Co. Antrim BT28 2RP telephone 07712 194981. Closing date for entries in Saturday February 18.

Cullenfad Pipe band will be hosting a concert entitled 'Festival of Music' in the Burnavon Arts and Cultural Centre Cookstown on Saturday April 1 starting at 8pm.

The event will feature Grade 1 Bleary & District Pipe Band under the leadership of Pipe Major Nigel Davidson and Leading Tip Ian Lawson.

This band due to lack of personnel were unable to compete in the competition arena last year, but now, due to an excellent rebuilding programme, they are back in a stronger position than ever. They will field 16 pipers, 8 side drummers and bass and tenor drummers.

The band will be joined by Gary Smyth's drumming school as well as Scottish and Irish dancers.

Tickets are available from the Burnavon booking centre or by telephoning Pipe Major David Trainor on 8676 5981.

Saturday February 18 is the date for a solo piping concert to be held in the Ballyearl Theatre Newtownabbey for amateur pipers aged 18 and over.

The CLASP (Competition League for Amateur Solo Pipers) is managed by the National Piping Centre Glasgow, which organises solo events in Scotland. Their aim is to provide a circuit of graded solo piping competitions for adults and to raise the standard and profile of amateur piping across the country. They seek to work in harmony with existing organisers, the Pipe band Association and all other bodies involved in the promotion of piping. Application forms and further information on all the forthcoming events can be obtained from the CLASP-

The adjudicator for the Ballyearl event will be Simon McKerrell, a lecturer at the Piping Centre.

And representatives planning on attending the Annual General Meeting in Glasgow on 11th March 2006 would need to let Contest Administrator Mervyn Herron know as soon as possible.

The coach will be leaving on Friday March 10 at 17.10pm and returning on Sunday at 3pm.

The cost of band's representatives going to Glasgow will be £65 with concession rates for senior citizens. Mervyn can be contacted on telephone 4062 4849 or by writing to 9 Ballydown Meadows, Castlewellan Road, Banbridge Co. Down BT32

Ulster Star