Thousands tune in to see the world championships

Pipe Bands by Mervyn McConnell

THE television broadcast of the World Pipe Band Championships was voted an outstanding success by pipers, drummers, officials, the public and by the BBC itself.

It recorded the biggest audience in recent memory for this particular viewing slot with almost 500,000 viewers tuning in.

RSPBA Chief Executive Ian Embelton is now currently in negotiations with the BBC to see if the 2007 Championships can be broadcast as well.

Ian Embelton said: "The whole exercise has totally raised the profile of the Worlds and we may now be in a position to capitalise on this by attracting a major sponsor."

The two DVD's of live highlights from the 2006 World Pipe Band Championships held at Glasgow Green in August are now available from Headquarters. To order a copy please contact Ian Embelton, 45 Washington Street, Glasgow, G3 8AZ or telephone 0141 2215414.

The Annual General Meeting of the Northern Ireland branch of the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association will be held on Saturday November 11 in the Bridge Community Centre Lisburn at 10.30am for 11.00am start.

This is an important meeting as rule changes and recommendations given into the Branch will be discussed with the view to being put forward at the Annual General Meeting in Headquarters in March 2007.

Mervyn Herron will once again be producing the popular pipe band calendar, which will feature dates and events taking place within the pipe band fraternity. It is hoped that these will be available very soon but Mervyn will take orders now. To order telephone 028 4062 4849.

Cleland Memorial Pipe Band from Bangor are looking for experienced and learner pipers and drummers to compete with the band in Grade 4 next season. Contact Pipe Major Caldwell Hamilton on 07764 893063 for details of practise nights and times.

Chief Constable John Vine joined Tayside Police Pipe band last weekend to celebrate the hand's promotion to Grade 1. Tayside Police were the only RSPBA Grade 2 band to be promoted to Grade 1 after winning the Champion of Champions title in the grade and finishing in second place at this year's world championship. The band also announced that Ian Duncan would be their new Musical Director.

The 13th William Kennedy Piping Festival will be held from November 15 to November 19in Armagh City.

As part of the Festival there will be a special night of highland piping in Armagh City Hotel on Thursday November 16. This Highland Piping concert is now the most eagerly awaited event of the season with tickets usually selling out.

This year's concert brings together two great bands. Armagh's finest - The Killeen Pipe Band under the leadership of Pipe Major Philip Boyce and Pipe Sergeant Derek Boyce and the National Youth Pipe Band of Scotland along with soloists Dougie Pincock and Anna Murray. Killeen who compete in Grade 2 are the current All Ireland Champions.

Further information is available from the Festival website - or by phone 3751 1248.

Ulster Star