Royal Pipe Band Association enters the digital age 

Pipe Bands by Mervyn McConnell

THE Northern Ireland branch of the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association have launched their new web site.

It is hoped that this site will bring all up to date news and information about the bands and drum majors in Northern Ireland.

The site will be designed and maintained by Neil Ussher drummer with Grade 2 Ravara Pipe band.

The web address is and all pipe band enthusiasts are encouraged to visit this site and give it their support.

Grade 1 Ballycoan Pipe Band will be hosting their concert on Saturday January 21 in the Lagan Valley Island Centre Lisburn commencing at 8pm.

Appearing on the show will be the Aisling School of Irish dancing, the Ellis School of Highland dancing, the McPeak's school of music, Lynda Lyndsay solo singer, Terry Blackburn's 'Beyond the Pail' group, the Kim Arlow Dance Academy and Sandy McGhee Poet.

There will also be solo piping, drumming and a drum majors display.

Ballycoan Pipe Band will be led by their Pipe Major Alfie Rea and their Leading Drummer B.Megoran.

Tickets can be purchased from the Box Office on 9250 9254 and cost £10.

Belvoir Drum Majors are holding a workshop on Saturday January 28 in Belvoir Parish Church Hall from 2 to 4pm.

The workshop is being run in conjunction with Belfast City Council and the UK initiative called 'The National Friendship Project'.

It will cover all aspects of Drum Majoring and will be taken by the class instructor Kathleen Smyth. Contact Ronnie Davidson for further information on 9029 8837. Everyone will be very welcome.

Don't forget to tune in to Tommy Millar's 'Touch of Tartan' broadcast on Radio Ulster this Sunday at 2pm.

Grade 2 All Ireland Killeen Pipe Band from Co. Armagh will be this weeks' guest band.

Bill Livingstone from Whitney Ontario, one of the most successful solo pipers in the world, retired at the end of last year.

In his career he was the twice winner of the coveted Clasp at Inverness, and winner of the Gold Medals at the Highland Society of London, the Piobaireachd at the Glenfiddich Championships, most of the light music prizes at the Argyllshire Gathering and Northern Meetings, and the Piobaireachd Society Gold Medal (Canada).

He is still the Pipe Major of the 78th Fraser Highlanders, which was the first band to take the Grade 1 world championship title out of Scotland. He will concentrate his efforts on other piping projects, teaching and judging.

Last Spring Bill released the first four volumes of 'A Piobaireachd Diary' and the 8-volume collection of his piobaireachd playing and discussions on the tunes.

Volumes One and Two consist of studio recordings of the tunes, and volumes Three and Four feature recordings of Bill's piobaireachd performances at the Dan Reid Memorial.

The CD's feature narration by Bill discussing the tunes, the teaching behind them, stories and anecdotes about players and tutors, audio clips of lessons from his various tutors recorded over a distant background of the pipes playing

To order your copy or for more information please email


Ulster Star