Step Forward for local competitions  

Pipe Bands by Mervyn McConnell

THE Northern Ireland Branch took a big step forward recently when it was agreed to give the local pipe band competitions the same quota of adjudicators as the majors.

There will now be 2 piping, 1 ensemble and 1 drumming judge at all contests. This will mirror the major championships, which already use this format, and this should be a big help to all bands in their preparations in going to the major events in Scotland.

The first time this will come into action at home will be at the Co. Fermanagh Championships in Enniskillen on Saturday May 27 when John Wilson Ian Wood, Colin Moffett and Richard Parkes (Piping) Gordon Parkes and Billy Dunlop (Drumming) Ciaran Mordaunt and Denver Cardwell (Ensemble) will be adjudicating.

The highly acclaimed Ulster Youth Ensemble will be hosting a Gala evening concert featuring traditional and classical music on Wednesday April 19 at 8pm.

This extravaganza evening of piping, drumming, marching, Scottish, Irish and Expressive dancing will take place at the Lisburn Civic Centre and tickets cost £10. These are now available at the Island Centre Box Office on 9250 9254.

The well known voice of Tommy Miller will once again be heard on Radio Ulster every Sunday at 2pm and repeated every Wednesday at 7pm. `Pipes and Drums' is a popular radio show with a good mixture of traditional highland music and solo piping.

The Festival of Piping and Drumming organised by the Competing Soloists Organisation took place last week on April 7 and 8 in Monkstown Community School.

On April 22 the Ulster Piping and Drumming solos, organised by the Northern Ireland branch of the RSPBA, will take place at Monkstown Community School.

Seven Towers will be in concert on Saturday April 15 in Letterkenny as guests of Pipe Major Mervyn Elvin and Letterkenny Pipe Band.

The annual concert promoted by the Mid-Ulster Drumming School will take place on Saturday April 29 in Maghera High School. It will commence at 7.15pm and the compere will be Robert Ramsey from Coleraine. The guest band will be Ballycoan under the leadership of Pipe Major Alfie Rea who are one of the top concert bands in NI.

Also appearing on the stage will be Stuart Liddell, a member of the Grade 1 Simon Fraser University pipe band from Vancouver, who is now living in Inversary Scotland. Contact Gary Smyth on 7964 5799 for tickets or any more information. The first of the two full indoor pipe band competition will be held in Saintfield High School on Saturday April 29 commencing at noon. Entries close on Saturday April 15 with secretary Jonathan McCaughtry on 9752 8098.

Then on Saturday May 6 the second of the full indoor pipe band events will take place in Banbridge High School. This successful competition has now been established as a major event for bands getting ready for the main outdoor season and has been running now for some years.

Mervyn Herron is the person to contact on 4062 4849 or-077 0268 1189.

Ulster Star