AT the 2006 Annual General Meeting held in Glasgow on March 11, George Ussher from Temple Road Aghalee and Chairman of the Northern Ireland branch, was re-elected to the post of President of the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association.
Also re-elected to the position of Chairman was Kevin Reilly from England.
Congratulations to both these men on the recognition of their wholehearted dedication and enthusiasm to the pipe band movement.
The only other news to date from the AGM is that a fine of £20 will be levied on every band that has not paid their annual fee before the deadline of November 2006.
Sixty bands were represented at the meeting, of which 15 were from Northern Ireland.
The final branch meeting before the start of the 2006 competitions will be held in the Bridge Community Centre Lisburn on Saturday March 25.
A report will be given of the recent Annual General Meeting.
If you like the sound of the Brien Boru Pipes then keep Saturday April 1 free when all the remaining six Brien Boru bands in Northern Ireland will gather together for a musical feast. Cavan Aleck Brien Boru Pipe Band from Fivemiletown are hosting the event in Corrick House Clogher starting at 8.30pm.
The bands Pipe Major Irwin Lapsley is organising the evening and with an entrance fee of just £2 he is hoping to have a packed house.
Killadeas Pipe Band from Co. Fermanagh have regrouped over the winter season and have taken on a new pipe major who will led the band out this year in Grade 4B.
They have recruited and are teaching some new learner pipers and drummers with the hope that they will compete this season with the band. Ex Pipe Major Kenny Ferguson who has a wealth of experience will be on hand with any advice needed.
The band's former victories included winning the world's Grade 3A pipe band championships both in piping and drumming in 2003 at Glasgow Green Scotland.
This year will present a new challenge to them but they will receive an enthusiastic welcome back to the piping arena at the first local competition held on their home ground in Enniskillen Co. Fermanagh on Saturday May 27.
Derek Smith of the Welsh Celtic Band Mabon and Festival Director of the Celtic Festival of Wales CWLWM CELTAIDD is urgently requesting a pipe band to play at the Festival.
It will be held in the Italian Alps called Celtica in Val d'Aosta/Courmayeur on July 5-9.
The pipe band originally booked to play at this event has unfortunately had to drop out and Derek is looking for a band of 16-20 maximum pipers and drummers to play.
Transfers to and from Turin airport, hotel and food at the Festival plus a contribution towards flight costs, the amount depending on the actual cost, will be provided.
Kamil Jindrich a member of the Domazlice Bagpipe Band and the director of the Cultural Centre of the town Domazlice in the Czech Republic will again be organising a big folklore festival entitled 'Chodske slavnosti' from the August 11 - 13.
This festival is one of the oldest in the Czech Republic and has been running from 1955 and the town has a big interest in bagpipe music.
They welcome foreign groups to their festival and this year would like to invite a pipe band to take part. Each year they host over 25 music groups -that means about 550 musicians, and more than 30,000 visitors come to the Festival.
If any pipe band is interested then contact Mgr.Kamil Jindrich on 00420379722632 or visit the website www.domazlice.info for more information.