Drum Majors class reaches 21st birthday 

Pipe Bands by Mervyn McConnell

THE Belvoir Drum Majors class was formed 21 years ago to teach the skills required for drum majors to compete in the competitions run by the RSPBA.

Its aim is to reach out to all areas of the community and is open to anyone wishing to learn the skills required to be a drum major in any type of band.

Pupils travel from as far away as Limerick, Arklow, Kilkenny City, Wexford and Rathdrum to be taught at Belvoir.

The class has performed for many special guests and dignitaries including the Irish President Mary McAleese, The Earl of Erne, John McFall the then Minister of Education, Lord and Lady Laird of Artigarvan, David Trimble, Lady Faulkner of Downpatrick, folk singer Tommy Sands and Lady Carswell OBE.

The opportunity to study for the RSPBA Elementary Certificate in piping and drumming is also available in the class. This can then be used as part of the course work for GCSE examinations and the skills taught in the class can be used towards gaining the Duke of Edinburgh Award.

The Safeguarding Trust is the Code of Good Practice for volunteers who work with children and young people under the age of 18 and requires that all groups that make use of the church's premises must uphold this code. All principal officer bearers have attended the initial training and continue to attend an update each year. The classes run every Saturday from October to March with the first class taking place on Saturday October 7 in Belvoir Parish Church Hall from 2pm to 4pm.

There will be a Bass Section Seminar in the Royal Hotel Cookstown on Saturday October 21 from l0am to 4 pm. All aspects will be covered including flourishing different tones and writing tenor scores. Admission is £10, which includes light lunch. Contact Gary Smyth on 7964 5799 or 07814 446179 for more information. Ballydonaghy Pipe Band are holding learner classes for pipers and drummers at the Mount Hall Airport Road. There will be qualified instructors for each class and all learner and experienced players will be made very welcome.

The classes are on every Monday evening at 7pm and you can contact Jimmy Wilson on 9442 2101 or Winston Pinkerton on 9446 6488 for further information.

The two televised BBC programmes featuring the 2006 World Pipe Band Championships held in Glasgow last August were two of the best-produced pipe band shows to be ever seen in Northern Ireland.

The show featured this year's Grade 1 world champions but also included lower grades in a highly entertaining and informative programme. Lets hope the BBC realise the big support and the popularity of these championships and give us many more in the future.

This year's world solo drumming championships will take place for the first time in Northern Ireland at the Monkstown Community School Newtownabbey on Saturday October 28.

Headquarters at the RSPBA are offering the chance for anyone not yet entered for this event to do so online. The deadline for entering this way is Friday September 29. To avail yourself of this opportunity contact www.rspba.org.

There will be a meeting of the Northern Ireland Branch of the RSPBA on Saturday September 30 in the Bridge Community Centre Lisburn commencing at 2.00pm.

Ulster Star