Scottish Power ready to light up the Waterfront

Mandatory Credit: Rowland White/Presseye'European Pipe Band Championships'Venue: Stormont'Date: 30th July 2011'Caption: Scottish Power on the march
Mandatory Credit: Rowland White/Presseye'European Pipe Band Championships'Venue: Stormont'Date: 30th July 2011'Caption: Scottish Power on the march

SCOTTISH POWER Pipe Band are already working hard in preparation before they take to the stage in Belfast’s Waterfront Hall on 27th April 2013 in an event promoted by Wonderland Productions NI and the Grade two Aughintober Pipe Band.

The concert sees Scottish Power visit Northern Ireland just weeks before the first Major Championship of the 2013 season – the British Championship at Bathgate.

Scottish Power pipe major Chris Armstrong commented: “The band had a very successful year in 2012 and the opportunity to showcase our music at Belfast’s Waterfront Hall at the beginning of next season is one we are really looking forward too. Building on our ‘Energised’ concert we will be accompanied by a number of musicians from Northern Ireland during the evening so there will be a great mix of music to satisfy all tastes.”

The popularity of concerts featuring some of the world’s best pipe bands have a strong attachment with the province which is something that is not lost on Glenn Ferry, of Aughintober Pipe Band.

He explained: “We have been working hard with Chris and Wonderland Productions NI over the past few months to bring this event together. Northern Ireland was once the place for ‘big pipe band’ concerts with the Victoria Police in Ballymena and the ground-breaking 78th Fraser’s Live in Ireland concert seen as a watershed moments for pipe band concerts and recordings.

“This event gives the opportunity for the piping mad public on this side of the Irish Sea a chance to experience one of the world’s best in action.”

This is certainly an event to look forward too and I will bring further information in the new year.

* Another event in 2013 also featuring Chris Armstrong is the Blackthorn Pipers’ Society’s Burns/Recital Night in Saturday, January 19, 2013, in Dromore Rugby Club from 8pm to 1am.

As well as being pipe major of Scottish Power Pipe Band, Chris is a gold medal winning solo piper.

The evening will feature a Burns Supper, including the traditional address to the haggis, Highland Ceilidh dancing, and of course world class piping.

I am told this will be a ticket only event. Tickets, priced at £10, can be purchased by contacting the society secretary on 07812 538 701 or email

* 1st Castlederg Old Boys’ pipe band is getting in tune for their next engagement. They are scheduled to lead the 1st Castlederg Boys’ Brigade Company at their annual enrolment service in First Castlederg Presbyterian Church on Sunday, 2nd December.

The parade and service has special significance this year as a finale to the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations and invitations have been sent to all former members of the company who have been awarded the Queen’s badge since its introduction in 1952.

The band was formed in 1983 from members who had passed through the ranks and among its members who hold this prestigious award are leading drummer Ian Lowry, piper David Young and drum major Alastair Patterson, who held the world title in 1988, 2002 and 2006.

* Cranny Cultural and Community Group will host their annual Ulster-Scots Festival from Tuesday 27th November until Friday 30th November 2012.

A programme of events packed with entertainment has been arrange, getting underway on Tuesday in Desertmartin Orange Hall at 7.30pm with – ‘A Living History of the Ulster-Scotch’. This will be delivered through talks and displays of Ulster-Scots history and will feature a special focus on a townland study of Co Londonderry. Talks will also include ancestry and genelogy of the Scottish and Irish clans.

Other attractions will include displays and exhibitions of artefacts visual arts and media as well as performances of traditional Ulster and Scottish music Taking part will include Markethill historian Charles Neville,George Logan from Living History Ireland, Eden Accordion Band Group and Curran Flute Band. Admission is free.

Desertmartin Parish Church Hall is the venue on Wednesday for ‘Getting ta know tha Hamely Tongue of the Ulster-Scotch’ starting at 7.30pm. This is an evening dedicated to Ulster-Scots language which will include storytelling, readings/recitials and song. Taking part will be local primary school children, Gary Blair, George Shiels, Victor Brownlow and Anne Morrison-Smyth from BBC Radio Ulsters’s A Kist o Wurds and the Ullans Centre, Ballymoney - Admission Free.

On Thursday, again in Desertmartin Parish Church Hall will be a ‘Traditional Ulster-Scotch Cultural Music Workshop and Ceilidh’. This evening is dedicated to the history and culture of traditional Ulster-Scots music and dance. Among those taking part will include the Alistair Scott Ceilidh Band and Highland and Country Dancers. Admission is free.

Friday, in the Royal Hotel, Cookstown (8pm) is ‘St. Andrew’s Night’ – the finale of the festival featuring a wide variety of entertainment that will appeal to all. Everyone is encouraged to wear something tartan on the night.

The line-up of artistes that will take part will include the well renowned Ulster-Scots Folk Group Risin’ Stour, from County Down, Cranny Pipe Band, Highland and Country Dancers along with others. There will also be a buffet supper served at this event where admittance will be by ticket only.

Tickets will cost £10 per person and are available at The Bridewell Tourist Information Centre, Church Street, Magherafelt, from group members, or alternatively contact the group secretary, Gareth Campbell on 07740175745or email

* The Cleland Memorial pipe band, from Bangor, are looking to recruit a leading drummer. The drum corps consists of six players at various levels but all capable of playing in the set grade (4A). Scores for the incoming year have been made and taught to all players but we are open to learning new material. The applicant must also be willing to teach learners as we run a piping & drumming school on band nights. Please contact any band member for further info or call Gary on 07752365211 email

* The Music Board has agreed to a number of grade changes for local bands. McNeilstown have moved from grade 4b to 4a, while Derryclavin and Ballydonaghy have moved down from 4a to 4b.