Ulster Scots culture put in the spotlight at Craigavon

Craigavon Civic and Conference Centre will play host to an evening celebrating Ulster Scots culture on Monday 24th March.

Organised by Craigavon Borough Council and funded by OFMDFM, the event will provide an insight into the tradition of Ulster-Scots across the Borough and will include inspiring recitals of Ulster Scots stories and heritage from acclaimed keynote speakers including BBC TV and Radio Presenter Liam Logan, and internationally published Ulster Scots Author and University Of Ulster Historian, Alistair McReynolds. Ulster Scots music and dance will play a big part in the event.

The Ulster and All Ireland champions, Bleary & District Pipe Band, will be performing as will Ulster-Scots TV and radio presenter Mark Wilson and the Bernagh Folk Group. Taking to the stage will be Markethill Highland dancers and World Championship winning Drum Major Lauren Abraham as well as award winning local singers Caitlin Cousins and Alice Cartmill.

The event will take place from 7pm-10pm. Tickets are complimentary but must be booked in advance by calling 028 3831 2540 or email susan.burns@craigavon.gov.uk by 10am on Monday, March 24.

Lorraine Ronaldson was officially installed as President of the County Down Section of the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association Northern Ireland at a monthly branch meeting held in the Belmont Hotel, Banbridge on Wednesday night.

Lorraine succeeds the late William McFadden MBE who served the section and the local community for many years.

Section secretary Mervyn Herron conducted the installation meeting and welcomed the members and special guests.

Lorraine was presented with the chain of office by section chairman William Connolly who also received a presentation on the night to mark his 25 years of service.

Lorraine Ronaldson has a background steeped in the local pipe band scene.

She is the grand daughter of the late Eddie McVeigh who was chairman [on its foundation] and president of the RSPBANI Branch for many years. Indeed he was a member of the NI Pipe Band League from 1945 - 1950. He was also chairman of the RSPBA parent body for a number of years and was a long time vice president.

Lorraine was a piper with the Leapoughs Pipe Band as well as being a long-serving member of the RSPBA NI Branch compiler’s team and NI Branch secretary.

Quinn Memorial Pipe Band is hoping to make a return to the competition scene later this year. Members are currently practising hard and hope to be ready to compete in the new major in Belfast and the World Championships.

The Quinn Memorial Daffodil Tea, a well established event in the local social calendar, will be held in Killygullib Orange Hall on Thursday 3rd April at 7.30pm and everyone is welcome.

The band would like to thank everyone for their continued support and would welcome any new pipers and drummers who wish to join their ranks. If you want to join either contact any band member or come to the tea evening.

Cleland Memorial Pipe Band currently have a vacancy for a bass drummer.

The Bangor based outfit plays in grade 4A and has been making steady progress in recent years.

Anyone interested in filling this vacancy can contact the band on any of the following: Facebook - Cleland Memorial Pipe Band; e-mail clelandmemorialpb@live.com; pipe major Caldwell Hamilton on 07749 103 147 or secretary Gillian Rafferty on 07713 523 141.

The 2014 Malahide Festival of Piping and Drumming takes place on Saturday 3rd of May.

This is a first return to its May date since 2007. A full panel of adjudicators will be employed and syllabus/entry forms are available on the IPBA website.

Cairncastle Ulster Scots March Soiree is on Wednesday 26th March at 8pm in Halfway House Hotel, Ballygally. Special guests are Wilson Scott, from Maghera, and Keep Er Lit. There will be plenty of entertainment to suit all tastes. For more information contact Bobby on 07774401935.