‘An Audience with Champions’ to be held by Irvine Memorial Pipe Band

The Irvine Memorial Pipe Band from Clabby, Co Tyrone has organised ‘An Audience with Champions’ event which will be held in the Royal British Legion Hall in Fivemiletown on Friday December 3 at 7pm.

Friday, 26th November 2021, 7:19 am
Updated Friday, 26th November 2021, 7:30 am
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This novel event will feature solo performances and interviews with Mark Faloon and John Scullion.

Mark Faloon is a well-respected RSPBA adjudicator who has also played at the highest level as pipe major of the Pipes and Drums of the RUC and a long-time member of the Field Marshal Montgomery Pipe Band, with which he won many World titles.

John Scullion is a four-time winner of the World Solo Drumming Championship, who, during a stellar career, played for a number of years in Shotts and Dykehead Caledonia Pipe Band under his mentor, Alex Duthart, the father of modern Scottish drum corps music. He went on to lead the Shotts drum corps to a Grade 1 World drumming title. In 1991 he moved to the Scottish Power Pipe Band, where he spent 11 years and played with a number of championships winning corps. A popular teacher through his ‘Fairly Together Programme’ via his website at www.johnscullion.co.uk, he is also a much sought-after adjudicator of drumming and bagpipe competitions worldwide. This event has been made possible by part-funding kindly granted from the Ulster Scots Agency. A meal will be served at 7pm sharp which will be followed by the concert. Admittance will be strictly by ticket only and whilst these are free they are limited due to Covid restrictions at the venue. Tickets can be obtained by contacting Sandra on 07837372994 or Neil on 07791965738. For track and trace purposes, tickets will not be issued to anyone until their name and contact number has been supplied.

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Adult World Solo Drumming Championship pre-qualification events

At this time of the year the World Solo Drumming Championships would usually have taken place in Glasgow, however no competitions have been possible since 2019 due to the pandemic. The Music Board of the RSPBA, however, has not been idle, because they have been considering information taken from extensive consultation carried out over several years with adult competitors, adjudicators, directors and sponsors as the event has grown and developed.

At the Board of Directors meeting back in July 2021, they ratified the Music Board proposals to create a competition circuit for qualification to the World Solo Drumming Championship which they hoped would continue to evolve and be extended to further events in the coming years both in the UK and internationally. These qualification events can be hosted by any of the RSPBA Branches or affiliated organisations, with all applications to host future events having to be submitted in writing to RSPBA HQ.

This will effectively mean that the World Solo Drumming Championship will become a semi-finals and finals competition, avoiding the need for the current morning adult qualifier. The following are the present day RSPBA approved qualifying events: Scottish Solo Drumming Championship hosted by the Lothian & Borders Branch; British Solo Drumming Championship hosted by the Glasgow & West of Scotland Branch; United Kingdom Solo Drumming Championship hosted by the Northern Ireland Branch; European Solo Drumming Championship hosted by the Dundee Perth & Angus Branch/ Kingdom Thistle and the Intercontinental Solo Drumming Championship hosted by the Metro Cup, New York.

The rules and structures under which all qualification events must operate are as follows: contests must be approved by the RSPBA; contests to be adjudicated by two RSPBA approved drumming adjudicators; competitors must submit two March, Strathspey and Reel sets, each tune minimum of four parts; the set to be played will be drawn on the line by the RSPBA Director responsible for the event; and semi-final places will be awarded at these qualifying events to the highest placed competitors, who have not already pre-qualified for the World Solo Drumming semi-final.

RSPBA website development - request for proposal

The RSPBANI has identified a need to refresh their existing organisational website, and is keen to explore whether anyone associated with the organisation might be interested in leading the redevelopment. The site is comprised of static pages as well as dynamic content which are all served from several databases and scripting, and we currently require someone to maintain all our content. The site needs a refresh and rebranding, supporting all devices with a simple navigation system, and we would like the ability to create content ourselves via a content management system. Interested companies or individuals should visit rspbani.org for further information, or contact [email protected] The closing date for expressions of interest is December 10.

Pipe Band community across Ireland mourning colleagues

It has been a sad time across the pipe band community this week, with the passing of a number of its members. The Bready Ulster Scots were saddened by the passing of band member and piper Billy Doherty. In passing on their thoughts and deepest sympathies to his wife Hilda, son Gary, grandchildren Reece and Lewis, and the family circle, they described Billy as ‘a stalwart bandsman and well known around the pipe band community in Northern Ireland. He enjoyed playing and teaching young players, seeing them progress through the bands, and even more so playing in the band alongside his grandson Lewis, and being joined on cherished occasions by grandson Reece and son Gary’.

Irish Pipe Band Association Chairman Brian Mac Mahon reported on the passing of Tony Murphy who had been national chief steward in the IPBA for many years, as well as a member of the National Executive of the IPBA and Honorary Treasurer of the South East Branch for over 30 years. I am sure many of the NI Branch bands and officials will have worked along with Tony over the years, particularly at the All-Ireland competitions.

Drum major tuition opportunities supported by the Ulster Scots Agency

Drum major Victoria Catterson has announced the resumption of her tuition classes which will take place each Monday, 6.30-8.30pm in Killen Community Hall. Victoria will be teaching pupils the usual drills and how to march and flourish whether you are a novice or wish to improve on general standard. All ages and abilities are welcome. Victoria is currently teaching at Blossomhill Orange Hall as part of their teaching programme.