Field Marshal out to make ‘Impact’ at Glasgow concert

At Major Sinclair Memorial Pipe Band's annual Christmas dinner in the Freemasons' Hall, Arthur Square, Belfast on Saturday 5th December, Paul Girvan MLA and John Fittis (Pipe Major) are pictured presenting a gift to Cartie McAllister (Chairman) in recognition of the band being crowned 2015 World Champions (Grade 4A).
At Major Sinclair Memorial Pipe Band's annual Christmas dinner in the Freemasons' Hall, Arthur Square, Belfast on Saturday 5th December, Paul Girvan MLA and John Fittis (Pipe Major) are pictured presenting a gift to Cartie McAllister (Chairman) in recognition of the band being crowned 2015 World Champions (Grade 4A).
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Field Marshal Montgomery Pipe Band have announced the title of the band’s concert to take place ahead of the World Pipe Band Championships in August 2016.

The ten-times grade one world champions unveiled the official poster this week for ‘Impact’, the band’s Pre-World’s performance at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall.

Field Marshal are excellent in concert and pipe band followers will be familiar with their other concerts, a number of which have produced successful CD recordings.

Organized and promoted by the grade two Glasgow Skye Association Pipe Band, the concert is a fixture in the calendar and a firm favourite both with performing bands and spectators. It is an event attended by arguably the most knowledgeable audience anywhere in the world as piping and drumming adjudicators and past and present players are among those present.

Field Marshal Montgomery may have had to settle for fourth place at this year’s Worlds but make no mistake 2015 was still a fine year for the band as they lifted the RSPBA Champion of Champions after winning the British, UK and European championships.

Tickets for the concert are priced at £19.50 and are available online from the box office of the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall.

The annual general meeting of the RSPBA NI branch was held a fortnight ago but the fall-out from that day continues.

As I’m sure everyone is aware the big change was Mervyn Herron losing his position as a director of RSPBA in a vote held on the day.

The outpouring of support for Mervyn since then has been huge and I can only hope he considers this as he reviews his continued involvement in the local band scene. Many people have contacted Mervyn directly or taken to social media to offer their support.

Having been in contact with Mervyn I know he is very disappointed by the outcome of the meeting and he along with a number of bands have raised concerns about how the branch should move forward.

For bands what happens next is crucial. The RSPBA NI branch is all about the bands - if there are no bands there wouldn’t be a branch. If they are unhappy with how things are going they must make their voices heard.

It was great to see the Pipe and Drums of the PSNI performing at the Kingspan Stadium to entertain the crowds at the recent Ulster versus Edinburgh rugby match.

Take note Irish Football Association - it would be great to see one or two of our successful pipe bands performing before a Northern Ireland football international at the newly-re-developed Windsor Park.

Grade 4a world champions Major Sinclair Memorial Pipe Band were celebrating again last weekend as members held their annual Christmas dinner in Freemasons’ Hall, Belfast.

The special guests included Paul Girvan MLA and his wife, Alderman Mandy Girvan and also Mrs Jean Fittis, proud mother of John Fittis, the bands pipe major.

During the evening, John Fittis assisted by Paul Girvan presented Worlds commemorative medals to the band members. Special presentations were made to PM John Fittis and to the band’s chairman, Cartie McAllister, a former piper in the band (1960 to 2009) and the longest-serving member of the band.

Shotts & Dykehead Caledonia Pipe Band was named winner of the Scottish Pipe Band of the Year category at the 13th annual Scots Trad Music Awards at a gala evening event in Dundee, Scotland, last weekend.

The Grade 1 band won the public vote after being nominated along with the Grade 2 Johnstone Pipe Band. Both bands won their grades at this year’s World Pipe Band Championships.

The award brings a successful end to 2015 for pipe major Ryan Canning and his band.