Season breaks before returning at Glenarm

Bready Ulster Scots Pipe Band performing with their new bass drum which has been dedicated to the memory of piper Andrew Duncan and features the logo of the British Heart Foundation.
Bready Ulster Scots Pipe Band performing with their new bass drum which has been dedicated to the memory of piper Andrew Duncan and features the logo of the British Heart Foundation.

The local contest season takes a short break today before returning next weekend with the Co Antrim Pipe Band Championships which are part of the Dalriada Festival at Glenarm Castle.

The contest is being integrated into the programme of events for the day which includes a Highland Games.

The first half of the season ended on a high with the 70th All Ireland Championships at Omagh last Saturday.

A ‘Piping Tune Composition Competition’ was organised to mark the occasion of the 70th anniversary and the winner was Sean Moloney, from Limerick. His winning entry was a 6/8 March entitled, ‘70th All-Ireland Pipe Band Championship’.

The competition took on an international flavour with entries received from as far afield as South Africa and the USA.

Sean, a member of Dr O’Hurley Pipe Band, Cashel (Co Tipperary), had the honour of playing his tune in front of the massed bands, drum majors and spectators who packed the main arena for finale.

The RSPBANI wish to thank Sean for playing his winning tune, all who took the time to enter the competition and Harry Stevenson and Bobby Brannigan for adjudicating.

Next year’s contest will be hosted by the Irish Pipe Band Association and they have announced that the venue for 2016 will be Malahide Castle.

Bready Ulster Scots Pipe Band dedicated a bass drum in memory of former piper Andrew Duncan, who sadly lost his fight to dilated cardiomyopathy on 16th November 2014, at last weekend’s All Ireland Championships.

Bertie Campbell, Bready Ulster Scots Pipe Band’s organiser, explained: “It has now become the mission of our band to raise the profile on the importance of organ donation. Andrew Duncan was a very talented piper and much loved member of the band. Piping since he was a young boy, we feel we owe it to his memory to stand up and support the excellent work of the British Heart Foundation, especially since it was an organization so close to Andrew.”

The Duncan family, including Andrew’s wife Suzanne, children Aimee and Robbie, mother Nan, sisters, nieces and nephew gathered in Omagh Rugby fields for the dedication of this very special bass drum.

Meanwhile, Malahide Pipe Band contest takes place at Malahide Castle Demesne on Saturday, 25th July.

Adjudicators for the competition are Willie Garrett and Michael Fitzgerald for piping, John Moles on ensemble with Mark Wilson looking after the drumming.

The competition will also feature categories for drum majors.

To enter see the IPBA website.

It’s great to see that New Zealand Police Pipe Band, led by pipe major Emmett Conway, will be competing at the Ulster Championships next month as part of their preparations for the Worlds.

Preparations are well underway at the Argory National Trust property in Moy, for the eagerly awaited Scottish Musical Festival which will bring the estate to life on Saturday 18 and Sunday 19 July.

On Saturday, Bleary and District Pipe Band will be providing the musical entertainment throughout the day. St Mary’s and Marlacoo pipe bands will be making an appearance on Sunday’s line up of entertainment. Senior drum major Andrea Gibson will look after the display of drum majors.

On Sunday, Harry Stevenson will facilitate a number of talks and play tunes from a past era. This is a key event of the afternoon and will be held in the Birkenhead Room.

Argory Tartan takes place on Saturday 18 and Sunday 19 July from 12-5pm. Gift Aid Admission: Adult: £5.25, Child: £2.50, Family: £13. National Trust Members Free.

For further information visit or call 028 8778 4753.