Yesterday concluded the Mid Ulster Piping and Drumming Summer School which ran one day a week for six weeks in the Burnavon Arts and Cultural Centre, Cookstown. The Mid Ulster Council Chairman, the RSPBA President, Parents and Guardians, attended the finale which was marked by a certificate presentation to each student and performances by all students in various groups.
Click here to view photos from the finale
Thanks to Mid Ulster District Council for partnering RSPBANI in this project.
The online system for Solo Competition entries is now open. Please find the All-Ireland Syllabus attached along with instructions on how to process your entry. If you have any difficulties processing your entry please contact the Branch Office. The closing date is 10th September.
The Novice Piping and Drumming Competitions (Practice Chanter, Pipe Chanter, Drum Pad and Unaccompanied Snare) will not form part of the All-Ireland Championships this year. The NI Branch will be running the 'NI Novice Solo Piping and Drumming Championships' in the same venue and on the same day as the All-Ireland Solos to accommodate these competitions. We're just finalising the details of this event and entries will open early next week.
The following link shows the route for this year's parade after the Portrush competition. Rather than terminate the parade at the Eglington Street/Mark Street Junction (in front of Barry's) the parade will turn left on Causeway Street at the 55 Degrees North Restaurant and descend the path to terminate at the old Arcadia. The attached picture shows a close up of the parade termination point. Bands can either turn in the direction of the East Strand Car Park or towards Bath Street. Over the past number of years the Branch Executive have been concerned about the safety implications of terminating the parade at an open road junction. We've tried a number of stewarding options but none of these have delivered the safety improvements that we feel are necessary. This small change allows us to disperse the parade in a safe pedestrian area with the minimal impact to the normal parade route.
We must also remind Drum Majors that, following a robust risk assessment process, high throws will not be permitted on the parade and flourishing must be restricted to close body work.
Entries for this year's All-Ireland solos will be completed on the NI Branch website. We're just doing the final checks at the moment and the system will be live later this week. In the mean time, can we ask all soloists to make sure that they have an account on the NI Branch Website. If you have already registered in the past (maybe as part of the Branch School sign up) then you are all set. If you haven't registered before then please take a few minutes to sign up now, there's a 'Register' link in the top bar of the website. If you are unsure please contact the office and we can check for you (Contact details are at the bottom of every website page). If you can't remember your password the login page has a 'Forgotten Password' link. If you have any other difficulty please contact the office rather than registering a duplicate account.
More details will follow in the next few days.
After the incessant rain during the Friday Grade 1 qualifiers, thankfully the weather held up well for the big day itself. In what must be one of the longest days ever at the World Pipe Band Championships the wait proved worthwhile for the prize winners.
Congratulations to Field Marshal Montgomery on securing their 11th World title. This is a phenomenal achievement given the ever increasing standard of all the top level bands. Congratulations also to Paula Braiden on adding to her World Championship medal collection in the Adult Drum Majors grade. Congratulations also to Jamie Cupples on winning the Junior Drum Major grade. Congratulations to all who took part, made finals or won prizes. You did the Northern Ireland Branch proud with your efforts.
1st: Field Marshal Montgomery
2nd: Pipes and Drums of the Police Service of Northern Ireland
Drums: Pipes and Drums of the Police Service of Northern Ireland
The PSNI were just pipped on Ensemble preference for the top band prize but won the Grade 2 World Champion Drum Corp title. Well done to Closkelt who made the final.
Well done to Colmcille on making it through to the Grade 3A final.
Well done to Finvoy and Matt Boyd Memorial on making it through to the final.
2nd Cleland Memorial
Excellent results for the NI Branch bands with Cleland only a point off the winners. Congratulations to G4A World Champion Drum Corps Portavogie. Well done also to Battlehill and Augharan on qualifying for the final.
3rd St. Mary's Derrytrasna
Well done to Bessbrook Crimson Arrow, Sgt. Walker Memorial, Ballyboley, Gransha & Kildoag on qualifying for the final.
1st Paula Braiden
3rd Alicia Dickson Hamilton
4th Lauren Hanna
Well done to Vikki Singer and Jason Price on qualifying for the Adult Drum Major final.
2nd James Kennedy
3rd Zoe McDowell
4th Emma Barr
5th Lauren Abraham
1st Jamie Cupples
2nd Kathryn McKeown
3rd Lucas Adamson
4th Kara Gilmour
5th Katie Bicker
The R.S.P.B.A. Northern Ireland Branch are delighted to announce that David Middleton has been appointed to the position of School Principal.
Branch School Committee Chairman Darren Frew said, "When our previous Principal informed us that, due to a change in personal circumstances, he no longer had the time to dedicate to the role we didn't want to be rushed in to an appointment and made some interim arrangements. Our top priority was to recruit the right individual for the job. In all recruitment processes you accept that it is unlikely you'll find an individual that meets all criteria. In this instance we have been very fortunate as David pretty much ticked every box:
- He has recently completed S.Q.A. and R.S.P.B.A. qualifications within the School.
- He is a current tutor for the School.
- He is the Co-ordinator of the North-West Centre and therefore has a good knowledge of the day to day administration of the School.
- David has a playing pedigree at the highest level with over a decade as a Piper in the Field Marshal Montgomery Pipe Band.
- He is a Chemistry teacher at Oakgrove Integrated College and will be able to bring the a great deal of educational experience to the role.
The Branch School has been very successful over the past number of years, but always strives to be better and David shares that continuous improvement vision. David has all the skills, experience and enthusiasm to guide the Branch School in the next stage of its development."
Branch Chairman Ray Hall added, "We have been very fortunate to be able to appoint David to the School Principal position. His qualifications, experience and track record in the Pipe Band movement are at the very highest level. I have no doubt David will be a valuable asset to the School and we look forward to working with him in his new role."
New Principal, David Middleton replied, "I am delighted to be given the opportunity to take on the role as Principal of the Branch School. I would hope, with the support of the committee, we can move the school forward and build on its success to date."