Inveraray Concert at Ballymena – Incredible Solo from Steven McWhirter Plus Picture Gallery

As part of their 70th year celebrations, Ballybriest Pipe Band hosted what was described as a ‘brilliant’ evening of entertainment at the ‘Live in Ballymena’ concert at the Tullyglass House Hotel, Ballymena, Northern Ireland on Friday 4th May featuring current World Champion pipe band Inveraray & District.

This was the first time that Inveraray have put on a concert in Northern Ireland and under the direction of Pipe Major Stuart Liddell and Lead Drummer Steven McWhirter (who recently won his eighth World Solo drumming title) this was a not to be missed event. 

There was a special treat for the pipe band enthusiasts gathered as Pipe Major Richard Parkes MBE (Field Marshal Montgomery Pipe Band) joined Inveraray on stage and played a selection of tunes with them. The compère was Mark Wilson who added his extensive knowledge of piping and drumming as he introduced each act.

One drumming enthusiast pointed to the good video coverage available courtesy of the ‘Big Rab’ radio show and podcast. As a former drummer, Rab put up the solo of lead tip Steven McWhirter. Have a look and listen: Of Steven’s playing one PP drumming contact opined: ‘Steven? Wow! The ‘simple’ singles, doubles and triplet rolls are some of the hardest things to do. Everyone thinks they are easy, but to make them look and sound like that is pure Buddy Rich. Then there is what I think might be a Swiss ruff going into rolls. It could be a para-paradiddle roll. That takes you into the realms of Joe Morello, the Brubeck drummer on Take 5. It’s in 5/4 time. I think the underscore on this is that his rudiments are exceptional, the execution is clean and there’s a zing that comes from the touch. 

‘Technically, off the scale, but not just mechanical – hugely expressive  and ‘musical’. The light and shade is the best in the business. Not since the dominance of Jim Kilpatrick in his heyday, and Alex Duthart before that, have we seen this creative ability taking things to the next level. And, he hasn’t qualified for the World Solo semi-finals yet!’

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We are grateful to John Kelly for supplying these pictures from the night…..
Pipe Major Jason Black (Ballybriest Pipe Band), Pipe Major Stuart Liddell (Inveraray & District Pipe Band) and
Winston Pinkerton (RSPBANI President) pictured at the ‘Live in Ballymena’ concert:

Close up of Pipe Major Stuart Liddell and Inveraray pipers: 

What goes up must come down…..Drum Major Liam Renton (Inveraray & District Pipe Band) pictured during his impressive display at the ‘Live in Ballymena’ concert:

Pipe Major Richard Parkes MBE (Field Marshal Montgomery Pipe Band) and Pipe Major Liddell on stage after they entertained the capacity audience:

Kevin Rogers (St Laurence O’Toole Pipe Band) pictured receiving one of the two raffle prizes donated by McCallum Bagpipes:

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