The big event this weekend in the NI Piping calendar is the 3rd Kids with Cancer Charity concert which will be held tonight, Saturday 22nd February 2020, in the Royal Hotel, Cookstown. Gary Smyth and his organising team have put together a superb line-up including over a dozen elite drummers of which at least seven are former Adult World Champions.
Those appearing include current champion Steven McWhirter (10), all-time record holder Jim Kilpatrick MBE (16), Barry Wilson (4), John Scullion (4), Andy Scullion (3), Gordon Brown (2), Paul Turner, Arthur Cook along with All Ireland Champions William Glenholmes and current champion Gareth McLees who I understand will play the scores of legendary two-time world champion the late Bobby Rea.
There will also be a number of top class pipers in attendance led by Pipe Major Stuart Liddell and three of Northern Ireland’s leading young pipers in Beth Preston, Alastair Donaghy and Ryan Cupples Menendez. Also playing will be top class tenor drummer Jordan Baillie and the pipe corps of Kildoag. Unfortunately Ossie Rogers has had to pull out.
I was delighted to learn that there will be a completely different and special pipe band sound to be heard on the night in the form of the Brian Boru pipes of Cavanaleck Pipe Band from Fivemiletown. Amongst their performers will be side drummer Emma Lapsley who in recent years was treated at the Children’s Cancer Unit and who in the autumn of last year held her own very successful fund raiser.
I am pleased to say that this event has truly caught the attention of the pipe band world since it was inaugurated in 2018 and when you consider the standard of talent that it has been able to attract with many travelling long distances at their own expense, it is little wonder that it has raised in the region of £18,000 to date and I have no doubt that Saturday night will do extremely well
The organisers have had a massive response from both inside and outside the pipe band world with every conceivable piping product donated including an Andante Drum by Nigel Hodgen from Andante Percussion (which will be raffled separately) as well as signed football shirts, Pre- World’s Concert tickets and a signed Rory McIlroy flag from the Shanghai World Golf Championship, to name but a few.
As I mentioned the event is completely sold out, however it is being streamed live by the FUSE FM Big Rab Show which can be accessed via Facebook. If you wish to donate or enter the raffle please contact Gary Smyth on Facebook or Text 0781 4446179.