SLOT Pull Out of All Irelands/ Band Sizes/ Ulster Championships

SLOT leading drummer Stephen Creighton and P/M Alen Tully

St Laurence O’Toole Pipe Band have informed the Irish Pipe Band Association of their need to withdraw from the All Ireland Pipe Band Championships, due to take place in New Ross, Co. Wexford tomorrow.

The band has suffered an outbreak of covid this week with a significant number of players testing positive with others displaying symptoms.

By Gilbert Cromie, Northern Ireland Correspondent

The band reported: ‘We were looking forward to defending our title which we won in 2019, and with performances improving week on week, excitement for this competition was really starting to build within our ranks.

‘Nevertheless, the health of our band members, supporters and friends must take priority. We will regroup over the next few weeks and ensure the band is in tip-top shape for the Scottish Championships at Dumbarton at the end of July. All the best to all other competitors and adjudicators on Saturday.’

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Band Sizes

Ken Rogers, Calgary: ‘I read your article with interest.  What would I know as a Grade One soloist at best?  However, I agree with the comments stated.  What is the purpose of ten or more snare drummers, four to eight tenor drummers, and a bass drummer?

‘That drum corps would be larger than the Clan McBain Pipe Band with whom I competed in 1999. Then we played with 12 pipers, a bass, three tenors, and five snares. By comparison some drum corps are larger than the band with whom I competed as a piper. What’s next? 

‘Look at DCI bands such as Madison Scouts and the Blue Knights of Denver, Colorado.  I know drummers  that performed with them.  Are pipe bands following that model?  What’s next?

Ulster Championships

The Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association Northern Ireland Branch and Mid & East Antrim Borough Council have announced that the 71st Ulster Pipe Band Championships will be held in Ballymena Academy (host to the All Ireland Championships in 2019) on Saturday, 23 July 2022.

This will be the fourth local championship of the 2022 season and precedes by a week the Scottish at Dumbarton. The Ulster championship will feature Grades 4B to Grade One. There will be upwards of 33 bands.

Parking will be provided at Ballymena Academy. A shuttle bus will operated between there and the town centre every 15 mins between 11am and 4pm. Those with campervans should check for details.

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