Uist & Barra Line Up/ Northern Ireland Band News

The first major professional solo contest of the year, the Uist & Barra, takes place in the old College of Piping building (now part of the Piping Centre) in Otago Street, Glasgow, on March 9th.

Piping Convenor John Angus Smith has confirmed the following line-up, playing order, and tunes for the Ceòl Mòr:

Finlay Johnston – My Dearest on Earth Give Me Your Kiss
Craig Sutherland – MacLeod of Colbeck’s Lament
William McCallum – The Earl of Ross’s March
Ben Duncan – The Blue Ribbon
Iain Speirs – Nameless, Cherede Darievea
Calum Beaumont – Donald Gruamach’s March
Alasdair Henderson – The Bells of Perth
Sarah Muir – The Big Spree
Angus D MacColl – The Unjust Incarceration
Jamie Forrester – Clanranald’s Salute

After the interval there will be March, Strathspey and Reel and Hornpipe & Jig contests. The winner in the Piobaireachd will receive the Glasgow Highland Club Medal, the Champion Piper the Charles Hepburn Rose Bowl.

The Champion Piper is determined by placings in each event, five points for first, one for fifth. The Hornpipe & Jig points are equivalent to half those in the MSR. In the event of a tie, the Piobaireachd placing will determine the overall winner.

Judges are P/M James Banks MBE, Mr Robert Barnes BEM, and Mr William Morrison.

Start time is 9am and tickets will be available at the door. Last year’s winners, Finlay Johnston (MSR), Craig Sutherland (Piobaireachd and Overall) and Angus MacColl (H&J), are pictured at the start of this article. Read a report on last year’s contest here.


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RSPBANI President’s Charity: Ever since the Northern Ireland Branch was established in 1949 it has held charity collections at its outdoor competitions. During the 2023 season, £3,000 was raised for the President’s Charities which included Guide Dogs Northern Ireland, Leukaemia & Lymphoma NI and Brainwaves NI. NI Branch President Winston Pinkerton would like to thank everyone who contributed.

Kids with Cancer Concert: This annual event will take place in the Royal Hotel, Cookstown, on Saturday March 23rd at 6pm. Current World Champions Boghall & Bathgate will headline with Leading Drummer Kerr McQuillan, the current World Solo Champion, doing a spot. Tickets are £20. Contact Gary Smyth on Facebook or text 07814446179.

By Gilbert Cromie

Ravara Concert: The band have a concert on Saturday, April 27th at the Lagan Valley Centre, Lisburn, at 7.30pm. Tickets are £15 here. Ravara are the current All Ireland and UK Champions in Grade 2 and were crowned Northern Ireland G2 Champions of Champions as a band, drum corps and bass section.

Ravara, 2023 UK Champions

Terry Takes Over: The IPBA AGM took place earlier this month in Mallow, County Cork. In addition to the usual business, there were two special moments when RSPBANI Branch Chair Alastair Patterson made a presentation to Con O’Conaill in recognition of his outstanding 47 years service as IPBA President. Pipe Major Terry Tully, a fantastic ambassador for Irish piping, was confirmed as the new incumbent.


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