Category Archives: Comment

Inveraray & District Are European Pipe Bands Champions

Inveraray & District Pipe Band (pictured above courtesy Piping @ Forres) were crowned European Pipe Band Champions today after winning the Grade 1 contest at Forres on Scotland’s Moray Coast. The result means that the Argyllshire outfit, under the renowned P/M Stuart Liddell, now move clear at the head of the Champions of Champions table with two majors to go. In a nice touch the Inveraray band played a tune dedicated to today’s Chieftain, Major General Seymour Monro, at the March Past.

Close on their heels are P/M Richard Parkes and Field Marshal Montgomery winners of the UK Championships in Belfast only two weeks ago and the current World Champions. Impressive showings again from Scottish Power who placed third and also from Boghall and Bathgate who made the top six for the first time this season in fifth.

The full result in Grade 1 was:
1 Inveraray
2 Field Marshal
3 Scottish Power
4 SLoT
5 Boghall
6 Shotts
Drumming: Inveraray

G1 bands had to play an MSR drawn at the line from two sets. MSR was the requirement when Inveraray won the first major of the season at Paisley.

In the other grades Glasgow Skye re-asserted themselves in Grade 2 pushing great rivals Lomond and Clyde into second. Glasgow Skye impressed all who heard them and also won the drumming.

Second placed Lomond & Clyde at the trigger with P/M David Wilton waiting for the signal to start his band
Glasgow Skye in the ring at Forres…a great win for them

Grade 2
1 Glasgow Skye
2 Lomond & Clyde
3 MacKenzie Caledonia
4 City of Discovery
5 Balagan
6 Grampian Police
Drumming: Glasgow SkyeOther grades:
Grade 3a
1 Wallacestone
2 Inverness
3 Vale of Atholl
4 2622 (Highland) RAF
5 Stirling
6 Coalburn IOR
Drumming: Stirling

Grade 3b
1 The Highlanders (4 Scots)
2 Royal Burgh of Annan
3 Turriff
4 Milngavie
5 Ayr Society
6 Bothwell Castle
Drumming: Bothwell Castle

1 Dollar Academy
2 George Watson’s
3 Boghall
4 North Lanarkshire Schools
5 West Lothian Schools
6 Preston Lodge High
Drumming: Dollar Acad.

Grade 4a
1 3rd Batt. Royal Regmt. of Scotland
2 Bowhill
3 Lochryan
4 Denny & Dunipace
5 Johnstone
6 Perth & District.
Drumming: Kinross

Grade 4b
1 Elgin & District
2 Kilmarnock
3 Rothesay
4 Isle of Skye
5 Venlo Cal. – Netherlands
6 Vale of Atholl
Drumming: Kilmarnock

Novice A
1 Ross & Cromarty Pipes & Drums School
2 Dollar Academy
3 George Watson’s
4 Boghall
5 Oban High School
6 Stirling & District Schools
Drumming: Geo. Watson’s

Novice B
1 Oban High School
2 Lochalsh Juniors
3 Dumbarton
4 Queen Victoria School
5 North Lanarkshire Schools
6 MacKenzie Cal. Juv.
Drumming: Queen Victoria School

Best band on parade (dress & deportment) were Inveraray & District. Next major pipe band championship is the Scottish to be held at Dumbarton on July 29. Click on the links for full summaries and videos of the G2 and G4a contests courtesy of the RSPBA. Stay tuned to Piping Press for more from Forres.

New Boghall Pipe Sergeant/ Brittany/ Young Piper of the Year Entries

Peoples Ford Boghall & Bathgate Caledonia Pipe Band have sent this: ‘We are pleased to announce the appointment of Calum Watson to the position of Pipe Sergeant of the Grade 1 band. He takes over from Alexander Scougall who will shortly be moving to the north of England to take up a promoted post with his current employer.

‘An accomplished solo player and bandsman, Calum Watson joined the Peoples Ford Boghall organisation from George Watson’s College. Under the tutelage of Pipe Major Iain Simpson, he enjoyed great success and went on to win three World Championships and two back to back ‘grand slams’ in the Juvenile grade.

‘He has had numerous solo successes including the overall B grade prize at the Cowal Gathering (in both 2015 and 2016) and the CPA overall winner for Piobaireachd in 2016.

A stylised picture of Calum

‘On making the announcement, Pipe Major Ross Harvey said: ‘It is a very natural appointment to make Calum Pipe Sergeant. He is the complete package and he has the support of the entire band. Calum’s ear for tuning is first rate and his tune arrangements are already firmly in our repertoire. He brings a youthful energy to the band on already wise shoulders and I cannot wait to see the band develop further with Calum’s talents in the Pipe Sergeant’s seat.’

‘Calum said:  ‘It is a huge honour to have been appointed as the band’s Pipe Sergeant.  Ross has been a huge inspiration to me over the years, having been my first Pipe Major back in 2007. I am looking forward to working closely with Ross. The band is working extremely hard behind the scenes and I am certain it won’t be long before we are firmly back in the prize list.’

‘The band are looking forward to competing at the European Championships in Forres this weekend, where P/S Watson will take up his position for the first time. We would like to wish Alexander Scougall all the best with his new role, and look forward to him continuing to be an active member of the pipe corps.’

Big weekend of piping and bands in Brittany. Competitions in MSR, Breton music, piobaireachd, drumming:

Pauline Craib has reminded everyone that the closing date for entries for this summer’s Young Piper of the Year Competition is 30 June. The contest takes place at Sgoil Lionacleit, Benbecula, on July 20th at 9am. There are contests for chanter, novice piping, under 15, Under 18 and Adult under 30. Entry forms here. Some of the rules make interesting reading, writes the Editor:

Competitors must wear Highland Dress, including jacket when competing. Please note, this dress is optional for those competing in Open Chanter and Novice Piping competitions.

Junior competitors who have already competed in senior events for prize money in competitions elsewhere are thereby disqualified from entry to all junior events.

The judges are empowered to withhold all or any prizes offered if they unanimously agree that the standard of merit achieved by a competitor or competitors is inadequate.

In the event of an equality of points, the overall prizes shall be awarded to the competitor with the highest points in the relevant Ceòl Mòr Competition.

So no shirtsleeve order on Benbecula and well done to the organisers for instilling this dress sense in these young competitors. I think only the Northern Meeting now insists on this in the senior world – much to their credit. Withholding of prizes: have there been any occasions when such a rule could have been applied to the competitions at Inverness and Oban? I can’t think of any in the modern era but I am sure that in times past this would have been a sensible caveat. The picture up top is of the 2016 winners at the Young Piper.

Preview of the Grade 2 European Pipe Band Championship

The major pipe band championship wagon will again roll into the Highland town of Forres this Saturday for the Europeans, writes our Special Correspondent.  Past events have been blessed with improving weather, big crowds and excellent facilities in and around Grant Park.

The local organisers really pull out the stops and bands have been welcomed into the bus park with hampers of goodies, visitors have enjoyed the food festival and craft beer in adjoining areas of the field, with many a side show going on to keep all ages occupied. In spite of that sterling effort, a number of bands tend to choose to opt out of this one and, in Grade 2, there are no Irish bands listed to play at all. Interestingly, last year saw bands from Australia and South Africa in other grades.

For those who don’t know, Forres, it is a former Royal Burgh in Morayshire, and a short stop from the upper extremities of the North Sea, accessed via Inverness or, to the east, Aberdeen. It is the site of Duncan’s Castle in Shakespeare’s ‘Macbeth’, and those three witches were on a moor, toiling and bubbling not far away. Talking of which, 13 bands are listed for the Grade 2 medley contest – assuming all play.  See the draw here. Judges at the ready will be the experienced quartet of Messrs. Semple, Hunt, Mordaunt and Noble.

In the very first major of the season at Paisley, also a medley contest, we reported on the winning performance of Lomond & Clyde, and the close runner up, Glasgow Skye Association.  Perhaps that one gives us the best steer of what to expect – they repeat their medley sets up north. However, as you all know, it is about delivery on the day and this is another day. We do expect those two to be the first names read out in the early evening. With no Manorcunningham present, winners of the drumming at Paisley, the rest of the slots will be filled by Scots bands and possibly one hailing from Denmark. We may even see City of London in the mix.

The Danes

So on to the specific prospects: The vikings of Balagan, Denmark, get the grade started at 2.30pm, having missed the March Strathspey & Reel contest at Belfast. They will repeat their ‘Gathering’ medley and if you are watching and listening the grade, pay attention to their Mist Covered Mountains and transition to MacBeth’s Strathspey. If they can lock in and avoid any freelance piping, their drums should hold the ensemble together. They will be looking for a placing for sure.

City of Discovery, from Dundee, placed 6th in Belfast in their second year in the grade and demonstrated some good MSR discipline. In this Medley competition the band will have to crack on from the off. A musical medley including Bronnie’s Blue Brozzi usually gets feet tapping. The build from the Easy Club Reel, the Ale is Dear to the favourite the Highlandman Kissed His Mother will be the crux of the matter, and a decent execution there will assist for sure.

A tale of two cities indeed as the running order flits from Dundee to London, with the new kids on the block (albeit many in the band have been around it a few times), City of London up next. Paisley was a long time ago and they will take this one on afresh. Maybe less nerves than at their first outing, and an assured start and overall performance might well be the eyebrow raiser of the grade on Saturday.  There were enough glimpses of something good to suggest this collective has it, so long as it all clicks into place on the day. No pressure then! From the off, their version of Lord Alexander Kennedy will perhaps be a bit ‘marmite’ – it has the ability to split views down the middle. One thing for sure though, it has to be perfectly executed. After Maguire’s Jig they will head into the slow air The Rose which has served other bands well in past years. One to watch.

Lomond & Clyde are two from two in the baseball vernacular of our American cousins. The band will be delighted with that, but also aware of the growing expectation and the pressure that leading the pack brings with it. The very best are the ones able to deal with that and use it positively to improve incrementally each time rather than rest on laurels. The leadership of this band will know what to do and not let the cart get ahead of the horses.

Mental attitude and concentration are key. They had the most musical of medleys at the first outing of the season with real Grade 1 style ‘transitions’ and reprises. From the Hole in the Soul start, which is a great tune, the musicality flows as the tempo ebbs and flows through the set. The haunting Chi Mi’n Gearmaradh is worth listening to alone, yet the set builds to a destination with cleverly joined up thinking, rather than just a few tunes hand knitted together. The drumming score differentials might just hold the balance in this contest.

If the Oban band shows, it will be the first of the year, so there may be a pause as the clock runs down. We hope they are in the circle though. MacKenzie Caledonian plays next, two third places showing their consistency so far this season. They appeared more at home in the March Strathspey and Reel contest in Belfast, with the ‘2’ scored in ensemble underscoring that. Their’s is a well put together set, with stand outs being the intro tune The Day the Co-op Flooded and the Video Kid. Steady as she goes will see them in the mix, risk taking would give them a shot to the top, but the downside of missing the mark completely. That isn’t the MacCals style. It’s one to enjoy.

Glasgow City was a no show in Belfast and should be up next in the Forres running order. Their medley showed solid composition in Paisley. We liked the Rory MacLeod jig then, but it wasn’t their day. They will be looking to crank it up this time out.

Dumbarton and District played Paisley but skipped Belfast. This reinstated band had a relatively assured performance of a very traditional medley last time out, and the shortest of the day. Immediate thoughts were that a higher risk rating would see them up the ranks but, the experienced pipe major knows what his band is capable of.  It’s easy for commentators to suggest trying this or that of course. In any event, the grade has benefitted with the return of this band.

Scottish Fire and Rescue Services will undoubtedly get a strong welcome as most looking on will be grateful for the very services they represent. The band will be looking to improve again as they take to the field in this medley contest. I’m looking forward to hear the Sparky Cherry and Jamphlar’s Jig. This senior band will be watching their young Novice Juvenile B band, kicking off the whole day in that Grade at 10am.

Championship challengers, Glasgow Skye Association (pictured top), should start with Murdo Nicholson of Camusluinnie and into Gary Cheddy’s Jig. Also look out for Tommy Tully’s Air as a feature point in the set. Can the Skye go one better and take first place to add to this season’s two seconds? If you think the pressure is on Lomond & Clyde, just pause for thought for Skye. They have to break the pattern, otherwise it will be clear where the forward momentum resides. Make no mistake; this is a solid band with a good sound and high expectations. If their drumming kicks on, with no Manorcunningham present, the import of that score and probably the ensemble will make this a fascinating table to look at after the results.

Near locals from Aberdeenshire, Grampian Police,  will make a welcome return to the contest, having missed Belfast. Their medley  (Uphold the Right) was well received last time out and has the toe tapping Mrs MacLeod of Raasay, Dancing Feet and concluding with Bungee Jumper. We suspect they are aiming for a top 6, after their 10th at the British. Bucksburn & District will be back in the circle, also having missed Belfast. In Paisley they had a 6th and 1st in piping, so there is something to listen to here. It is a tight pipe corp and should not be overlooked. They might think the 12th in ensemble was harsh and this is the chance to open up and aim higher.

Isle of Islay will close out the grade at around 4.20pm, albeit the stewards will have it exactly right at 4.18pm.  The sun shone for them at Paisley, skipped Belfast, and this is the second major run out of their medley which includes the Welsh Dragon, the Kesh Jig and The Fuddler.  Any set with the Devil in the Kitchen is good for me.

That will be the grade and, we very much look forward to a great competition. The very best of fortune to each and every band playing on Saturday. The weather looks to be overcast and cloudy in the few days leading up to Saturday and the area looks prone to early morning showers on the day itself. Have capes at the ready and umbrella volunteers may be required alongside the growing tented village appearing contest by contest. That was the forecast on BBC TV ‘Countryfile’, which a farming friend swears by – often in a bad way. However, bring the sun cream, as what’s now known as ‘a Belfast’ (being sunburnt) is possible.

The RSPBA video camera team will be out in force again and the whole grade will be on YouTube fairly soon after. Watch out for updates on the @rspbahq Twitter feed during the day too – short clips of each band as they strike up. This has been a great service for those interested in the grade and, for those unable to be there on the day. The Grade 1 contest is well served with coverage by ‘Big Rab’ broadcasting live (the prize giving is always a good watch), DroneChorus adding his considerable expertise and excellent filming, and UlsterScot with his unique behind the scenes looks at tuning. As an aside, wasn’t the film footage of Inveraray and District’s chanter practice at Belfast simply fascinating?

So, for those of you traveling to Forres we wish you a safe journey. Stopping points in Pitlochry, Aviemore and elsewhere will be busy on the Saturday morning for those going early. Others may well be in the vicinity the night before for practice and some social time. Remember the average speed cameras on the main route from Dunblane roundabout. Drive safe, be careful and, have a great time at Grant Park in Forres.  It’s a short drive to fish and chips in Aviemore on the way home! Along with several thousand others doing the same thing……

For those of you reading overseas and not attending this contest, we will have a report during next week and well before the mid season break and breather, ahead of that gap to the Scottish Championship on 29th July. From there it will crank up with contests piling in, including North Berwick (closing date for entries 2nd July, draw on 6th July) and, Bridge of Allan (closing date 23rd July – draw on 24th).  Note that North Berwick has a Grade 2 Medley and combined Grade 1 & 2 March, Strathspey and Reel contest. Bridge of Allan is a Grade 2 Medley. Of course, playing up to Grade 1 (2x MSR with draw at line) is also an option. Over and out.

Another Successful Week in New England

The Editor writes: Another successful New England Pipe and Drum Academy has come to a close and I’d like to thank Tommy Johnston and Matt Pantaleoni for all their hard work during a rewarding week.

We didn’t have too many students to teach but those who did attended got the very best in piping and drumming instruction. Tommy’s reed making workshop was a real highlight and attracted a few outside visitors to the very pleasant surroundings of the Adelynrood Retreat and Conference Centre.

Tommy shows how it is done

It is run Episcopalian ladies and they know how to keep the likes of ourselves in order. They also feed us with the very best produce, some of it grown in their gardens at the centre situated in the Massachusetts woodlands north and east of Boston. We’ll be back next year, the object being to create a critical mass of well taught individuals who can go out and spread the word.

There are good teachers in New England make no mistake, but NEPADA provides the sort of immersion in piping and drumming which offers the unique benefits of joint music and making and learning. There is as much learned informally as there is formally.

Pipers are put through their paces

One of the lady pipers on the course Beverly Knapp is following in the footsteps of her grandfather in playing the pipes. Beverly has a snap of him in his uniform. His surname was Tyrie and he was from Forfar. Beverly is intrigued as to what British Army regiment it might represent. We think from the kilt and sporran that it is the Cameronians but this doesn’t chime with the Angus region. Any thoughts appreciated:

Our most promising piper was Jesse Fulton from Connecticut and drummer Patricia Edwards from New Hampshire. Jesse and Patricia are pictured below. Patricia received a set of drumsticks  and Jesse a practice chanter courtesy David Naill & Co.:

Patricia and Jesse

The dates for next year’s Academy are June 18 – 22.

Best wishes to Eric Ward wishing him a speedy recovery from his operation and also to Mike Nugent of the South Florida Pipe and Drum Academy after his recent bout of ill health.

SFU Drums, Harnesses and Covers Stolen/ Eric Ward Recovering after Operation

A drum similar to the stolen one

British Columbia’s Tri-city News reports the following:

Two custom drums owned by a world-class pipe band were swiped from a car parked overnight at a north side Port Coquitlam home yesterday (Sunday).

And musicians and staff with the Simon Fraser University Pipe Band say the theft could land them in trouble as they ready for the world championships in Scotland.

The Andante snare drums — as well as two harnesses, soft-shell black cases, a backpack (containing a practice pad and drum sticks) and some personal items — were locked in the car trunk of a band member who had competed at the BC Highland Games and Scottish Festival at Percy Perry Stadium in Coquitlam Town Centre Park Saturday.

Stolen drum cover

The band gathered that evening at another drummer’s home, near Terry Fox secondary, to celebrate its win with a barbecue meal. Afterward, the drummer got a ride home and left his vehicle and its contents in the driveway, where five more cars were parked.

It’s believed his car was broken into between 3:30 and 9:30 a.m.; however, none of the other cars was touched, homeowner Charlene Wallis told The Tri-City News Monday.

Wallis reported the incident to Coquitlam RCMP and, since then, has been scouring the neighbourhood as well as Craigslist and other online sites to see if the SFU-branded gear has turned up and is being illegally sold. She also has raised the alert with the school and Long & McQuade, which has a store nearby, while the Grade 1 band has posted about the loss on its Facebook page, showing images of the missing drums and equipment.

‘Hopefully, this is a hard sell,’ Coquitlam RCMP Cpl. Mike McLaughlin said, ‘but typically, these are hard to trace as they have no serial numbers. This is a good reminder that when you leave your car, you take your valuables with you. Nothing should be inside.’

Rob Watt, a retired Mountie and the SFU pipe band secretary, said the band hopes to recover the specialized drums before it travels to the Kamloops and Skagit Valley competitions in the next few weeks. He said the band also has its eye on reclaiming the world title on the Glasgow Green Aug. 12 — an honour it has held six times since 1995.

Drum and harness

Watt said the theft has serious ramifications if the instruments are not found in time as the drums are finely tuned; spare drums brought up from junior bands isn’t an option for the Glasgow championships. “For this to happen, it impacts the whole organization,” he said. “It’s very frustrating.”

• Coquitlam RCMP asks anyone who finds the drums in person or online to contact police at 604-945-1550, quoting file number CQ2017-18440.

Champion Leading Drummer Eric Ward

Bleary & District Pipe Band report: ‘The band would like to pass on get well wishes to our leading drummer Eric Ward, who on Saturday during the March Past took unwell. Eric was taken to Craigavon hospital rapidly by St John’s Ambulance and after an operation yesterday he thankfully is well on the mend. The Ward family wish to thank everyone for their messages of support and well wishes. 

‘Eric’s son Cameron will be taking the drum corp reins until Eric is well enough to hit the circle again.’

Shotts Concert – An Interview with Leading Drummer Andrew Lawson

August 9 will see a packed house at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall for the annual Worlds Week pipe band concert sponsored by Glasgow Skye Association Pipe Band. Providing the music this year are the legendary Shotts & Dykehead Caledonia Pipe Band under P/M Ryan Canning and Leading Drummer Andrew Lawson. Andrew has given a short interview to Piping Press about the concert, his corps and working with Ryan…..

How is the drum corps shaping up?
The corps is looking very good this season. There was some turnover at the end of last season. It’ll always be tough to see players go but we added some new players and have been putting in a lot of work for the concert and the competition season. There’s still plenty to do before August 9th but everyone’s very excited to be performing on the Concert Hall stage. Only six weeks away!

Shotts drum corps at the British Championships at Paisley earlier this year

Where do you think you are when compared to Shotts corps of the past?
Shotts is a band with a long history of excellence in drumming. It’s a big thing to live up to and it’s difficult to quantify where we are now in comparison.  We finished our first season very well and we’re working to build on that. The attitude of all the members is very much in line with what I’ve been a part of previously in this corps. Everyone works very hard and challenges themselves to always improve and bring their best to the corps.

What would you consider a successful 2017 season to be?
I think putting our best possible performance down in the arena and improving each time we compete is what I would consider a success. As far as results are concerned we want to keep the band as close to the top as possible and challenge for the win. There’s a lot of belief within the band and with all the extra work for the concert we’ll be very well prepared for all of the competitions.

Shotts’ bass and tenor section

Will you be doing anything to make sure there is a good balance between drums and pipes at the ‘Rise’ concert?
We’ll play a limited number of snare drummers per set and we also have a percussion section to give variation to the rhythm side of the show.

Have you been working on new scores for this year?
It’s been a very big year for scores. Everything for the concert is new as well as a competition medley. I’m really enjoying the creative side of the lead drummer role but I can say I am looking forward to a quieter season next year as far as writing scores is concerned.

What do you think of the standard of pipe band drumming in Grade 1 at the moment.
I think Grade 1 has a lot of depth. There are a lot of corps playing very well and I expect that it will be tight.

P/M Ryan Canning on the big screen after the band’s success at the 2015 Worlds

How do you and Ryan go about selecting tunes and working out beatings/ settings/ ensemble effects?
Ryan will start off with an idea or a tune to get things started. He opens up musical ideas to everyone in the band and then fits things together. He’ll send the pipe sergeants and me recordings for opinions and we discuss ideas from there. When things are finalised I start writing scores. Sometimes Ryan has an idea of a rhythmical effect for a part or a break and other times I take it away and see what I come up with. We have a good understanding of each other and naturally play well together, so we are usually on the same page when arranging music.

Get your tickets for the Shotts concert here

Craigavon & District Pipe Band Championships

By Gilbert Cromie; pix by John Kelly
Yesterday the Craigavon & District Pipe Band Championships took place in Lurgan on what can only be described as a sweltering hot day, writes Gilbert Cromie.

The Lord Mayor of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council, Alderman Gareth Wilson, was the Chieftain of the Day and in his remarks he congratulated everyone involved in putting on a great day’s entertainment and singled out RSPBA NI Branch Trophy Officer Roy McCullough for the gleaming array of trophies which were about to be presented. The above picture shows the Salute to the Chieftain and the Massed Bands.

The main organisers of the competition, the County Down Section, remembered those from the pipe band fraternity who has passed away since last year with Ian Burrows playing a suitable lament. The Cordiner family presented a trophy in memory of Bobby Cordiner a member of Marlacoo Pipe Band for some 60 years and also the local Territorial Army band. The Section’s annual draw for a set of Peter Henderson Bagpipes donated by RG Hardie & Co was won by Robert Smyth from Ardrossan with the NI Children’s Hospice benefitting by the £1000 raised.

While the large turnout of spectators enjoyed the beautiful weather I can imagine that some pipe majors struggled tuning their pipe corps in the heat however for the spectators it was ideal conditions in which to enjoy the piping, drumming and drum majoring. In Grade 4B Kildoag continued their local contest winning streak also taking the drum corps title while local band St Mary’s Derrytrasna won 4A with Cullybackey securing the drumming prize. Another local band Battlehill won 3B with Quinn Memorial lifting the drum corps prize.

Pipe Major Martin Lennon (St Mary’s Pipe Band, Derrytrasna) pictured with Stephen Withers and his daughter Carla. Photo by John Kelly.
In 3A Drumlough made it three local competitions in a row while the Upper Crossgare drummers had their first win of the season. Closkelt had a decisive win in Grade 2 with their drummers also getting in on the act. PSNI won Grade 1 by a single point over local band Bleary & District who won the drumming. It was all change in the Adult Drum Major section with Jason Price breaking the domination of Alicia Hamilton and Lauren Hanna.

Emma Barr had another win in the Juvenile with Jamie Cupples (Junior) and Louis Anderson (Novice) the other winners. Congratulations to Drum Major Alicia Hamilton who was awarded the British Empire Medal (BEM) for services to the community in Northern Ireland in the recent Queens Birthday Honours List.

Results: Grade 1. 1st PSNI (also M&D), 2nd Bleary & District, (also Best Drums and Bass Section), 3rdRavara, 4th Closkelt. Grade 2. 1st Closkelt (also Best Pipes, Drums, Bass Section and M&D), 2ndThiepval Memorial. Grade 3A. 1ST Drumlough (also Best Pipes), 2nd Marlacoo & District [also M&D], 3rd Upper Crossgare (also Best Drums and Bass Section), 4th Matt Boyd Memorial.

Dylan Coyle (PSNI) pictured receiving the Grade 1 ‘Best Pipes’ trophy from the Lord Mayor of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon, Alderman Gareth Wilson (Chieftain of the Day). Picture John Kelly
Grade 3B. 1stBattlehill, 2nd Quinn Memorial (also Best Drums and Bass Section), 3rd McNeillstown, 4th Maj. Sinclair Memorial (also M&D). Grade 4A. 1st St. Mary’s Derrytrasna, 2nd McDonald Memorial (also M&D), 3rdMcNeillstown, 4th Cullybackey (also Best Drums and Bass Section). Grade 4B. 1st Kildoag (also Best Drums), 2nd Gransha, 3rd Ballyboley, 4th Bessbrook Crimson Arrow, 5th Sgt. Walker Memorial. Best Bass Section: Maj. Sinclair Memorial. M&D: Kirkistown.

Drum Majors: Adult. 1st Jason Price (Ravara), 2nd David Brownlee (Derryclavin), 3rd Alicia Hamilton (Matt Boyd Memorial), 4th Lauren Hanna (Lomond & Clyde), 5th Andrea McKeown (Battlehill). Juvenile. 1st Emma Barr (Field Marshal Montgomery), 2nd Lana Gibson (Ballyboley), 3rd Emily Crooks (McNeillstown), 4th Jason Nicholl (Tullylagan), 5th James Kennedy (Closkelt).

Drum major winners: Novice: Louis Anderson (Crozier Memorial), Junior: Jamie Cupples (Aughintober), Juvenile: Emma Barr (Field Marshal Montgomery) and Adult: Jason Price (Ravara)
Junior. 1st Jamie Cupples (Aughintober), 2nd Rachel Lowry (Armaghbreague), 3rd Kathy Hunter (Manorcunningham), 4thAbigail Wenlock (Shotts & Dykehead), 5th Rebecca Hamilton (Tullylagan). Novice.1st Louis Anderson (Crozier Memorial), 2nd Carys Graham (Upper Crossgare), 3rd Leanne Crooks (Syerla & District), 4thBenjamin Walker (Battlehill), 5th Louise Smiton (Closkelt).