News From the Northern Ireland Pipe Band Scene

A couple of months ago I was at the launch of a new book of piping tunes, the majority of which were composed by County Armagh piper Jim Livingston.  I have rarely come across many tune book launches locally over the years except for the Sean Maloney publication several years ago, although there have been many celebrated local composers whose work has been included in other collections published in Scotland….

It Is Time We Addressed the Issue of Pipe Band Sizes

I had this message from Ken Stewart, Northern Ireland, the other day: ‘I just stumbled on an old programme of the European Championships in Stranraer 1989. There were 24 bands playing in Grade 1 and 34 in Grade 2. It is startling just how many of these bands are on longer operational.’ Indeed it is Ken. There is a decline and it is creeping up on us. And don’t use the…

Editor’s Notebook: Worlds Prices/ SPA Meeting/ PS Summer School/ Festival of Junior Piping/ Luss Games

Tickets are now on sale for the Worlds and already there has been a frisson of discontent regarding spectator prices. One reader has written: ‘I have noticed that tickets for the Worlds have just gone on sale on the Tickets (theworlds.co.uk) ‘I am a little shocked at the various add-ons to the face value of the ticket, thus…. A 12% booking fee will be added to all tickets A £1…

New Information for John and his Ancient Bagpipe Identification Research

There are so many old makers that we have yet to positively attribute works to, that short of carefully removing all of the lacquer in the hope of trying to find a maker’s stamp, we may never really know who made this set until something very similar surfaces. Not just one or two of the features being similar, but all. By George Hannah Some of the features that stand out…

Poor Support is Undermining Minor Pipe Band Contests

Last Sunday at Ardrossan, five bands in G4 MSR and two in G3; this Saturday at Lochore three in G4A, four in G3, four in G2, two in G1; Aberdeen on June 19 a bit better: seven in 4B, three in 4A, five in G3, six in G2, three in G1……. Looking at Markinch summaries and once again I find myself bemoaning the lack of bands in attendance. It has…