The current Grade 2 Champion of Champions, Closkelt Pipe Band is hosting a concert this spring in Armagh, Northern Ireland. The band was promoted to Grade 1 last September.

The concert, entitled ‘2020 Vision’, will take place at the Market Place Theatre in Armagh in County Armagh. Field Marshal Montgomery will have a spot at the show as well as a few local bands from the lower grades. Tickets are £14 and can be purchased from HERE.

Closkelt was formed in 1938 in the Drumgooland, situated in rural County Down between Banbridge and Castlewellan. In the last decade it has risen up the grades and featured at the top end of Grade 2 regularly. At the same time the band was promoted to Grade 1 the band also established a youth development programme.

spa logo

The Scottish Pipers’ Association (SPA) annual general meeting takes place tomorrow evening (Friday 7) to which all members are invited.

The following evening sees the first semi final of the SPA’s current Knockout series. The players are Steven Leask and John Patrick. Bar facilities are available.

Sarah Muir is to perform a recital for the Lewis and Harris Piping Society at the end of this month.

The Campbeltown-born piper won the Dunvegan Medal last summer. As a result of that win, Sarah will also be invited to compete at this year’s annual Pipe Major Donald MacLeod MBE Memorial Competition – making her the first woman competitor in the prestigious event.

Commenting on MacLeod, Sara, who works as a piping tutor in Fife, said: “When you look through his collections of tunes, every tune he writes is such a blockbuster. His piobaireachds are some of the loveliest I’ve played and to be able to write piobaireachd and the light music is pretty unique, I would say.”

Sarah’s recital will be held in the Caladh Hotel at 7.30pm, with tickets available on the door, priced £10 and £8 concession. Under 16s get in free.

Celtic Connections logo

Next year’s Celtic Connections festival will run from January 14 to January 31.

The Glasgow-based festival, which ended its 18-day run last Sunday, saw a total audience of around 130,000. Highlights included the opening concert performed by the Grit Orchestra and the Tryst/Boghall & Bathgate concert.

Celtic Connections was first held in 1994.