Ian Burrows retires / SWSPDA drumming / Balmoral Classic extension / PBA deadline

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Ian Burrows, the Project Officer for the RSPBA’s Northern Ireland branch, retired last week. A native of Lisburn, Ian had been in the role for eight years.

A spokesman for the branch said: “We wish to sincerely thank Ian for his service and commitment since commencing the role in 2012. Over that time Ian developed an outstanding relationship with the member bands and the many stakeholders involved with the Northern Ireland branch.” It is not known yet who Ian’s replacement will be.

Ian, pictured at the 2019 Berlin Tattoo, is also a notable bellows piper and is involved in the Ulster Scots traditional music scene. He was Pipe Major of Drumlough Pipe Band for a while before handing over the reins to his brother, Stephen on taking up his RSPBA(NI) role. His other brother and other family members are involved in the pipe band scene in Northern Ireland as well. Ian has travelled widely for years, promoting piping, drumming and Ulster Scots culture.

We wish Ian a long and happy retirement – and more power to his elbow.


Further to our post of the results from the recent South West Scotland Piping and Drumming Academy (SWSPDA) Junior Online Solo Piping & Drumming Championship, we hear that the drumming entries were down a shade on previous years due to some competitors encountering problems retrieving their drums from halls that are locked down due to the coronavirus pandemic.

However, organisers tell us that the quality of the drumming heard was very good. There is clearly good work being done in that sometimes forgotten piping area of Scotland.

We failed to include the drumming results in our post and wish to make amends here:

Under 16
Pad & Stick – 1. Lexi Kerr; 2. Dean Wallace.
Snare – 1. Hollie Chalmers; 2. Sam Brown.
Tenor – 1. Kali Currie (her winning performance can be seen below.)

Under 18
Snare
– 1. Mackenzie Forrest; 2. Hollie Chalmers
Tenor – 1. Jill Watson; 2. Aimee Reid Watson; 3. Joshua Cunningham.

In the prizes. Gregor Grierson and Hazel Whyte.

Under 18 Piping
Ceòl Mòr – 1. Bobby Allen; 2. Hazel Whyte; 3. Gregor Grierson.
Slow Air, Hornpipe and Jig – 1. Bobby Allen; 2. Jack McGowan; 3. Hazel Whyte.
MSR – 1. Bobby Allen; 2. Jack McGowan; 3. Hazel Whyte.

Under 15
Ceòl Mòr
(Ground) – 1. Owen McCreadie.
Slow Air and Jig – 1. Gregor Grierson; 2. Ryan McCreadie.
MSR – 1. Gregor Grierson; 2. Ryan McCreadie; 3. Owen McCreadie.
March (four parts) – 1. Kyle Wallis; 2. Harris Morford; 3. Kieran Walker.

Piping judge: Chris Armstrong.


Organisers of the Balmoral Classic US Junior Solo Piping & Drumming Championships have extended the deadline for drumming applications by 10 days, to October 24. 

Piping winners from the 2017 Classic.

A spokesman told Bagpipe.News: “The extension is an acknowledgement of the fact that drummers have more hoops to jump through when preparing a video for a virtual contest in the days of Covid.

“In other words, they must have an accompaniment by a piper, during a period of social isolation

“Our message to young drummers is: Need a piper for accompaniment? Let us know and we’ll find a professional to record your competition tunes and send them to you.”

Email Elaine at info@bagpiping.org for details.

The Balmoral Classic remains the only solo piping and snare drumming competition in the US exclusively for those age 21 and under.


The deadline is approaching for applications for President of Pipe Bands Australia (PBA), the country’s national organisations for pipe bands. The successful applicant will replace Chris Earl who resigned in August.

The closing date for applications of interest is October 26. Interviews will take place on October 30.

The successful applicant will hold the position until the 2021 PBA Conference to be held at a date yet to be determined. The estimated time commitment required as the President is eight-ten hours per fortnight.

An application pack is available by download via a Dropbox folder at: https://www.dropbox.com/…/Expression%20of%20Interest…