By Ian Burrows (RSPBANI Project Manager)

As part of the Pipe Band Festival Showcase Events being organised by the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association, Northern Ireland branch (RSPBANI), the Mid Ulster Outdoor Solos took place last Saturday (August 21) with a healthy entry of 63 competitors. This was the first competitive piping and drumming event to take place in Northern Ireland since 2019 outside of virtual online competitions. 

The Mid Ulster Solos took place in the very popular and accessible grounds of Cookstown High School (kindly granted by Governors and Principal of Cookstown High School). Admission was free to the event and ample car parking was available within the grounds of the school. There was a very wide range of solo grades on offer in piping, snare drumming, bass drumming, tenor drumming and piobaireachd, from Novice up to A Grade.

This event was mainly organised by the Mid Ulster Section of RSPBANI. The main sponsors for the solo event were Mid Ulster District Council who assisted greatly in providing practical assistance and guidance around Covid regulations. Organisers carried out a robust detailed risk assessment and introduced a range of risk mitigations to ensure that the event was totally compliant to COVID-19 safety guidance and best practice.


Cookstown High School.

Novice Practice Chanter – 1. Maddox Stinson (Syerla & District); 2. Joshua Eakin (Syerla & District); 3. Alan Waddell (Down Academy Pipes and Drums;) 4.= Faith Boal (Down Academy Pipes and Drums) and Kathy Edgar (Down Academy Pipes and Drums).

Pipe Chanter – 1. Laura Neill (Down Academy Pipes and Drums); 2. Philip Murphy (Down Academy Pipes and Drums); 3. William Currie (Cullybackey).

Under 14
– 1. William McFarland (Tullylagan); 2. Shaun Townsley (Cleland Memorial); 3. Jacob Tate (Syerla & District); 4. Jake Mcalister (Matt Boyd Memorial); 5. Sam Purvis (Tullylagan).

Under 16 – 1. Reece Doherty (Tullylagan); 2. Adam Brimage.

Under 18 – 1. Andrew Nelson (Ballyboley); 2. Emma Ferguson (Matt Boyd Memorial).

C Grade Juniors – 1 Marc Warnock (Tullylagan); 2. Edmund Boland (St. Josephs Clondalkin); 3. Caitriona Lloyd (Colmcille); 4. Emma Livingstone (Manorcunningham); 5. Amanda Brennan (St. Josephs Clondalkin); 6. Anthony Kelly (CLASP).

B Grade Intermediate – 1. Mark Hasson (Colmcille.

John McElmurry.

A Grade Senior – 1.  John McElmurry (Scottish Power); 2. Ben Greeves (Drumlough); 3. Sean Moloney (St. Mary’s Derrytrasna); 4. Alan Ferguson (Matt Boyd Memorial).

Ceòl Mòr
A Grade – 1. John McElmurry (Scottish Power); 2. Ben Greeves (Drumlough); 3. Alan Ferguson (Matt Boyd Memorial); 4. Sean Moloney (St. Mary’s Derrytrasna).

B Grade – 1. Edmund Boland (St. Josephs Clondalkin); 2. Anthony Kelly (CLASP); 3. Emma Livingstone (Manorcunningham).

Under 16 – 1. Sam Purvis (Tullylagan).

Under 18 – 1. Andrew Nelson (Ballyboley).