Two days to enter the Heart o’ Down Championships on August 6, 2022

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The Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association Northern Ireland Branch (RSPBANI) and Newry, Mourne and Down District Council are pleased to announce the launch of the Heart o’ Down Pipe Band Championships for 2022.

This year’s event will be held in the familiar surroundings of Donard Park in Newcastle which played host to the Ulster Championships in 2019. The event will take place on Saturday, August 6, 2022 and will start at 10am. Entries for all events close this Thursday, July 21, at 3pm. Contact details for the event and a list of bands and drum majors currently entered can be found on the RSPABNI website here. The playing format of the event for Grades 3B, 3A and 2 have been changed to mirror the World Pipe Band Championships which will be held the following weekend.

From left to right: Laura Neill, Piper with Down Academy Pipes & Drums, Co. Down; Councillor Michael Savage, Chairperson of Newry, Mourne & Down District Council and Chieftain of the day; Zara Newell, Highland Dancer with The Johnston School of Dance, Dundrum; Mr Lowry Ferguson, RSPBANI Vice President; and Jodie Gates, snare drummer with Bessbrook Crimson Arrow Pipe Band, Co. Armagh. 

As this will be the final local championship of the 2022 season, the event will also incorporate the RSPBANI Champion of Champions prizes at the conclusion of the day. This championship will feature contests for Pipe Bands from Grades 4 up to Grade 1 with upwards of 35 bands and an expected total of over 50 band performances across the day. Over 30 drum majors are also expected to compete as well as highland dancers. 

Vice President of RSPBANI, Mr Lowry Ferguson, said: “I am so happy to welcome our bands, drum majors and Highland dancers back to compete under the spectacular Mourne Mountains once again. This contest is always a firm favourite of our bands as well as spectators in the lovely seaside town of Newcastle. A great venue and always a great day for everyone.”

The Chairperson of Newry, Mourne and Down District Council, Councillor Michael Savage commented;
“I am pleased to welcome the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Northern Ireland Branch (RSPBANI) to Newcastle for ‘The Heart o’ Down Pipe Band Championships’. Undoubtingly, Donard Park will be full of music and colour as pipe bands, drum majors and Highland dancers return to the seaside town. This cultural and musical event has proven to attract many visitors who are sure to enjoy an abundance of music and competitions which feature the best bands and dancers throughout the country.”

Parking will be available at Donard Park, with specific areas for Disabled parking. 

Visit www.rspbani.org and use the contact link if you require further information.