Gilnahirk Pipe Band

Formed 1919

European Pipe Band Championships 2011

After the Band's long lay off and re-emergence in Bangor last week, there was to be no suggestion of any time off for Gilnahirk with the European Pipe Band Championships taking place at Stormont Estate in Belfast today. This contest is one of the five "Majors" which decide the destination of the RSPBA Champion of Champions at the end of each competition season. Belfast has secured the rights to host the European Championships for three years and today was the second in the series.

Thankfully, the weather forecast proved accurate - or possibly even a little pessimistic. There was no sign of the predicted afternoon shower and the arena was bathed in golden sunshine for almost the entire event. The crowds seemed improved on last year and the only thing drawing complaint from the public seemed to be the enormous prices being charged for burgers and other refreshments!

The Band was drawn to play "lucky" thirteenth in Grade 4B and had a slightly more assured run than last week. A good solid couple of hours practice before entering the ring seemed to settle a few nerves and the positive crowd response was again gratifying. Gilnahirk has still to enjoy the sensation of being called up for a prize this season, but the progress which is being made is reward in itself at this point and sets out a good stall for the end of the summer and establishes a firm foundation on which to build next year.

Once again, the Band was delighted to hear from a lot of supporters (including a few "big names" from the Grade One Bands!) who were pleased to see us out on the grass again. We certainly hope that we can repay the compliments and good wishes with a little silverware.

In terms of the results from the Grade One arena, Gilnahirk would like to extend congratulations to the all-conquering Field Marshal Montgomery Pipe Band which continues to steam-roller its way through the 2011 season. Thus far, FMMPB has won every one of the Majors competed for and must surely be favourite for the World Championships in Glasgow in a couple of weeks. Well done and keep it up, FM!