Dromore piping group resumes its gatherings

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The Dromore-based Blackthorn Pipers’ Society recently held its first gathering after the summer break at the Thyme Square Bistro.

“We had a healthy turnout of 25 members/spectators with quite a few joining and renewing membership throughout the night,” said secretary, Andy Wilson.

“We have just moved back into our original venue whence we started. It was welcomed by all as we are back to a professional restaurant/bistro service.

“The night began with some tunes on the smallpipes from our secretary, coupled with a little help from certain members of the audience to get them in tune. www.harrispiping .com

“Young Nathan Coburn took to the floor with his Ulster Scots set, presumably from the Juvenile Ulster Scots Band. . . . He then went on to play a set of melodic airs.

“A new attendee at the gathering, Glenn Baxter, took to the floor. Glenn plays in Raffrey Pipe Band and he arrived with a unique set of Warmac Pipes with Chalice Tops.

“He opened up with a couple of 6/8 marches . . .He went on to play a well presented 2/4 March and finished with a Gordon Duncan tune and the Out of the Air Jig.

“Samantha Coburn entertained us with a lovely set of 4/4 marches, not usually heard these days, The Garb of O’Gauland The Music of Spey. She continued on with part of a band medley selection . . . After all this, we were given a rendition of the 2/4 March John MacDonald of Glencoe.

“Our Auld Stalwart took to the floor next (Glenn Cupples) playing a melodic hymn and a bunch of Jigs. This set us up nicely for The Blackthorn Piper for the evening.”

A huge thanks went to the Blackthorn Pipe, Sean Maloney, who drove a seven-hour round trip from Limerick to play at The Blackthorn Piper’s Society.

“His journey was I hope worthwhile as he played a thoroughly entertaining and enjoyable mini recital for us,” said Andy.

Sean’s performance included a number of Irish Jigs - part of his family tradition as they are the family’s “Go To” tunes when having “a wee get-together”.

He ended his short recital with Corrienessan’s Salute, the tune with which pipe maker R G Hardie won the Gold Medal at Oban in 1947.

“A very good night was had by all, and an entertaining nights piping was had.,” said Andy.

The next Blackthorn Piper’s Society Gathering will be on Wednesday, October 21, when The Blackthorn Piper for the evening will be Kris Coyle, who has this year picked up many prizes in Scotland.

More recently he won the All Ireland Solo Piping Competition in Dublin and lately added the NI Piper of the Year accolade to his achievements.