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02 April 2015

The Spring Gatherin’ takes place on Friday 24th, Saturday 25th and Sunday 26th April 2015 at the Ramada Plaza Hotel, Shaw's Bridge, Belfast.

Part -Performance Part-Masterclass, Part-Exhibition, this event will give the piping and drumming community the opportunity to see some of the best pipers and drummers compete in the luxurious surroundings of the Ramada Plaza Hotel.

A full list of events, exhibitors and daily programme is available on the event website

You will also be able to apply to take part in the events open to participants and pay for your registration fees on line through this web site.


Non-Competing Pipe Band               Friday 24th April        From 7.00pm

Spring Gatherin’s Non-Competing Pipe Band provides a unique opportunity for Northern Ireland’s many ‘road’ Pipe bands to perform in a class and comfortable setting.

Register online @                      

Closing date for registration is Friday 10th April

Junior Solos Piping                          Saturday 25th April    From 1.00pm

Spring Gatherin’s Junior Solo Piping is open to any Piper between, and including, the ages 13 - 17 years on the day.

Register online @

Closing date for registration is Friday 10th April

Open 18+ Solo Piping                       Saturday 25th April    From 1.00pm

Spring Gatherin’s 18+ Solo Piping is open to any Piper who is aged 18 years, or above, on the day.

Register online @

Closing date for registration is Friday 10th April 

Junior Solos Snare Drumming         Saturday 25th April    From 10.00am

Spring Gatherin’s Junior Solo Drumming is open to any Drummer who is between, and including, the ages of 13 - 17 years on the day.

Register online @

Closing date for registration is Friday 10th April

Open 18+ Solo Snare Drumming      Saturday 25th April    From 10.00am

Spring Gatherin’s Open 18+ Solo Drumming is open to any Drummer who is aged 18 years, or above, on the day.

Register online @

Closing date for registration is Friday 10th April


In celebration of its inaugural year, The Spring Gatherin’ is delighted to offer a complimentary package of tickets for Friday 24th April and Saturday 25th April to any Pipe Band, Flute Band, and Accordion Band in Northern Ireland, and the Republic Of Ireland.  Twenty Five (25) complimentary tickets for each day will be included.  Bands can get their tickets buy registering online @

Closing date for registration is Friday 10th April

FRIDAY 24th APRIL 2015

19.00 - 22.00   Non-Competing Pipe Band Event

20:00 - 23:00  The Spring Gatherin' Invitational - Solo Drumming          

Aaron McLean   (NI)

Aaron has been a finalist in the Adult World Solo Drumming Championships and is winner of both the Ulster and All Ireland solo drumming titles.

William Glenholmes   (NI)

William has made the adult final at the World Solo Drumming Championships on four occasions, with a 5th place in 2013 being his highest finish to date.

Lee Lawson   (NI)

Lee has won nineteen Major Solo Drumming Championship titles.  Her wins include six Ulster, five All Ireland and four World Solo Drumming Championship titles.  

Michael McKenna   (ROI)

Michael (Mikey) McKenna Mikey is the current All Ireland Senior Drumming Champion adding to his previous All Ireland U16, Junior and Intermediate titles. He is also the 2014 World Solo Drumming runner-up in the Adult section.

Chris McNicholl   (NI)

Along with many successes in pipe bands, Chris has attained some of the top awards in solo drumming. He has won the Ulster and All Ireland titles at all juvenile and adult levels, and most notably has held the illustrious title of Juvenile World Solo Drumming Champion on two occasions (2004 and 2006). Chris is now a regular name at the top of adult solo drumming, currently ranking 5th.


10.00 - 12.00   Junior Solos - Snare Drumming - Senior Solos - Snare Drumming - Workshops 

13.00 - 15.00   Junior Piping Solos - Senior Piping Solos - Masterclasses

14.00 15.00     Ulster-Scots Agency Juvenile Pipe Band Showcase

The band, which is made up of children under the age of 17, was created by the Ulster-Scots Agency in August of 2012 and has seen the children move from absolute beginners to novice musicians in a very short space of time. They have performed at the World Pipe Band Championships in Glasgow, The Walled City Tattoo, the Waterfront Hall and most recently at the Odyssey Arena.  

The band is made up of children from across the whole of Ulster including Monaghan, Donegal and Tyrone and they have been taught pipes by the Ulster-Scots Agency’s tutor Andy McGregor, who is a former Grade 1 Pipe Major and drumming by Brendan Megoran who is also a former Grade 1 lead drummer.

15.30 - 18.00   The Spring Gatherin' Invitational Pipe Band Event

Bleary & District Pipe Band   (NI)

The band formed in 1956.  They were promoted to Grade 2 in 1999 and won the British Championship at this level at Pitlochry in 2003, and tied for 1st place at the European and World Championships, with Top 6 prizes at Scottish and Cowal Championships the same year.  The band are current holders of the UK Pipe Band Championship Grade 2 Title 

Manorcunningham Pipe Band   (ROI)

The band are based in County Donegal, and were formed in the early 1900’s.  The band compete at Grade 3B and tiles achieved are 1st All Ireland Championships, 1st Co Antrim Championships, 1st Co Down Championships, 5th World Championships, 5th British Championships.

Thiepval Memorial Pipe Band   (ROI)

The band were formed in 1905.  Their greatest success was in 2009.  Thiepval Memorial Pipe Band are the current World Champions in grade 3B,  as well as Scottish Champions, British Champions, All Ireland Champions and UK Champions.

Pipes and Drums of The Police Service Of Northern Ireland   (PSNI)

Formed originally 1976 as the Pipes and Drums of the Royal Ulster Constabulary and competed up until 2000. The band became the Pipes and Drums of the PSNI in 2002 and re-entered competition in 2008.

20.00 - 23.00   The Spring Gatherin' Invitational Solo Piping

Gordon Walker   (Scotland)

As a recitalist, Gordon is a piper’s piper and his performances can be breathtaking. His creative skill in arranging existing tunes is brilliant, and while he is not a prolific composer, his jig “The Fiddler’s Rally,” is certainly one of the great compositions of the last quarter century.

Ashley McMichael   (NI)

Ashley is the 2013 Northern Ireland Piper of the Year and front-rank member of the Field Marshal Montgomery Pipe Band. 

Gordon McCready   (Scotland)

Gordon is a frequent prize winner in the 'A' Grades in Scotland and his big wins include the Silver Medal at Oban, and the 'A' Grade March at Oban.

Kevin Rodgers   (NI)

A long-time member of the St. Laurence O’Toole Pipe Band from Dublin, Kevin solo piping successes include being Senior Ulster Piobaireachd champion in 2011, and 2014 Kingdom Thistle overall piper of the day.

Craig Munro   (Scotland)

Craig Munro is the Master Craftsman and Production Director of Wallace Bagpipes, Glasgow, Scotland. He is also an instructor for The College of Piping and The National Piping Centre, teaching at their workshops all over the world. He plays with the 2010 World Pipe Band Champions, St Laurence O’Toole Pipe Band and is also a member of the world famous Red Hot Chilli Pipers.

Margaret Dunn   (ROI)

Margaret is Pipe Major of Cullen Pipe Band from Cork. The band became world champions in Grade 3B in 2007. In 2003 Dunn became the first ever female to win an A grade Light music competition and in 2008 went on to be the first female to ever play on the Former Winners March Strathspey & Reel competition stage at the Argyllshire Gathering in Oban.

SUNDAY 26th APRIL 2015 

16.00 - 18.00   Special Performance - Closing Concert : Fred Morrison Showcase

Fred Morrison was born and raised near Glasgow, it’s the celebrated Gaelic piping tradition of his father’s native South Uist, in the outer Hebrides, that forms the bedrock of his intensely expressive, uniquely adventurous style. His outstanding technical prowess saw him winning many top competition prizes while still at school, meanwhile being inspired by pioneering acts like the Bothy Band and the Tannahill Weavers.

Although his first-love instrument remains the great Highland bagpipes, over the years his mastery has expanded to encompass whistles, Scottish smallpipes, or reelpipes – Morrison being a pivotal populariser of this once-rare variety – and Irish uilleann pipes. 

“I’ve always heard a really strong affinity between my own South Uist background and the Irish travelling pipers’ style played by people like Paddy Keenan,” he says, “and when I started playing the Irish pipes myself, I also found this deep-down rhythmic connection with bluegrass music – to me it’s as if they’re all one and the same.” 

Fred was also one of the first Scottish artists to forge dynamic links with his Celtic cousins in Brittany and north-west Spain, adding further to his repertoire of influences and tunes, and has long been renowned as an outstanding tune composer.

Tickets on sale @ &

Performance Admission  Prices:

Friday 24th April                      (Evening Ticket)                      £5.00

Saturday 25th April      (Full Day & Evening Ticket)                   £10.00

Saturday 25th April      (Evening Ticket)                                  £5.00

Sunday 26th April        (Full Day Ticket)                                  £10.00 

(includes admission to Fred Morrison Concert)

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Anita Gibney                                                             Meaghan Lyons

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