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                    Northern Ireland Piping and Drumming School Presentation of Awards Evening

 

On Wednesday the 1st of November 2023 Northern Ireland Piping and Drumming School held their Presentation of Awards Evening at The Hill of O’Neill and Ranfurly House, Dungannon.

There was a large turnout of award recipients and their families for the presentation. 219 certificates of achievement were awarded to school pupils these also included certificates gained during the covid pandemic when the school successfully utilised online learning to keep the school running.

Awards were presented by Elizabeth Spence the widow of Ivor Spence who was a much-valued tutor at the school for many years until his passing during the pandemic.

A new award was the Ivor Spence Perpetual Cup for outstanding achievement, which was presented to Gavin Noade, a previous pupil of the school and became a tutor at the school in 2002 having completed grades 1-8 in music theory and grades 1-7 in practical. The award also recognised his solo career winning All Ireland and Ulster on six occasions as well as being World under 18 solo champion in 2002. Gavin has been a member of Field Marshal Montgomery Pipe Band since 2003 and has enjoyed great success winning 50 major championships including 10 World championships and 2 grand slams. Gavin attributes his success in drumming mostly to his father Fred Noade who has had great impact on his career.

Three Higher Achievement Awards were also presented.

A Higher Achievement Award was presented to 8-year-old Heidi Poots. Heidi only joined the school last year for Drum Majoring tutoring and entered Drum Major competitions for the first time this year and won 3 prizes in competitions.

Noah Smith was presented with a Higher Achievement Award for online learning gaining grades 1,2,3,4 and 5 in music theory and grades 1,2,3 and 4 practical snare drumming.

Marc Warnock was presented with a Higher Achievement Award for gaining grades 3, 4 in music theory. Marc’s big achievement this year was that he won the Clasp Grade 1 amateur competition, winning a trip to Florida to play in the Sun Belt invitational solo competition, Marc travels to Florida on the 9th of November 2023 to take part in the competition. Marc had a very successful year at home winning numerous prizes at Ulster, all Ireland and at Piper of the year in both Piobaireachd and light music. The award also recognised his World Championship winning achievements with Tullylagan Pipe Band in Grade 3A.

After the presentation of awards the audience were treated to a Drum Major Display, a Drum Salute from Tutors and Pupils and a solo piping performance from Marc Warnock.

The Northern Ireland Piping and Drumming school was founded in 1980 and is supported by an annual grant from The Arts Council of Northern Ireland. 

 

Tuition and certified courses are available to all ages, regardless of musical experience and ability.

 

The school places great emphasis on standards in both the theory of music and practical playing and appoints an external examiner annually to monitor and report on the performances of the students undertaking school examinations.

 Pupils who received certificates

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Gavin Noade is presented the Ivor Spence Perpetual Cup from Elizabeth Spence.

 Noah Smith is presented with a Higher Achievement Award by Sam Ballie (founder of the Northern Ireland Piping and Drumming School). 

Heidi Poots is presented with a Higher Achievement Award by Sam Ballie (founder of the Northern Ireland Piping and Drumming School). 

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 Marc Warnock is presented with a Higher Achievement Award by Sam Ballie (founder of the Northern Ireland Piping and Drumming School). 

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Drumming Tutors and School Pupils playing a drum salute.

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 Marc Warnock gave a piping recital at the awards presentation.

Drum Majors Tutor Andrea Gibson and School Pupil Louise Smiton gave a Drum Major display at the awards presentation.

Ensemble Project

Join our Ensemble Project.

The project focuses on the ensemble element within pipe bands.

This project has been kindly supported by the Ulster-Scots Agency

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