Cullybackey Pipe Band have returned home from the 2014 World Solo Drumming Championships with two World titles and many more prize winners, including two Adult World finalists.
The local band travelled to the event with a strong line-up of talent - nine snare drummers and one tenor drummer - and came away with five prize winners and two Adult finalists.
Brothers, Marcus and Matthew Wenlock from Magherafelt, both claimed World titles in their respective grades, which the band believes may be a first for pipe band solo drumming.
The World title winning brothers may have made drumming history by becoming the first brothers to have won in the same year.
Marcus played outstandingly to claim the top spot in the Juvenile 3 grade. His younger brother Matthew claimed the Juvenile 2 title for the second consecutive year, defeating two former World Champions in the same grade.
Adding to the history books and drumming their way to the Adult finals were brothers Jonathon and Jason Hoy.
Jason, who played last year in the elite 12, returned again this year with conviction and qualified after playing in the semi-finals. The joy of reaching the finals for the second year - no small task in itself - was made even more special and with the inclusion of his younger brother Jonathon.
This was a first for Cullybackey Pipe Band having two brothers reach the World Adult final, and has not been replicated in the World Solo Drumming Championships since the mid-90’s, when former Cullybackey drummers and brothers Andy and Ernest Scullion managed to compete together in the final.
The achievements not only of the Hoy brothers, but of the Cullybackey drummers as a collective, is testament to the years of hard work and discipline that has been ingrained into them by teacher and tutor, Adrian Hoy. Both Hoy brothers finished in the top 12 and are now ranked as among the best in the World.
Also competing and coming away with silverware was former two-times World Champion Ryan Martin, who has already claimed the Ulster title this year and was on top form to claim third position in the Juvenile 2 category. Ryan, currently studying at Cullybackey College, has been playing with Cullybackey since age nine and claimed the Juvenile 1&2 World titles in 2010 and 2011 respectively.
Finishing in sixth place was Ballymena Academy student Nathan McLeister, who also played in Juvenile 3. 16-year-old Nathan was happy to be amongst the prize winners and to have represented Cullybackey, of which he has been a member since the tender age of eight. Nathan also accompanied his younger sister Rachel who competed in the Tenor Drumming discipline. Rachel competed in Juvenile Section 3 and claimed third place, Classes for learners resume for Cullybackey Pipe Band in November, so if you know of any young people who would be interested in learning to play the bagpipes or snare drum, please get in touch. Just drop us a message via Facebook (search ‘Cullybackey Pipe Band’) or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org