Gilnahirk Pipe Band

Formed 1919

Back in Business

For most Pipe Bands, the prospect of the Annual General Meeting is daunting. The previous season is picked apart with forensic intensity. Drummers point accusingly at pipers and pipers wag a collective finger in the direction of the bass section.

Not so at Gilnahirk.

The last year has seen so many positive developments for the Band that the AGM seemed like a great opportunity to simply draw breath and take stock. As a result, the Chairman Stephen Jackson looked out across a sea of smiling faces as he opened the best-attended meeting in many years.

The drier parts of the evening flew past. It was no great surprise to see that Pipe Major Ricky Newell and Leading Drummer Stephen Hoy were returned to office unopposed. The Band owes a great deal to their exceptional leadership and accomplished musicianship. The project of returning the Band to winning ways has had a solid start this year, but work remains to be done!

Attendance at practice has improved massively and the influx of new members has meant the hall has been well filled throughout the year - although there is always room for more!

Of course, a central part of the Meeting was to look over the events of the year. The Band started 2013 with a Burns Night - the first ever to be held in Gilnahirk. It is fair to say that it was a stunning success - so much so, that the locals have been anxiously requesting that it should be an annual event. Next year's Burns Supper will be held on 1st February 2014 - so save the date!

Aside from a busy programme of community events, concerts and contests, the biggest change of the year was to the Band's image - the change to the MacDuff tartan. It is fair to say that the new look has met with universal acclaim. The Band continues to have a very individual style, but now a more contemporary one too. It would be remiss not to mention the massive contribution made to the uniform change project by our tireless bass drummer, Michael Harrison, and we should also record gratitude to our sponsor - Morrow Contracts.

The results this year were something of a mixed bag - but the Band recognises that this was a year for rebuilding. Towards the end of the year results were starting to improve and the clear intention was stated by the Pipe Major to make it out into the arena for the start of the new season. Not only that, but the Band intends to travel to the World Championships as well as our new "local" major - the United Kingdom Championships in Belfast.

Business concluded, the meeting adjourned to the kitchen for a hearty supper - with thanks to Betty and Jessie. A great deal later, members finally started to drift off to their homes!