Gilnahirk Pipe Band

Formed 1919

County Tyrone Championships 2013, Omagh

A little later in the season than had been hoped, Gilnahirk Pipe Band made its first appearance at the 2013 Contests today in Omagh. The weather could have been better, but Band was delighted to be able to give the new look its first competitive outing.

Sporting the beautiful new MacDuff tartan kilts, new waistcoats and jackets, the Band received compliments from all and sundry on the dramatic change in appearance. 

The new uniforms weren't the only changes to the men and women of Gilnahirk. The Band was also delighted to have two new gazebos at its disposal, courtesy of Band Chairman Stephen Jackson and Bass Drummer, Michael Harrison. As it turned out, the inclement conditions meant that the shelter provided was absolutely invaluable - and the banter whilst sheltering from the storms had to be heard to be believed!

Not content with these material changes, a plethora of players were making their competitive débuts for Gilnahirk. Of course, this was Pipe Major Ricky Newell's first contest in charge - and the change in attitude and approach he has brought to the Band has utterly transformed it. Ably assisting in the Pipe Corps were fellow débutantes, Carson and Jonty. The drummers were led by returning Gilnahirk stalwart, Stevie Hoy and were greatly assisted by (as yet) non-playing instructor/guide/tuner/conductor, Grahame Turner. The tenor section had two new faces - Jordan and Paddy - both showing great potential and men with sights on snare drumming and piping as well!

The Band played in better conditions than most and came away with Judges' remarks which give great cause for optimism - bearing in mind that this was a first outing competing against bands with three or more contests under their belts already this season - watch out, we're coming for you! You can catch some of the in-contest antics on our Facebook Page.

The atmosphere may have been heavy with moisture, but the atmosphere in Gilnahirk was extremely upbeat and remains so. The Band was featured by the Northern Ireland Branch of the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association on its Twitter Feed - highlighting the new uniform and several members were stopped by veteran players in other bands, remarking on the massive improvements made since last year. We intend to live up to the promise and can't wait to hit the contest in Londonderry with even greater commitment in two weeks time - see you there!

If you are in the Gilnahirk area, why not come along to the Uniform Dedication Service, being hosted tomorrow (23 June 2013) in Gilnahirk Presbyterian Church at 7pm? We would love to see you - and there will even be a cup of tea afterwards!