Grade 5 band con­tin­ues to make waves

The Glengarry News - Glengarry Supplement - - News -

BY MAR­GARET CALDBICK

Spe­cial to The News Re­peat­ing their aus­pi­cious sea­son start to last year’s, the Grade 5 Glengarry Pipe Band again took first at the PPBSOOt­tawa Branch In­door Games in Kemptville, On­tario on April 29, com­pet­ing in a field of seven bands. At the same event, band mem­ber Nancy MacK­in­non was awarded First Place in the Novice Tenor com­pe­ti­tion.

An­other ex­cel­lent fin­ish lay in store in Kingston at the Scot­tish Fes­ti­val where the band placed first in an un­sanc­tioned event.

Then in early July, the band was off to PEI for a week of work­shops and pri­vate les­son at the Col­lege of Pip­ing in Sum­mer­side, Prince Ed­ward Is­land im­me­di­ately be­fore com­pet­ing at the Antigo­nish High­land Games in Nova Sco­tia where the band came sec­ond at the Nova Sco­tia Cham­pi­onship and on Sun­day won the At­lantic Cham­pi­onships.

Solo player Sarah McKinnon took home an Antigo­nish Gold in grade four solo snare drum­ming.

The band is led by Pipe Ma­jor Erin Bell with lead drum­mer James Bush, who hope to cap­i­tal­ize on an­other dom­i­nat­ing sea­son start when the band com­petes at the World Pipe Band Cham­pi­onships on Aug. 5 at the Glengarry High­land Games.

The grade five band was seeded by the Glengarry Pipe Band As­so­ci­a­tion in 2010 when Ross Dav­i­son as­sumed the role as Pipe Ma­jor with a view to com­pete at the end of the 2010 sea­son. Play­ing in only one event that year, the North La­nark High­land Games, the new band placed third in its first-ever com­pe­ti­tion.

To­day the band con­sists of mem­bers of all ages in­clud­ing 13- year- old snare drum­mer Dun­can Sha­heen of Ot­tawa who started play­ing per­cus­sion when he was six, moved on to orches­tra but set­tled on snare when he was eight. He stud­ies un­der Jim Bush at the Maxville School of Pip­ing and Drum­ming.

Asked what set­tled him on pipe band drum­ming, Dun­can ex­plains, “It ap­peals to me. We get to do com­peti- tions which isn’t a thing for rock and roll drum­mers. Also there is more of a com­mu­nity around it. The band is made up of al­most 20 peo­ple as op­posed to four teens play­ing around in their base­ment.”

Rowan Meyer, 12, of Kemptville says he en­joys the ethos of play­ing in a pipe band. “I’ve been tak­ing lessons with Ross Dav­i­son for three or fours years and be­ing in the band I get to per­form with other peo­ple and travel and com­pete.”

Erin Bell, the band’s 26-yearold pipe ma­jor started lead­ing the band four years ago af­ter be­ing the pipe ma­jor of the Queen’s Univer­sity Pipe Band where she stud­ies soft­ware de­sign and drama. To­day she works as a soft­ware de­signer in Ot­tawa.

Ms. Bell be­gan pip­ing as a young­ster at the Maxville School of Pip­ing and came up through the sys­tem, play­ing with the grade five band un­til she was 13 when she joined the grade four and then the now- dis­solved grade two band.

The band prac­tices twice a week on the Maxville Fair­grounds. Just be­fore the Games, they step their prac­tice ses­sions up to three time a week.

Af­ter the home games, the band trav­els to the Montreal High­land Games on Aug. 6, the Al­monte Game on Aug. 26 and the Pleasan­ton High­land Games ( Grade 3) on Septem­ber 2-3.

To see the the Grade 5 band per­form at the Glengarry High­land Games, plan to view the March Med­ley com­pe­ti­tion that gets un­der­way at 9:40 a.m. on the Sun­day with the band com­pet­ing against 12 teams.

PHOTO COUR­TESY OF PAM MACDON­ALD

WIN­NING OUT EAST: The Grade 5 Glengarry Pipe Band com­petes at the Antigo­nish Highland Games in early July where the band won the At­lantic Canada Pipe Band Cham­pi­onships and fin­ished sec­ond in the Nova Sco­tia Pipe Band Cham­pi­onships.

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