Ballycoan imports three from AusHigh; marks 75th year; forms Juvenile band

Published: July 31, 2010
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With little more than two weeks left before the 2010 World Pipe Band Championships, the Grade 1 Ballycoan Pipe Band of Belfast has imported three new players from the Grade 1 Australia Highlanders who will compete with Ballycoan for the remainder of the year.

George Shepherd, the former pipe-major of the now defunct Grade 1 Clan Gregor Pipe Band enters Ballycoan’s ranks along with Raymond Patton and Karl Heaney. The Australia Highlanders had intended to compete at the World Championships, but cancelled its plans in May due to a lack of funds.

The addition of the guest players is the latest in a growing trend of expanding rosters with top-shelf temporary members, with many of the imports coming from Australia and New Zealand, countries whose national competition seasons are during the northern hemisphere’s winter months.

The practice is currently within the rules of the RSPBA, provided new members are formally released from their original band within two weeks of their first RSPBA-sanctioned competition, as per that . . .

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TIP OF THE DAY
Mid-section plares: Always carry two pairs of mallets, keeping the spare set bone-dry. Regardless of the amount of practice or preparation you make before a competition, weather willáreact with your cords and mallets and subsequently adversely effect your ability to flourish efficiently. Bad weather can’t be avoided, poor preparation for the conditions can.
Scott Currie, SC Drumming, Uddingston, Scotland