Band forms in Ontario, aims for Grade 2

Published: March 31, 2009
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At time when the world’s pipe bands are finding it increasingly difficult to sustain quality and numbers, a new band has formed in Ontario, with hopes of competing in Grade 2 in 2009. Sponsored by the Highland outfitters of the same name, the Burnett’s & Struth Pipe Band will be led by Simon Connolly with Teddy Barr running the drum section.

Several members of the pipe section reportedly come from the Grade 3 Flint Scottish Pipe Band of Michigan, and Connolly’s older brother, Jamie, the former pipe-major of several successful Grade 2 bands over the years, will be in the ranks. Sixteen pipers are listed on the band’s roster.

Jamie Connolly was most recently Pipe-Major of the now defunct MacNaughton Highlanders, a Grade 2 band. He has been Pipe-Major of two successful Grade 2 bands: the Toronto Transit Commission and Celtic Flair, the latter of which reached Grade 1 for a season.

“We’re really at a Grade 3 level at the moment due to the newer players and short timeline, but we’re striving to raise that level through some hard work and a bit of recruiting,” said Mike Connolly, also a piper with the new band. Barr has 12 drummers so far.

Mike Connolly said that the sponsorship is non-monetary, with the company supplying uniforms. He added that R.G. Hardie has provided a set of Peter Henderson plastic chanters to try, but the band has not yet decided if it will play them or the blackwood McCallum chanters it already has.

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  1. Bagpipermann

    Good to see a new band forming in Ontario. I’m sure that Simon and Teddy will do an excellent job. Good luck to everyone. Looking forward to hearing you.

  2. masonsapron

    Congratulations Simon for becoming Pipe Major. You have all the qualifications to be a success in the future !

  3. hosbilt@bmts.com

    Just to clarify, Jamie is Mike’s brother and Simon’s Dad! Best of luck to The Boys in the Band”! HOSS”

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TIP OF THE DAY
Pipers: If your pipe chanter reed has been sitting for 2 hours or more, hold the reed between your index and thumb with a slight squeeze to warm the reed up for 20 to 30 seconds before playing. This will reduce the time the reed takes to come into pitch.
Donald MacPhee, reedmaker, Alexandria, Scotland