Published: April 30, 2012

Another Grade 2 band folds; Penetangore closes shop

The Grade 2 Penetangore Pipe Band of Kincardine, Ontario, has ceased due to reduced personnel and commitment from existing members. The organization decided to collapse the band into a single Grade 4 band, with an objective to reorganize in the fall of 2012 into Grade 3 and Grade 5 bands.

The decision was made at the Penetangore organization’s general meeting on April 22nd where the group’s board of directors concluded that lax attendance at Grade 2 band practices made the case to consolidate.

“Turnout for the Grade 2 rehearsals just hasn’t been consistent this year,” said Jeff Boyle, president of Penetangore. “We had a small, dedicated group of players who were coming out but we just weren’t getting the commitment we needed from everyone to be ready for the upcoming competition season.”

The Grade 2 band had been led by Pipe-Major Jake Watson in a teaching capacity, with Watson also being Pipe-Sergeant of the Grade 1 Peel Regional Police Pipe Band.

Boyle said that Grade 2 players have the option to play with the Grade 4 band or obtaining their release to join other organizations.

“It’s tough starting a band at the Grade 2 level and maintaining it, especially given the size of Grade 1 bands in Ontario these days who are always looking for good, young players,” Boyle added in a statement. “We gave it a good try for a couple of years but we’ve decided as an organization that we need to get back to our roots and start teaching young players again and bring them along in a more progressive system.”

The Ontario circuit is left with three active Grade 2 bands. The Rob Roy Pipe Band of Kingston and the 400 Squadron Pipe Band, both recently upgraded, continue to compete. The Grade 2 Glengarry Pipe Band folded in September, merging with the Ottawa Police.

A two-part 2010 pipes|drums feature article, “Is the World’s killing the pipe band world?” discussed the negative impact that the pressures of the World Pipe Band Championships may be having on Grade 2 bands in particular.

“Penetangore” is the original name of the town in Ontario that is now known as Kincardine.

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