The Grade 3 Atlanta Pipe Band, one of the United States’ more established groups, has appointed Bobby Minnear Pipe-Major after long-time leader John Recknagel announced his retirement. Recknagel had been Pipe-Major of the band for most of the last 20 years.
Born, raised and now a resident of Atlanta, Minnear is one of the country’s leading solo pipers, and has been a member of the Atlanta Pipe Band last year as Pipe-Sergeant. Over his career he has been a member of the Grade 2 Scottish & Irish Imports Pipe Band, and in Grade 1 Clan MacFarlane, the Toronto Police and City of Washington. Between 1991 and 2004 he took a leave of absence from completion playing, returning in 2005 compete in the Professional solo grade and recently became an accredited adjudicator with the Eastern United States Pipe Band Association.
“My initial plans for the band are to identify contests outside of the [southern United States] to compete against the best we can find in Grade 3,” Minnear said. “My focus will be to impart on the band what I’ve learned over the years and try to raise the overall standard of playing. Consistency and unison playing – within and between the corps – to me are where the leader of a grade three band should focus.”
Recknagel was Pipe-Major of the Atlanta Pipe Band from 1993 to 1997, Pipe-Sergeant from 1998 to 2003, and Pipe-Major again 2004 to 2011. A native of Toledo, Ohio, he was a member of the Grade 1 Clan MacFarlane Pipe Band for many years in the 1970s and ’80s.
Recknagel is also an accredited judge with the EUSPBA, and will commit more of his time to adjudicating events.