Ballycoan restarts with Quee as new Pipe-Major
After taking a competitive sabbatical for the 2011 season, the Grade 1 Ballycoan Pipe Band of Northern Ireland plans to return to the scene in 2012 and has appointed Simon Quee as Pipe-Major. Quee replaces Alfie Rea, officially, who replaced Glen Cupples as Pipe-Major after the 2009 season. Cupples played with Cottown in 2011, but has returned to Ballycoan as Pipe-Sergeant.
Quee had played with Ballycoan before becoming Pipe-Major of the Grade 3B Geoghegan Pipe Band, also of Northern Ireland. In 2011 he was a member of the Seven Towers, which won Grade 2 at the World Championships. In the 1990s he was a member
Pipe-Sergeant of the Pipes & Drums of the Royal Ulster Constabulary.
‘”It’s a great privilege to take over the reins at Ballycoan,” Quee said. “It will be a challenge to rebuild the band, one that I am looking forward to. The band is low in numbers of pipers but we will compete regardless. We hope to add players over the next number of years through outside recruitment and from within with our junior band. The band has already started weekly practices.'”
Leading-Drummer Brendan Megoran has reportedly returned to the band along with the balance of the Ballycoan drum section. Many members of Ballycoan dispersed to other bands in 2011, including former Pipe-Major Alfie Rea who played with the Grade 1 Strathclyde Police, where he will reportedly remain.