March 31, 2007

Blacktown appoints new pipe-major

The Grade 1 City of Blacktown Pipe Band of Australia has appointed Ainsley Hart as its new pipe-major. Hart replaces long-time leader Barry Gray. Hart also become president of the band.

Gray, who had held the position of president and pipe-major since 1985, commented: “Having had this position thrust upon me some 22 years ago, I must say that it has been a great relief to finally find someone to take on the responsibility that comes with the position. I know that the band will now move in another direction and I wish Ainsley and Leading-Drummer Keith Tombs all the best in their endeavours.”

Gray will remain with the organization as an instructor teacher. He will work with Blacktown’s “number three” band with an aim to bring it Grade 4 competition success.

“Together with Keith, the band is focusing heavily on areas of its performance that were considered sub-par in Scotland,” Hart said. “In particular we have been working diligently on elements of our ensemble and believe we have made significant inroads already. Recent public performances at the Sydney Opera House have helped us consolidate our learning and the band is on track for our local season beginning at the end of the year including an international trip to the Square Day competition in New Zealand.”

City of Blacktown’s three bands competed at the 2006 World Pipe Band Championships. It’s top band finished last in the Grade 1 Qualifier contest. Its best result in Scotland was seventh out of 10 bands competing in Grade 1 at Bridge of Allan.


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  1. Barry has done an amazing job with the Blacktown band over the years, and it was great to cap his time at the top with the trip to Scotland. It takes tremendous effort and organizational acumen to bring three good-sized bands to Scotland from Down Under, and especially for the length of time they were there. The bonnet’s off to Barry for his excellent leadership, and best wishes to Balacktown in the future.



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