Published: April 08, 2013

Bleary returns as Grade 2 band back after seven-year hiatus

The Bleary & District Pipe Band of Northern Ireland will return to competition in the 2013 UK season after a seven-year absence. But when the band last competed in 2006 it was in Grade 1, and now it will compete in Grade 2.  

Bleary applied in the fall of 2012 to be officially downgraded, but the request was rejected by the RSPBA’s Music Board. The band appealed, and was granted a move to Grade 2 at a Music Board meeting on April 6, 2013, subject to approval by the RSPBA’s Board of Directors.

The resurrected Bleary & District continues to be led by Pipe-Major Nigel Davison, who took the group from Grade 4 to its high-point to date in 2004, when it qualified for the Grade 1 Final at the World Pipe Band Championships. The band’s Leading-Drummer is David Brown, who was a member of the Grade 2 Aughintober for the last two years.  

“Some of the members wanted the band to get back together, so we held a meeting to see what interest there was,” Brown commented. “It is very difficult to get a band going again but with a lot of hard work the band will be able to compete in Grade 2.”

After seven years Bleary & District found itself in the fall without chanters and drums and had very little in the still-open bank account. With new gear, the band’s first competition will be at Lisburn, Northern Ireland, on May 11th, and plans to travel to the British Pipe Band Championships on May 25th in Bathgate, Scotland.

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