Royal Burgh of Annan Pipe Band forms from merger
The Border country of Scotland has taken the cue from some North American pipe bands with two well-established bands merging to form a single, stronger group.
The Royal Burgh of Annan Pipe Band is the product of the Annan Ex-Service Club Pipe Band and the MacLean of Annan Pipe Band. The new band will compete in Grade 3A on the RSPBA circuit.
“Over this past winter, both Annan bands had a great deal of trouble with the lack of playing members for various reasons and both bands were seriously considering disbanding,” says Pipe-Sergeant Chris Shearer. “In late March of this year, I met with MacLean Pipe-Major David McCracken to discuss the possibility of pooling our resources and forming a new Annan band, which was a huge step considering the friendly rivalry that had existed between the towns two bands. Both David and I agreed that that this would be the best move in order to keep piping and drumming alive in the town.”
McCracken is Pipe-Major of the new band. Shearer had been Pipe-Major of Annan Ex-Service Club.
Annan Ex-Service Club had existed for more than 80 years. It reached the top of Grade 2 in the 1980s under the leadership of the well-known piper, Walter Cowan. Both Annan bands had been competing in Grade 3A before they combined.
Relative to North America, pipe band mergers are uncommon in the United Kingdom.
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