October 31, 2006

Vale of Atholl celebrates 100 in style

All three Vale of Atholl pipe bands on stage at the organization's centenary celebration concert, September 17, 2006, at the Festival Theatre in Pitlochry, Scotland.
On September 17, 2006, the Robert Wiseman Dairies-Vale of Atholl Pipe Band celebrated its one-hundredth anniversary at the Pitlochry Festival Theatre with more than 400 members, former-members and supporters turning out for an afternoon of reminiscing, culminating with a concert by the entire “Vale” organization performing on stage.

Visitors were treated to photographs from the last century on screens around the theatre. The oldest former-members attending were pipers Peter Brown, Jock McKenzie, and Sandy Spence, drummer Bob Smith, and drum-majors Sandy Wilson and Joe Goodfellow. Former Vale of Atholl pipe-majors were well represented, with Allan Cameron’s wife, Betty, Ian Duncan and Jock Duncan. Former members of the first Vale of Atholl Juvenile band came out, some with children in their teens.

The evening’s concert was hosted by former-member Gary West, presenter of BBC Radio Scotland’s “Pipeline.” The Novice Juvenile band, led by Pipe-Major Scott Oliphant, started the show, followed by singer Sheena Wellington accompanied by Ewan Sutherland on guitar performing songs, including “A Man’s a Man.” The Edinburgh Military Tattoo Highland Spring Ceilidh Dancers were next, followed by accordionist Gordon Patullo, and then “Scotland’s Son of Fun,” Eddie Rose.

The second half of the celebratory concert was opened by the Grade 1 band, playing competition material and tunes by the late Gordon Duncan, “Andy Renwick’s Ferret” and “The Fourth Floor” as a tribute to the long-time member. All three Vale of Atholl finished the event en masse.

Centred in Pitlochry, Scotland, Vale of Atholl is one of the world’s oldest civilian pipe bands. Under Pipe-Major Andy Renwick, the Grade 1 band enjoyed one of its best years in competition in 2006 since the departure of Ian Duncan in 2000.


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