Bongo takes leading role in Vale of Atholl drum section

Published: December 17, 2013
(Page 1 of 1)

The Grade 1 Vale of Atholl Pipe Band has made another leadership change, this time very much planned, with the appointment of Alistair “Bongo” McNab to the role of Leading-Drummer.

McNab replaces John Moneagle, who returned to the L-D post in November 2011 to tide over the band after the unexpected departure of Crawford Allan. At the time, Moneagle made it clear that holding down the lead-tip job would be only a short-term proposition, identifying then that McNab would be his “right-hand man” in the corps.

“I said when I took over, that I would give the band two seasons, and then hand it over to Bongo,” Moneagle said. “But finally making the decision to retire from the post of leading-drummer of the Vale was a very hard decision to make.”

McNab is a former pupil of Moneagle, and was a member of Vale of Atholl in the early 2000s, leaving to become L-D of the now defunct Grade 2 Polkemmet Pipe Band in September 2005. More recently, McNab was L-D of the Grade 1 Queensland Police Pipe Band of Australia.

Vale of Atholl Chairman Gus Clarke remarked that, had the band not publicized the thinking behind Moneagle’s original appointment in 2011, “it was for the very simple reason that ‘no plan survives contact with the enemy.’ Well, this time it has!”

Moneagle originally joined the Vale in 1983 under Pipe-Major Ian Duncan when the band was Grade 2. The band was promoted to Grade 1 in 1984, where it has remained since.

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Pipers, try not to anticipate the doubling, playing ahead of the beat. Worry about placing the G gracenote right in time and the second gracenote of the doubling will follow. Listen to yourself playing the melody with only the G gracenote.
Bruce Gandy