One of Atlantic Canada’s longest-running bands, Grade 2 Dartmouth & District of Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, has called off its 2018 season and might be done for good.
The decision to go on hiatus was made on May 6th, and came after the band experienced significant personnel losses this spring, and Pipe-Major Scott Long deciding to join the Grade 1 78th Highlanders (Halifax Citadel).
“The band will not able to field a Grade 2 competition unit for the 2018 season,” Long said. “We started in September with decent numbers – 14 pipers, six snares and a bass section of five. As the winter rehearsals went on, we struggled with commitment due to a variety of reasons including family and employment priorities. We tried to hold on, but a recent development in the drum section commitment forced us to pack it in.”
Despite the decline of the Grade 2 band, Long said that the Dartmouth & District organization’s Grade 4 and Grade 5 bands are “in great shape.” Long said that he would support the Grade 4 band if circumstances permit.
Long added that there is a possibility that the Dartmouth & District Grade 2 band could be resurrected, but it would be without him.
Dartmouth & District Grade 2 Pipe-Sergeant Blaise Theriault reportedly remains committed to running the Grade 4 band, and is also hoping to be able to play with the 78th Highlanders (Halifax Citadel).
The absence of Dartmouth & District brings the number of active Grade 2 bands in North America to 25, with nine from Canada and 16 from the United States.
Dartmouth & District was founded in 1965, originally as the Dartmouth Boys Pipe Band.