Kelty and Blairadam Pipe Band is celebrating being back on the pipe band competition circuit for the first time in over a decade after a new band was formed to play in the novice juvenile grade.
For Dusty Miller, who played with Kelty when it was a Grade 2 band performing in many countries across the world, the hard work of recruiting and teaching a new group of young people paid off when they picked up fourth prize at Pitlochry Highland Games last month.
Dusty said: “It has been a long two years to build the band but it was all worth while when I heard Kelty Pipe Band being called out on the prize list as that has not happened for at least 16 years.”
The band currently has 17 pipers and drummers with another 20 young people learning to play either the pipes or drums.
Pipe Major Andrew Keatings said: “We have made good progress and our players are getting stronger with every experience of playing and competing. Our youngest player is eight and the oldest 15 so yes, we are very proud that we entered four competitions and will be gearing up for more next season. We also have 20 youngsters learning with many of them being close to coming into the band and building on its strength as we move forward.”
The band is very keen to thank all the groups and individuals who have helped to put Kelty back on the piping map. Kelty and Blairadam Ex-servicemen’s Club has been key in providing accommodation and facilities for events and the band has carried out many fundraising events ranging from street collections to galas and playing at concerts.
Looking ahead, Dusty Miller said that the people of Kelty have been so supportive in getting the band back up and running. He added: “Without the support of so many local people we would not have made such good progress. We have been able to buy new equipment and a full set of uniforms and we are grateful to everyone that made this happen.”
He concluded: “Under Ian Gordon our drum core have also excelled this year and many of the drummers have competed solo as have a number of pipers and have been picking up prizes. We are grateful to everyone that has helped and we hope we will continue to have support as we progress.”
Anyone interested in learning an instrument can go along to the band practice nights in Kelty and Blairadam Ex-servicemen’s Club on a Monday and Thursday at 6.30pm.