Pipe Band sounding out past members

The Newtonhill Pipe Band are celebrating their 20th year
The Newtonhill Pipe Band are celebrating their 20th year

Newtonhill Pipe Band, originally called Craigmaroinn Pipe Band, is searching for past members as it celebrates 20 years on the go.

Started in late 1994, the band first met in Muchalls village hall, teaching pipes and drums to children and adults.

The current Pipe Major, Domhnull McLennan, can remember the bare hall when the learners used to help set up to practice.

He recalled: “It was a pretty basic start to a pipe band, but we had a good rapport and support from the kids and their parents.

“Our first function was at Gourdon fish festival – we had no uniform, so we went in shorts and shades!”

After the first full year the band took the decision to move to Newtonhill Primary school, at that time newly built.

Domhnull added: “The difference was enormous – a warm classroom with chairs and tables, and use of the gym hall!”

The band has continued to meet in Newtonhill for the last 18 or so years.

It has members from Newtonhill, as well as Portlethen and the surrounding area.

Syd Jaffray, the functions secretary of the band, suggested having a 20-year anniversary bash.

He said: “It sounded a great idea to try to invite everyone who has been involved with the band over 20 years – then we started listing those we knew of!”

Domhnull added: “With more than 200 past and present members on the list, and still rising, it is a great testament to the band that so many have come through the ranks learning what they could, or would of great Scottish music.”

“One of our proudest moments was when our lead drummer at the time, Ross Hodgkinson, was awarded young Scottish Jazz Musician of the year for his drum kit work.”

The band’s 20th anniversary reunion ceilidh will be held in Newtonhill’s Bettridge centre on Saturday, March 28.

Past members and anyone associated with the pipe band are asked to contact Katie on: khmoore1984@gmail.com 01224 513309.