After a second straight Grade 2 World Championship win and Scottish, European and World Championship wins for the Grade 4b band this season both Johnstone bands were delighted to find out on Saturday that they will each be promoted up a grade for next season with the bands now playing in Grade 1 and Grade 4a.  The bands learned of the news following the meeting of the RSPBA’s Music board which made the recommendation.

The combined bands celebrating their World Championship wins in August Pictures by John Shaw
The combined bands celebrating their World Championship wins in August
Pictures by John Shaw

The Grade 1 band has also been quick of the mark in recruiting for the new season with the former Pipe Sergeant, of Grade 1 Inveraray & District, Dougie Campbell, signing up to take the same position with Johnstone.

Grade 1 Pipe Major Keith Bowes Jr commented, “Moving to Grade 1, I realized the gulf between where we are and where we need to be to go into Grade 1 and to be able to compete, and therefore I wanted to appoint someone who had the experience, capability and drive to help progress Johnstone.  I am incredibly excited to work alongside Dougie, and we will be working tirelessly with no stones unturned to make sure that we provide consistently strong performances that are always improving. I hope he can help create a band that has a long future that is sustainable. We will chip away at it bit by bit, year by year.  I’d like to thank my dad for his services as pipe-sergeant over the past two years and his great source of support in the hand-over of pipe-major. This was something that he had worked hard for over the 20 years when he was pipe-major, teaching a large bulk of our current players. He will stay as a player in the band and as Pipe Major of the 4a band and will remain focused on building a feeder system.”

Grade 4a Pipe Major Keith Bowes Sr commented, “I am absolutely delighted and extremely proud to hear of the two bands being promoted and it really is a fine end to what was a great season.  The step up will mean new challenges and with both bands already back in practice after a short break, we are looking forward to putting the hard work in over the winter which will hopefully stand us in good stead for the upcoming season.  As well as the two competing bands we also have a thriving learner setup with children from across Renfrewshire taking part, we are hoping to give them a further chance to progress and a taste of competitive piping and drumming with the fielding of a Novice Juvenile band at some of the smaller events in the new season with a view to taking part in more events the following season.

Johnstone Pipe Band are currently on the lookout for sponsorship to help enable them expand and progress the band and their educational activities, for further information please contact the band on 07751 500520.  Details on the band’s learner setup can also be found by calling the same number.