A great season for Coalburn IOR Pipe Band
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The season itself was one of the band’s most successful in recent years, achieving some fantastic results at the 2023 Major Championships.
These included a fourth place at both the UK and World Championships; first place in the Scottish and European Championships and being crowned Grade 3A Champion of Champions.
The Champion of Champions title is decided by the number of points accumulated through placings at the Major Championships, Colaburn finishing top of the table in 2023.
Pipe Major Steven McCall said: “We’ve had an incredible 2023 season and the results have also seen the band promoted to Grade 2 for the 2024 competing season, which is a huge achievement.
“We have just finished our end of season break and have started preparations for next year, with competitions due to begin in May 2024.
“We are now actively recruiting, hoping to attract children from eight years old and above to learn any instrument within the band, with a full tuition program provided.
“If anyone is interested in joining the band, they can get in touch with us through our social media accounts.”
The band also enjoyed great success at the Cowal Highland Games at the end of August, one of the oldest events in the country.
Steven said: “The Cowal Games are known all over the world as it is one of the oldest highland games on record.
“We had an excellent day and finished with three first places across Grade 3 and Grade 2, as well as winning the drumming title in each grade.
“The Cowal Games used to be included as one of the five major championships held each year; however, in 2013 it lost its major status.
“While the number of bands who attend the competition has dwindled over the years, it remains a staple of our calendar and the Games are still very well attended by the general public.
“We were delighted to have d one so well at the Games and it topped off a great season for us.”
A second at Pitlochry on September 9 ended the band member’s 2023 season in fine style.
And Steven is eager to thank everyone who contributed to the year’s success.
He said: “I’d like to thank every band member for all their efforts this year and helping to ensure our promotion to Grade 2 next year.
“We’d also like to thank everyone who’s supported us throughout the year; it’s been greatly appreciated.”
Now the band hopes to recruit more players to the ranks, ahead of the new season, both those with G2 experience as well as new players.
Contact any band member or visit www.facebook.com/coalburnior.
Coalburn IOR Pipe Band was founded in the summer of 1894, famed for the outstanding summer weather but also remembered in the annals of coalmining as the year of the Big Strike when members were out for 13 weeks.
As well as whiling away their idle hours playing pontoon or going for long walks, some young men began to practice on pipe chanters, among them DK Finlay who was to be a mainstay in the formation of the band.
It is not known where the first practices took place but it is thought it was Bellfield School, as most of the village activities were held there after its erection in 1876.
By March 1897, practices were certainly taking place in the school as the records of Lesmahagow School Board show Peter McMahon was being given lets for band rehearsals.