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Last year Dufftown and District Pipe Band were awarded over £2,000 from Money for Moray to help purchase kit for pipe band uniforms for 9 new playing members. The Money for Moray programme was identified nationally as a best practice model and therefore this year the Minister for Local Government & Housing, Kevin Stuart, MSP attended the Money for Moray decision day at Rothes where Catriona Fuller from Dufftown and District Pipe Band delivered a presentation on the benefit this money has had on the Band and the wider community. Catriona did an excellent presentation that was commended by Government dignatories.
Dufftown and District Pipe Band’s AGM will be held on Tues 25th April at 7.30pm at the Royal British Legion in Dufftown. Anyone with an interest in the Band is welcome to attend this meeting in the main hall.
Dufftown & District Pipe band America trip - Last year the Innes Clan Society in America contacted the Dufftown & District Pipe band kindly inviting a couple of pipers across to represent the Pipe band attend their Annual General Meeting at Estee Park Highland Games in Denver. As you can imagine there were a lot of interested pipers and to make it a fair process, two names were picked from a hat during a practice night, with the lucky two pipers being Kim Paterson and Neil McConnachie. Kim and Neil flew out on 7th September 2016; Aberdeen to London and then London to North Carolina where we were welcomed by Ed and Anne Shoaf who kindly welcomed us into their home for two nights. During our stay, we had a local Segway tour, which took a bit of practice but then no stopping us once we got to grips with them! We also did some historical tours on the Scottish Heritage. We then all flew to Denver, Colorado and travelled to Estee Park where the Highland Games were being held that weekend. On arrival at our hotel, we had a welcome and informal buffet with the other members of the Innes Clan Society who were there. In the evening we attended their local Tattoo and on the way there we passed several Elks at the road side casually grazing! On Saturday the various clans and military met at the top of the town and in parade fashion each clan walked through the town in their associated clan tartan to the Highland Games. The Highland Games had a lot of similarities to a Scottish Highland Games, although at a much larger scale. Over the weekend the Games had an estimated total of 85,000 visitors! Outwith the main arena, there were various other stalls and activities going on as well as each clan in attendance having their own stall under one large tent. There was an exception to this, in that each year there is an award for the best Clan stall and last year it happened to be the Innes Clan so they got to have a tent to themselves. During the afternoon the Innes Clan Society had their Annual General Meeting which we were invited to attend. Kim and I were amazed to find out how much the Innes Clan Society support their Scottish connections. On Sunday, along with our host family, we chose not to go to the Highland Games and instead take a trip up to the Rocky Mountains. This was another amazing experience, where on our way we got held up in traffic due to a family of Moose casually strolling along the road. We also came across wild turkey on our journey up the mountains, where we reached the point of 20,000 feet above sea level. In the evening we marked the end of our trip with what they call ‘the survival meal’. During the evening we acknowledged the Clans generosity by providing them with gifts from Scotland; including Pipe band DVD’s and Glenfiddich Miniatures. On return to the airport we stopped for lunch in a town called Golden; home to where Coors Beer is made. We couldn’t go without ordering their famous ‘Cheese and Coors soup’, which was lovely. We experienced all this within 5 days, which was hectic at times but a very enjoyable trip and experience where we were treated so well. Kim and I hope that some of the Innes Clan Society can come and visit us in Dufftown where we can hopefully return their generous warm hospitality.
Soup and Sweet – On 10th April 2016 the pipe band held a soup and sweet at the British Legion in Dufftown to raise funds for the band to help kit out the new members this season. The Dufftown and local community came out and truly supported this event with approx. £700 being raised. The band would like to thank everyone that came along on the day – they hope you all enjoyed the soup and sweets on offer and that you were lucky on the bottle stall! The band would also like to thank everyone that made soups and sweets for the day or donated bottles/prizes for the stall.
Quiz night – The Band held a quiz night fundraiser on Sat 26th March at the Royal British Legion in Dufftown and raised over £300 for the Band. Twelve tables in total participated in the quiz and the band would like to thank everyone who attended and supported them on the night.
New Band Members – This season will see an amazing 9 new young snare drummers coming out with the Band in 2016 which is an amazing achievement – well done to Moneagle and Raymond for getting them to this standard and we all wish them the best of luck this season. Due to this influx of drummers the band are seeking new chanter players and any experienced pipers into the band.
2016 engagements – the engagements for 2016 are fast coming in with appearances at birthday parties, weddings, whisky festivals and Highland Games events all in the diary. We have no doubt that 2016 will prove another very busy year and we hope we do the town and surrounding area of Dufftown proud with our performances.
USA trip – Neil McConnachie and Kim Paterson will be representing the band this September across in the USA when they attend an Innes Clan Society Festival in both North Carolina and Colorado. This is a fantastic opportunity to represent the band in foreign shores and both pipers are looking forward to the trip.
Ireland trip – Twenty members of the band recently made the trip in January to Curry, Sligo in Ireland to play at a Burns Scottish Night in the Yeats County Inn. Michael O Hara, owner of the Inn’s mother, Sheila French, has a connection to Dufftown and was the reason behind the invite across. The band had a fantastic time across in Sligo with great hospitality and entertainment shown by Michael, all his staff and the customers. The Irish certainly like to party like the Scots!! Big thanks to Michael and Yeats County Inn.