The junior band competed for the first time in the 2015 season, as a Grade 4B band, and the vision is for the junior band to be competing as Grade 3 by 2018.
Between the two bands, there are seventy-six pipers and drummers.
For the past four years, volunteers at Johnstone Pipe Band have run weekly education classes in piping and drumming, in which pupils receive expert tuition, and sit the associated exams. At the moment they have over thirty learners, and no matter the social or financial background that the pupils come from, it is important to them, that everyone who has the talent and aptitude for a musical instrument, should be encouraged to play. The students are awarded nationally recognised qualifications, by the Scottish Qualifications Authority. Johnstone Pipe Band also supplies the piping teacher for 150 pupils in Renfrewshire Schools.
By 2018, the plan is to have a Novice Juvenile band in place, so that those being tutored by the education team, have a chance of being part of a competing band as early as possible.
As an organisation, Johnstone Pipe Band has matured beyond the point of being a local community group, and due to their education programme and high profile successes in competitions, the team at Johnstone is now held in high regard nationally and internationally. The band has played on the Royal Yacht Brittania, and provides the pipers who are the markers for the Great Scottish Run. They have made a guest appearance in a Christmas special of “Mrs Browns Boys”. On Hogmanay 2014, it was a Johnstone piper who was invited to play at Scotland’s first same sex marriage, in the Trades Hall in Glasgow. In previous years, the band has taken part in tattoos throughout Europe, and Johnstone Pipe Band has accepted invitations to tour Germany and Spain in the first part of 2016.
The Johnstone Pipe Band team is currently being shadowed by a film crew, for a forthcoming documentary, which shall include the competitions, the music classes, and also the community activities which are planned for the year, which include the annual Burns Supper, a blood drive with the Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service, the band practice and picnic in Quarrier’s Village, and the creation and launch of the 2017 Johnstone Pipe Band Calendar. All of this, on top of the two band practices a week, which increases to three or four practices, as they enter competition season in May.
The dedication of the members of the Johnstone Pipe Band Team is truly exceptional- they each have a love and a passion for the music, and they work together, supporting and encouraging each other. At competitions, the Grade 2 band and the Grade 4 band compete separately, but as they march off at the end of the day, they march off together, playing as one band. It is quite something to witness a band of over seventy pipers and drummers playing together, and when they reach the end of the field, they are the band that doesn’t stop playing. They form a circle, and pipers and drummers from other bands come to join them. The circle gets bigger, the music gets louder, and the atmosphere is incredible. These are always proud moments for the Johnstone Pipe Band Team, and their supporters.
As they head into the New Year, the bands are looking forward to a season with their biggest ever team, which, in turn, provides challenges of it’s own.
This year, for the team to reach its optimum potential, they are looking for a major sponsor.
Band uniforms (kilt, tweed jacket, waistcoat and hat badge) are supplied to new members (there are twenty new members this year), and are repaired and replaced as required (some of the band members are still growing).
Bag pipe bags and reeds have to be replaced on a regular basis, and the drums are replaced every three years.
For competitions, the 76 band members, support team, and chaperones are transported by coaches to the competition venues. There are also accommodation costs for the UK and European Championships, which take place in Belfast and Forres.
They are also aiming to upgrade teaching equipment within their classrooms-wifi access, white boards, sound systems and teaching materials.
A sponsor’s name will be guaranteed high level exposure at national and international events, in the local and national media-newspapers and television. That name will also be connected to an organisation with a reputation for dedication and excellence.
The sponsor will have the opportunity support a band that has a proud history, and, to help to shape Johnstone Pipe Band’s future.
Website address: www.johnstonepipeband.co.uk
Johnstone Pipe Band is recognised as a Scottish Charity
Donations can be made to
Johnstone Pipe Band
Sort code 80-16-53
Acc No 00233252