Ballyclare’s Major Sinclair Memorial Pipe Band recorded two great results at the British Pipe Band Championships in Paisley on Saturday, May 21.
In the first major championship of the 2016 pipe band season, MSM’s Grade 3B band finished second, while its Grade 4B band qualified for the final and finished in 11th place out of 36 bands.
“It was a long, but hugely successful day for us all. We had 47 members in total who travelled over, with an age range from eight to 83,” explained MSM spokesperson Kim Harris. “As it is a very costly venture to travel to Scotland for a major championship, we made the decision to go as a day trip and busk in Belfast to raise some of the £2,400 needed for the bus and boat, with the members paying the shortfall themselves. We had to meet in Belfast at 2am and we began the journey of a lifetime for some members, returning home at 10pm. A very long, enjoyable and fruitful day.”
Reflecting on the day, Pipe Major John Fittis said: “We are extremely proud of both our bands today and the performances they gave to achieve such great results. Our Grade 4B band are a very young band of up and coming players and for them to be able to play in their first major and qualify for the final is simply outstanding. Our Grade 3B band have just been promoted into the grade this year after winning the World Championships in Grade 4A last season, and so to feature in the prize list at all after making the step up is remarkable, and to finish in second place is simply a dream come true.
“Both bands have worked extremely hard all winter, and it is a credit to all their hard work and dedication over the past eight months that we have been able to start the 2016 season so well. We know we can still do more and our players are more determined than ever to keep up the standard and improve again upon it and hopefully continue the season in the manner in which we have begun.”