McDonald Memorial Pipe Band


McDonald Memorial Pipe Band was formed in 1977 by the McDonald brothers in memory of their father, David McDonald. David piped at the Somme as a member of the 36th Ulster Division. In 1978 the band took part in two competitions finishing 2nd in the All-Ireland Championships and winning the World Champion titles in grade 3. The band was upgraded to Grade 2 and a decision was taken to form a junior band to provide a source of young talent for the senior band. The junior band took part in their first competition in 1979 winning the Novice Juvenile title at the world famous Cowal Highland Games in Dunoon. They were the first band from outside Scotland to win this trophy in the long history of the games. The following year the junior band was placed second in World Championships in Glasgow, with the drummers winning the World Champions title.

Over the following few years the senior and junior bands won numerous titles in Grades 4, 2 and 1. These included the Grade 2 British Championships in Bathgate in 1982 and the All-Ireland and Ulster Championships in Grade 4 in 1983 as well as many county and branch titles across Northern Ireland. The following year both bands were formed into one band with over 20 pipers and 10 drummers. The success continued with the band securing the European Championships title in Grade 2 in 1986.

For various reasons the band were forced to withdraw from the competition circuit in 1986. Attempts were made to revive itís fortunes but it was not until 2005 that it was decided to begin a programme of teaching the highland bagpipe and highland drumming to the young people of Dromore and the surrounding district. In 2011 the band eventually was in a position to recommence competitions with a group of enthusiastic young pipers and drummers assisted by the experience of several former members.

Since the bandís return to competitions, they have enjoyed successful competition seasons in Grade 4B. The band was runner up at the 2012 European Championships & placed at many local competitions. In 2014 the drum corps became Northern Ireland Champion of Champions, with the band also bringing home silverware from a number of competitions. The highlight of 2015 was the band placing 3rd overall in the World Championships, with the drum corps being crowned World Champions. The band were promoted to Grade 4A at the end of the 2015 season and look forward to the challenges in this grade.

Founder member Norman McDonald Senior is the current Band President. Under the leadership of Pipe Major Norman McDonald & Drum Sergeant Trevor Clydesdale, the band currently has over 25 members, including children and grandchildren of the founding members. All receive expert tuition, which has been supported by the Ulster Scots Agency, in what is now a firmly established band once more.

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