New Ross Pipe Band


The New Ross and District Pipe Band was founded in 1974 and since its inception has striven to achieve the highest musical standards . When Pat O'Gorman decided to start a new pipe band in New Ross in 1974, it was to Frank Saunders of Dublin he turned to be the drumming instructor. The Pipe Major of the new band was a 21 year old piper from Bray, Co. Wicklow- Brian Mac Mahon.

Frank became a regular visitor to New Ross in the 1970's and he was the biggest influence on the direction the new band would take. He was a knowledgeable mentor for the young pipe major as well as for the drum corps.

By 1980, Frank's son, Frank Junior , took over the reins in New Ross (having learned his trade in the Fintan Lalor corps). Frank Junior was later to be joined by his brother Ian on Bass drum, his sister Rhona on side drum, his wife Margaret on pipes, his son Paul on tenor drum , his daughter Michelle on tenor drum and his niece Shauna on tenor drum.

Former Pipe Major of the band , Brian Mac Mahon , is Dean of Piping with the national College of Piping and Drumming which is sponsored by the Arts Council and which runs courses on piping,drumming and musical theory throughout the country . Brian is the Vice Chairman of the Irish Pipe Band Association and is a recognised piping judge .

Over the years the band has had a long relationship with the Saunders family of Dublin. Frank Saunders Snr. was a well known figure in the pipe band world and he was lead drummer of the famous Fintan Lalor Pipe Band of the 1950's and 1960's. Frank Snr. was the band's first drumming instructor and was a very important mentor for a young Brian MacMahon during the early years of the band. (Brian was 21 years of age when he took on the task of building a new pipe band in New Ross!). Frank Saundrs Jnr. became lead drummer with the band in the 1980's and was responsible for training almost all of the present drum corps. Ian Saunders played bass and tenor , Rhona (currently with SLOT) played sides , Shauna (currently with SLOT) played tenor, Michelle (currently with SLOT) played tenor.

Nigel O'Neill took over the role of Pipe Major in 2007 while Jim Gordon is the Pipe Sergeant. Both pipers are pupils and long time members of the band. The band spent the years 2007 to 2012 bringing in new members and training young players. This process culminated in the 2012 season with the band winning All Ireland and World Championship titles. (11 members of the contest band were on their second serious season of competition. ) and this was soon followed up by upgrading to grade 3B and then the triple achievement of All Ireland , Scottish and World Champions in the same season.

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