The People of Boghall and Bathgate

L/D Gordon Brown

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Gordon was born and brought up in West Lothian and joined Boghall and Bathgate in 1976. He first competed with the Novice Juvenile Band in 1977, winning both Champion of Champions awards the same year. In 1978 Gordon was promoted to the Grade 2 corps under his father’s leadership and the story that follows has been truly remarkable. The Grade 2 band won the Champion of Champions award two years in a row, gained promotion to Grade 1 for the 1980 season and within their first season, the Grade 1 corps won their first major title, the Cowal Championships. The following year saw the start of a hat-trick of World Drumming titles and by 1983 the band had won their first major championship. Since then Gordon has taken over leadership of the drum corps in 1992 and has maintained the level of excellence achieved by his father’s corps, winning multiple major drumming and band titles including two drumming Champion of Champions awards (2007 and 2010), a World Band Drumming title (2001) and two World Solo drumming titles in 1994 and 2002. Outwith band Gordon is also heavily involved in drumming – he runs a drumming supplies business (www.tgdrumming.com), teaches drums at Glenalmond College and Morrison’s Academy, writes scores for www.drummingondemand.com and works closely with Andante on product development. He says his favourite tunes are the Big Road Brusher and Balmoral Highlanders, both of which have featured heavily in Gordon’s corps and solo prize winning performances. Away from drumming Gordon loves spending time with his two daughters, enjoys Italian and Indian food and is a massive Rangers fan.

Alan Irvine

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Alan was born in Newtonards, Northern Ireland and grew up in Bangor. He began learning the drums with tuition from Mark Armstrong and initially played with Cleland Memorial, Bangor Caledonia and Ravara. During his time in Northern Ireland Alan won most prizes in Grades 3 and 4 and his individual playing improved significantly with input from Richard Coffey, Bobby Rea and Aaron McCarten. In 1997 Alan moved to Scotland and began competing with Boghall, initially playing with the Grade 2 band, before gaining promotion to the Grade 1 band in 2002. Since then he has gone on to become a very valuable member of the organisation not only as a flank drummer in the Grade 1 band but also for his help in teaching the Novice corps and his input as Vice-President on the committee. On moving to Scotland, Alan studied a degree in Business Studies at Napier University and now works as a Wine Sales Executive with Wallaces Express, Scotland’s largest independent wholesaler. Aside from a love of food and red wine, Alan enjoys supporting Hearts and is a keen ceilidh band drummer with his band having appeared live on BBC Radio Scotland as part of a Celtic Connections feature. Alan says he has a number of favourite memories with Boghall but one particular highlight was on the last day of the Russia trip in 2004 when Alan was trying to get rid of his remaining Russian coins at the casino and hit the jackpot resulting in him buying cocktails for the whole band (have a look at the gallery!)

Cameron Boyle

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Cameron was born and brought up in Livingston and began drumming with Craigmount High School pipe band in 2003 under the leadership of P/Ms Thomas Clarke and Les Watson. He initially received tuition from Arthur Cook and subsequently had lessons from fellow Grade 1 drummer, Olav Goud. Cameron joined Boghall and Bathgate in 2006 and competed with the Novice Juvenile band for a number of seasons before moving up to the Juvenile band in 2010. He says one particular highlight of his Boghall career so far was winning the 2010 Juvenile Championship at Cowal on the same day that the Grade 1 band were crowned Cowal Champions. He also cites the trio fanfare at the 2012 Forte concert as a personal favourite. Outwith band Cameron is a health care assistant at Whitburn Health Centre, works part time as a sales assistant in Next and will be studying medicine at the University of Exeter from September 2013. He says he used to enjoy skiing, but has now stopped this after a serious leg break caused him to miss most of the 2011 band season. He also enjoys spending time with his family and particularly enjoys going out for a Tony Macaronis!

Christie McKenna

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Christie was born and brought up in Bathgate and began drumming with Boghall and Bathgate in 2006 at the age of 11. He spent three years with Novice band (including some time as leading drummer) before moving up to the Juvenile band in 2010. He has received tuition from both Tom and Gordon Brown. He says his best memory with Boghall so far was being crowned Juvenile World Drumming Champions in 2010 and that the World Championships are his favourite contest due to the incredible atmosphere around Glasgow in the week building up to the event. Christie also enjoys competing in the solos and has won a number of local juvenile contests. Outwith band Christie is studying physics at the University of St Andrews and is due to graduate in 2016. He enjoys playing golf (he is a member at Bathgate Golf Course) and is a big fan of American Football where he supports the San Diego Chargers.

Craig Brown

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Craig was born and raised in “The Beautiful Kingdom of Fife” and began drumming with his local band, Methil and District, where he received tuition from Mark Gibson. After a few short years Craig moved to Boghall in 2004 and his potential became immediately apparent. Craig won Juvenile 1 Section at the World Solo Drumming Championships in 2004, before going on to win Juvenile Section 2 in 2005 and 2007 and Juvenile Section 3 in 2008 and 2009. He first played with the Boghall Juvenile band for the 2004 season and part of the 2005 season, before moving up to the Grade 1 band later that year. Since then Craig has gone on to become a very strong member of the Grade 1 corps and became a flank drummer in 2011. He has enjoyed many great memories with the band including two Champion of Champion Drumming titles in 2007 and 2010 and also thoroughly enjoyed the band trip to Switzerland in 2008. Outwith band Craig works as a Yard Marshall with Amazon UK and enjoys playing football and socialising with friends.

Craig Inglis

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Craig was born and raised in Bathgate and has spent all of his competitive drumming career at Boghall. He joined the Novice band in 2001 and worked his way through the Juvenile band (where he had a spell as leading drummer) before joining the Grade 1 corps in 2009. Craig says that his favourite memory with the band is Paul Brown sleepwalking in Switzerland in 2008 and says that the 2010 MSR at Annan is his favourite performance with Boghall. Craig was educated at the Edinburgh Academy and was also a key member of the school band where he received tuition from Jake Jorgensen. Since leaving school Craig has achieved a degree in retail management from Queen Margaret University and has completed a preparation for the uniformed services course through West Lothian College. Craig is well known in the band for his conservative dress sense and enjoys weightlifting, climbing and running.

Euan McAllister

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Euan was born and brought up in Livingston and joined Boghall in 2005. Since then he has progressed quickly through the Novice and Juvenile Bands, moving up to the Grade 1 corps in 2010. He initially received tuition from Tom Brown until 2007 and since then has been taught by L/D Gordon Brown. He is a keen solo drummer too and has had many strong placings in the Juvenile sections at the World Solo Drumming Championships, most recently qualifying for the adult semi-final at his first attempt in 2011. Euan says that his favourite memory with Boghall was his first experience of playing in a Grade 1 World’s final in 2010 and says that he always enjoys the Northern Ireland championship as a good chance to get away with the band. Outwith band Euan is studying a BSc in Sport and Exercise Science at Napier University and enjoys spending any spare time going to the gym. He also enjoys playing football and is a keen Celtic and Liverpool fan.

Gavin Orr

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Gavin was born and brought up in West Lothian and joined Boghall in 2002 at the age of eight. Since then he has played with both the Novice and Juvenile bands, including a spell as leading drummer of the Juvenile band in 2009 during which time the band won 4 major championship drumming titles, including the 2009 World Championships. Gavin joined the Grade 1 band in 2010 and immediately experienced success, winning the British and Cowal drumming titles, the drumming Champion of Champions award and the Grade 1 Cowal band title. Gavin is also a keen solo player, having won prizes in all three juvenile sections at the World Solo Drumming Championships including a close 2nd place in Section 3 in 2011 with two 1st placings and a 9th place! Outwith band, Gavin is studying Accountancy at University, is a keen Manchester United fan and enjoys watching Formula 1.

Ian Tobin

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Ian was born and brought up in Fife and despite spending many years playing with bands from the Kingdom, he finally joined Boghall in 2010. Ian’s pipe band journey began in 1976 at Bowhill and Seafield Collieries under the tuition of Davie Clark and Ian Gordon before spells with Cupar and District and Kinglassie and District. Ian joined the Vale of Atholl in 1996 where he spent nine seasons initially under L/D James King before taking over the corps for 4 seasons until 2005. Since then Ian has played with Dysart and Dundonald and latterly spent four seasons at Tayside Police. Ian has won a number of solo prizes and has played in the semi finals of the World Solo Drumming Championships on multiple occasions. Outwith band Ian works as a Welding Development Manager and is married to Paula who he met at Bowhill Pipe Band (though unfortunately she’s a piper!) Ian says his favourite memories with Boghall are sweeping the boards for drumming at the 2012 World Championships, lifting the 2012 Champion of Champions drum corp prize and having Broon as a roommate in Canada! Interestingly Ian has been leading drummer at every band he has played with except Dysart and Boghall, though he says he is currently working on the latter!

Lachlan Gibb

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Lachlan joined Boghall in late 2013 after 10 years with Bucksburn and District Pipe Band. He started learning through the Bucksburn Novice Juvenile band in 2003 with lessons from Scott Niven and made great progress with Bucksburn, ultimately leaving their Grade 2 band to join Boghall for the 2014 season. He thoroughly enjoyed his time with Bucksburn - especially the 2008 season when he was part of the Novice Juvenile band that won the Scottish, British and World Championships which meant they were crowned Champion of Champions. Lachlan also enjoys competing in the solos and has a fine record at the World Solo Drumming Championships where he recently placed 2nd in Juvenile Section 3 in 2013 to add to a 6th place in Juvenile Section 1 in 2008. His love of music extends beyond pipe bands and he is now studying a BA (Hons) in Music with Performance at the University of Aberdeen. He enjoys other types of music too and is a drummer and backing vocalist for an indie rock band in Aberdeen and also does a lot of acoustic gigs on guitar and vocals. Away from music he is a keen football fan and supports Liverpool FC.

Melissa Brown

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Melissa was born into the Boghall family and has grown up around the band watching her Mum (Sandra), her Uncle (Gordon) and her Papa (L/D Tom Brown) competing and performing. From an early age she showed an interest in drumming and was soon taking lessons and being enrolled in the Boghall and Bathgate Novice band. She played with the Novice band from a young age and competed there for a number of years before progressing to the Juvenile band in 2010. She enjoyed three very successful seasons in the Juvenile band before making the jump to G1 in time for the 2013 season. One of her drumming highlights was playing on stage at the Forte concert alongside her Mum, Uncle and Papa and she says this is an experience she will never forget, particularly in terms of getting to play to such a big audience whilst standing next to her Papa. Outside of band Melissa has a keen interest in modelling and has recently represented Scotland at the Miss European Contest in Malta where she was crowned a European Princess - well done Mel!

Olav Goud

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Olav is one of our overseas members having been born and brought up in Delft, Holland. He spent a number of years living in Scotland and working as a police officer with Strathclyde Police but moved to Australia in 2011 with his wife, Rachel and now lives in Adelaide where he works as a police officer with South Australia Police. Olav began his drumming with his local Dronten and District Pipe Band in Holland under the tuition of Jan Verweij and subsequently played for Antwerp and District and Beatrix Pipe Band in Belgium and Holland respectively before moving to Scotland. On arriving in Scotland Olav joined the Polkemmet Pipe Band and also played with Lothian and Borders Police and Strathclyde Police before joining Boghall in 2009. Olav says that his favourite memory with Boghall was the entire 2010 season and his favourite pipe band performance was playing at half time between Barcelona and Ossasuna at the Nou Camp stadium with Lothian and Borders Police in 2005. Since moving to Australia Olav has taken over as leading drummer of the City of Adelaide Pipe Band and has also established the Australian branch of Go Drumming which he runs with fellow band mate, Robbert Van Gorp. Olav is a keen solo player and has won the Dutch, Belgian, German and Danish Solo Championships whilst also competing in the final of the World Solo Drumming Championships in 2005, 2006 and 2007.

Ross McNicol

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Ross was born in Kirkcaldy and grew up in Windygates in Fife where he began his pipe band drumming with Methil and District Pipe band. He initially received tuition from Mark Gibson, before starting lessons with Tom Brown in 2003. He played with Methil and District from the age of 7 uand enjoyed much success, winning the Novice Juvenile Champion of Champions and also playing as lead drummer in the Grade 3 band for 2 years. He then joined the Boghall and Bathgate Juvenile band in 2012 amd enjoyed one successful year with the Juveniles, before making the jump to Grade 1 in 2013. Ross says his favourite memory with Boghall was winning the Scottish Drumming title in his first Grade 1 performance in 2013 and hopes that there are many more championship wins to come. He also plays djembe with a ceilidh band called “Tiriodh” (Gaelic for ‘Island of Tiree’) alongside his brother and two cousins. The band frequently play at weddings and ceilidhs, but have also played as support act for Skerryvore in the Ceilidh tent at the Cowal Highland Gathering. Outwith band, Ross is studying accounting and Finance and is due to graduate with a BA (hons) in 2015. He also enjoys playing golf, watching Formula 1 and eating Italian food.

Sandra Brown

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Sandra was born and raised in Whitburn and began drumming with tuition from her father, the legendary Tom Brown. She joined her first (and only) band, Boghall in 1978 and quickly progressed through the ranks, initially playing with the Juvenile band, before moving up to the senior band where she has experienced many great memories since. Sandra showed great promise as a young drummer, with a highlight of her solo career being a third place in the Under 18 World Solo Drumming Championships in the early 1980s. Since then Sandra has focused more on band playing and her favourite memory to date was her first experience of winning the World’s drumming title in Grade 1 in 1986. In more recent times, Sandra says her most memorable band performance was the 2010 World’s as the crowd’s reaction after we had played was incredible. Outwith band Sandra works as a clerical officer and says she loves everything about cars, particularly fast cars and grand prix racing. Sandra also spends a lot of time with her two daughters, both of whom play with Boghall’s Juvenile bands.

Scott Birrell

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Scott was born in Kirkcaldy and grew up in Burntisland, but now lives in Invercargill at the southernmost tip of New Zealand. Scott began his drumming career playing for his local Burntisland Pipe Band and received initial tuition from his grandfather, Alec Birrell. By 2002 (at the age of sixteen), Scott decided to move on and joined Boghall where he spent one season playing in the Grade 2 band before graduating to the Grade 1 corps. On leaving school Scott moved to Glasgow and spent four years studying at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama where he graduated with a BA (Hons) in Scottish Music. Since then Scott has taken up a post as principal drumming instructor for the Southland Piping and Drumming Development Trust in New Zealand where he works alongside P/M Alasdair MacKenzie. As part of his role in NZ Scott is also lead drummer of the Grade 2 City of Invercargill Pipe Band and led his corps to victory as NZ National Champions in 2010. Scott says that his favourite memory with Boghall was the Celtic Nuit Concert at the Stade de France in Paris and that his favourite performance with the band was placing 2nd and winning the drumming at the 2007 British Championships. Scott is also a keen solo player and regularly placed in U18 solo contests around the country. In the adult section Scott has remained similarly competitive and has reached the semi-finals of the World Solo Drumming Championships. Outwith drumming Scott is a very keen golfer and enjoys playing snooker and darts.