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New Era For Novice Band


As the incredibly busy and successful 2012 season drew to a close, Boghall and Bathgate were already planning for the 2013 season and the years to come. Up until 2012, P/M Alvis Kerr had led the Novice Juvenile band for 7 consecutive seasons and had competed with the Boghall organisation for 38 years. However, after much deliberation, Alvis has decided that the time is now right for him to take a step back from the busy competition schedule that the band undertakes.

Overall, Alvis has been an excellent servant to both the Grade 1 band (including a spell as Pipe Sergeant) and the Under 18 bands, having led both the Novice and Juvenile bands at different times over the last 30 years. His commitment to teaching and the organisation have been incredible and it is testament to his teaching ability that there are many of his former pupils in today’s current Grade 1 corps. From everyone within the band, we would like to take this opportunity to thank him for all his hard work and dedication. Thankfully Alvis is not leaving us entirely and is going to stay involved with Boghall by teaching learners from the basics of picking up a chanter for the first time through to preparing them for the Novice band.

He said that ”After 7 years in charge of the Novice band I’ve decided to hand the reins over to Alexander Scougall and David Burnside from the Grade 1 band. It’s been an absolute joy working with the young kids of Boghall over the last seven years and even before that working with the previous Pipe Majors of the Novice Band but it’s time to let another couple of Grade one guys cut their teeth at being Pipe Majors. I’m not retiring altogether from the teaching side of Boghall and will still be working with the learners to ensure there will always be a flow of new talent entering the base level of the band. So I’ll be working closely with Alexander and David to make sure the transition goes smoothly.”

As Alvis stands aside, this is a great opportunity for Alexander Scougall and David Burnside (pictured above) to get involved with the Novice Juvenile band. Ali and David have dedicated a lot of time over the last year to teaching the learners in the organisation and are now looking forward to taking on a more formal role within the band with Ali becoming the P/M of the Novice band, with David as assistant P/M.

Ali said, “Having been involved with the Boghall organisation since joining the Novice band in 2005 and the Grade 1 band in 2010, I have always wanted to be able to give something back. As such I am delighted to have been granted this opportunity and I would like to thank Ross Walker for allowing me to take on this role. Ross’ experience of taking the Juvenile band at a young age was something that inspired me to take on this challenge and I hope that I can replicate some of the success he enjoyed whilst in charge of the Juvenile band. I would also like to thank Alvis and Alec MacAllister for all their hard work over the years and I look forward to working alongside David and the legendary D/M Tom Brown to try to continue the success of our Novice Juvenile Band. Our primary aim is to continue the established and successful teaching system and to help each individual to progress to the best of their ability. That said, we also aim to be as competitive as possible and for 2013 we aim to place in all five major championships.“

David is similarly enthused about the challenge that lies ahead, but also foresees some different areas that will require focus, “The biggest challenge for me will be attempting to keep Ali Scougall from becoming too big for his boots. He seems to have illusions of grandeur that he will follow in the Pipey’s footsteps to eventually lead the Grade 1 Band, and it will be my job to keep that in check! On a more serious note, I am very much looking forward to working with this great team of young people and hope to continue the great work that Alvis and Alec have done. I am also excited to be a part of the great Boghall tradition of teaching young people and encouraging them to be the very best they can be.”

Posted by Andrew Ray on 09/22 at 08:35 PM in Homepage

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