The band have sent this….Kilmarnock Pipe Band have a vision to see a much needed quality pipe band in Ayrshire once again. To achieve this they have recruited Paul Warren as Pipe Major. Paul has had pipe majoring success in the past when he took Lomond and Clyde from the bottom of Grade 4 to the top of Grade 2 in under a decade.
Paul brings with him Karen McCrindle Warren (both pictured above) and George Sharp as Pipe Sergeants. All three have previously played in Grade 1 with the Vale of Atholl Pipe Band, and all three are experienced piping instructors. With the addition of the band’s previous pipe major Phil Stevenson who has remained in the corps, they represent the current school tuition for East, North and South Ayrshire creating a truly pan-Ayrshire programme. All this teaching feeding into the band is intended to ensure long term quality, development and sustainability.
To compliment this move the band have also recruited Darren Mitchell as leading drummer, who has recently played with Grade 1 Johnstone Pipe Band, and Lewis Thorpe to lead the bass section who has previously won all major drumming prizes in Grade 1 with Boghall and Bathgate.
Jim Faulds and Phil Stevenson have both assumed the role of pipe major in recent years but were the architects of this bold development plan. Jim said: “Pipe bands in Ayrshire have dipped in recent times and we would really like to address this issue. We all know what Paul did at Lomond and Clyde taking the band from the bottom of Grade 4B to Grade 2 in five years, and if he can do the same with Kilmarnock we will be delighted.”
Paul Warren said “This is an exciting opportunity and I’m already enjoying the challenge. We’re off to a great start and practice nights have three work stations on the go led by me, Karen and George, who I’m delighted to have helping me. We have a great bunch of players with real potential.
Another real bonus for me is the drumming – it can be difficult to find the right combination and fit but when I met Darren to discuss our plans I realised immediately that this was the right guy for the job. Lewis played with me in Lomond and Clyde before going on to win the top drumming prizes in Grade 1 with Boghall so I was thrilled that he decided to join the team as well. I feel incredibly fortunate to have such a great team in place, and there’s a great buzz of excitement and energy around.”
Kilmarnock Pipe Band was founded in 1933 and has had many ups and downs in its time. Its most recent successful period was between 1998 – 2002 under Pipe Major Kenny MacLeod in Grade 2. Last year the band competed in Grade 4A.