The impending retirement of its bass drummer has led to the Goulburn Valley Pipes and Drums band to appeal for new members to carry on its tradition.ESTELLE GRIEPINK March 11, 2014 4:47am
The region’s oldest pipes and drums band is desperately seeking a bass drummer so it can continue playing in parades and competitions.
Goulburn Valley Pipes and Drums, which was established in Shepparton in 1966, leads the Anzac Day parades in Mooroopna and Tatura and plays at the Mooroopna, Tatura and Shepparton Carols by Candlelight events.
It includes members from across the Goulburn Valley.
Retired piper and band tutor Eileen Mackie said the group wanted a new bass drummer to replace her husband Ken Mackie, who will retire because of ill-health.
Mr Mackie joined the band as a piper in the mid-1970s.
‘‘We are looking forward to training a new member as the band is desperate to fill this position quickly,’’ Mrs Mackie said.
‘‘We would be thrilled to hear from persons wanting to learn to play the pipes, side or tenor drums as well as the bass drum, as membership is very low at this time.’’
The band’s longest serving member, Jenny Pleming, encouraged interested people to get involved.
She joined the band aged 17 and throughout the years has played the tenor, bass and side drums.
‘‘It’s great because you get to go out to different places like Beechworth (for the Celtic Festival) and Bright (for the Autumn Festival),’’ Mrs Pleming said.
‘‘We’re all good mates, we’ve pulled our caravans down to events and made a real weekend out of it.’’
Mrs Mackie said the band was family-orientated and had seen multiple generations pass through its ranks.
‘‘We had a mother and two sons and a pair of parents and their two sons all being members and playing alongside each other at various times,’’ Mrs Mackie said.
‘‘It’s very social.’’
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