Lochgelly Band welcomes new players

The band has been boosted in recent weeks with the welcome addition of three new players to the ranks, all of them experienced players. John McDonald has joined the band on the solo cornet line, Aileen Russell on the back row and Irene Carstairs on percussion. Most pleasing to note from my viewpoint was the fact that initial contact from all of these players originated from this website.

John McDonald has been playing cornet for many years and has recently returned to banding after a time out. John previously played for the Clydebank Burgh band but left when work commitments brought him over to Fife. He has been a very welcome addition to the front row, playing bumper up. John said that he was happy to be joining the band and looked forward to competing at the National Finals in Torquay.

Although better known as a trombone player Aileen (Alien) Russel has recently joined the band on third cornet. Since 1966 Aileen has mainly played trombone but has enjoyed the challenge of playing other instruments within brass bands. When she first started playing Aileen was strongly influenced by her Uncle Archie Smith, well known within the brass band world, Archie conducted various Scottish bands including the Lochgelly Band. A veteran of National Championships, last year saw Aileen competing in the Nationals as the solo trombonist in a first section band (Tayport Instrumental) and says she has gone to the other extreme this year by playing third cornet in a fourth section band - that's what's known as versatile brass. Aileen comments that if the band is on form then they should acquit themselves well at the Nationals.

Irene (Reenie) Carstairs is probably one of the most well known faces in Scottish banding circles having played percussion for many bands in the past. Reenie has decided to lift her sticks yet again and has joined the percussion ranks of the Lochgelly Band. Reenie has assisted the band on many occasions in the past most famously during the recording of "Churchill March". Reenie commented that it was the percussionist advert on the website which finally made up her mind to come out of retirement. Another veteran of National finals, Reenie started playing in 1974 and has many happy memories of the last 28 years in brass banding. She hopes to add to these with a good result in Torquay.
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