Winterseason at Antwerp
ADPB wishes all its members and supporters a briljant new year and wishes to thank everyone who helped in making 2012 this successful.
2012 has been a tough year for the band. The expected influx of new members did not materialise and on top of that we lost some of our core players. Particularly the loss of Peter Ternede and Renť Hollants, two talents who helped carry the drum corps through these last years, was hard to bear. But the band was kept afloat and we notched up some beautiful victories.
The magnificent performance at Alden Biesen turned out to be a magnet for new people and at the first rehearsal following the competition the new arrivals nearly outnumbered the existing group. Especially the drum corps turned out in great numbers all of a sudden. The musical leadership already had the new tunes for 2013 ready so we could immediately kick off with a brand new medley.
In 2013 our band is 35 years of age and this will certainly be celebrated appropriately. The whole band is working hard on the preparation for a concert which will be named ďMajesticĒ, referring to comments by two separate judges at different venues.
Furthermore, new drums will be ordered in the near future and the band will return to Scotland to compete with Europeís top bands after a year of absence.
We are also planning a new website to enable our fans and followers to better stay up to date. Check our facebookpage or website regularly to stay attuned to the latest developments.
Antwerp chooses a new pipe major
A few weeks ago Stephen Tierney, who has been our Pipe-Major since 2007, announced that he was no longer able to lead the band. Positive developments in his company took up too much of his time for him to be able to fulfill the task of Pipe-Major as required. Hence his decision to step aside and pass on the torch. Luckily he does intend to stay on as a Piper though.
Here at Antwerp we know for a few years already the thorough coŲperation between Stephen and his Pipe-Sergeant, Peter Hyndrikx, which meant that one didnít have to look very far for a replacement. Last week, the members unanimously elected him as Stephenís successor. Peter Hyndrikx is a true and true youth product of Antwerp & District. He is a full member of the band since he was 14 years of age and regularly defended the Antwerp colors on several solo competitions with success. Peter will we assisted in his new task by Stephen and the members of the Music Committee.
The band has performed better than ever before these last years, culminating in a second place at the British Championships 2010 and the subsequent promotion to Grade 2, both feathers in his cap for Stephen. We are therefore very pleased that he remains a member, able to coŲperate on the bandís future.
ADPB is furthermore proud to present its relation with IKS International, the company of Managing Director Stephen Tierney. The band closed down a multi-year sponsoring deal with IKS International, specialised in high-grade laboratory equipment. We are justifiably proud that the vision of IKS International seamlessly merges with the one adhered to by Antwerp & District Pipe Band.
ADPB remains successful
After the successful seasonís openers at Rilland-Bath (mini-band competition) and Swifterband (our first outdoor competition) there where two more competition weekend on the bandís calendar: August 6 and 7 in Scotland, and September 10 at Alden Biesen (B).
It has become a yearly tradition for us to compete in Scotland, to play against the Scottish bands.Normally, we would pick a Ďmajorí championship, however, as this is our first year in grade 2, we decided to play at two Ďminorsí: Dundonald on Saturday August 6 and Bridge of Allan on Sunday 7.The weather at Dundonald was very nice, and we managed to put down two decent performances, in grade 2 and, for the first time in the bandís history, playing up in grade 1. In grade 2 the band was runner up, behind Phoenix Honda Glasgow Skye and ahead of Strathclyde Fire and Rescue. We became third in grade 1, behind the same two bands.At Bridge of Allan, the weather was simply poor: rain all day. Every band competed under the same bad circumstances of course, but despite a pretty good tuning up period, the band just didnít reach its normal level at the competition itself. It proved to be good enough for a 10th place, of 13 bands. The drummers managed to get a notable 8th place however.In the end, we could look back to a successful weekend in Scotland, where we proved we belong in grade 2, but also had a lot of fun!
The competition season was closed at Alden Biesen, also a yearly event, on September 10. Under very warm conditions, Antwerp & District Pipe Band proved the strongest of the day: we won all events we competed in, being grade 2, grade 1 and open grade. There was no better way to close this season, and it was well celebrated at night. It again was a very nice edition of the Scottish Weekend!
And last but not least: during the 2011 season we could welcome two new pipers: Dennis van Meel and Gert-Jan van Achterbergh. Dennis is a young, talented player who combines playing with ADPB with Dutch Pipes and Drums from Tilburg (NL), and Gert-Jan is a very experienced piper who formerly was the P/M of City of Amsterdam Pipe Band. Welcome to both!
Also interested in joining Antwerp & District Pipe Band? Do not hesitate to contact us, we are always looking for enthusiastic, talented pipers and drummers, and this is the time of year!
P/M Stephen Tierney married
Friday 17 June marked the wedding of our pipe major Stephen Tierney and Frieda Meurs. The wedding took place in Glasgow, and one week later, they celebrated it, of course with the band, with a big party in Belgium.
Frieda is well known in the Belgian pipe band scene; she has the shop Great Scotland, a shop with a wide variaty of Scottish products.
The band wishes the newly wed all the best of luck and love for the future!
A Flawless concourse at Swifterbant
The outdoors competitive season for our band traditionally starts with the Continentals. For the first time these were again organised at Swifterband (Dronten).
Thanks to our promotion to grade 2, our bandís competition kicked off one hour later, since we can only participate in grade 2 and the Open Grade from now on.
By the end of the day and with two amazing performances under our belt, the band went home with nothing but first prizes. In both grades the jury rewarded our pipers and our drummers with a first place. This resulted naturally in a double overall first and two Best Drumcorps prizes.
With this latest first place our band has been able to return home winning the Open Grade for nine consecutive years.
A Double First for Antwerp and District in Rilland.
The first competition of the season (the mini-band contest at Rilland-Bath) brought some extra pressure on the band this year. Following our promotion to grade 2 we had to live up to our name, which is exactly what we did last Saturday, even twice in a row.
The main advantage of our upgrading was the fact that we only had to play twice instead of the usual three times, once the medley and once the MSR. This meant that our players were well rested and the band could start the competition with clear heads.
During the winter break a lot of attention had been given to the sound of the band with the buying of new chanters and new reeds.
On the competition day itself the band duly needed very little time to get the required sound and we could get on stage for the medley feeling completely relaxed. A bit nervous due to the occasion caused our tempo to be a little higher than we were used to. This seemed to be appreciated by the judges and overall we felt we had played fluently and very musically. Our drummers were also very confident and trouble-free which meant that both the piping- and the drumming-judge awarded us with a first place.
For the Open Grade the band played the MSR which brought us in grade 2 and it resulted in another first place.
Prizegiving duly resulted in a true party when Antwerp & District emerged as the great victors.
Besides our debut in grade 2, Rilland-Bath also meant the return of former Pipe Major Thomas Kerkhof who came to strengthen the band after a few years of absence, bringing a wealth of new experience.
Antwerp & District makes "Sound Investment".
To be able to compete with the generally high standard in grade two, the time was ripe for a thorough revision of our sound. In december advice was sought with John Elliot from G1 Reeds, he recommended a switch to MacCallum chanters for the band while he would provide us with custom made reeds.
Which is exactly what happened. Last weekend John flew over with a whole backpack full of new material. Everybody got equipped with a new chanter and reed and very soon the band was ready to play. Almost from the moment go we all were deeply impressed with the sound and the whole band had to recognize the awesome difference with about a week ago.
As far as we are concerned, the competitive season cannot take off soon enough!
Antwerp & District becomes a Grade 2 band!
The last few years our performances at the Majors were rather of the lukewarm kind. The preparatory rehearsals always went very well but at the competitions themselves, something always went wrong and we returned to Belgium disappointed.
This year though, things were different. The preparations were again spot-on, but this time, nothing was going to get in our way on the day. After we marched off the field, even though the sun was not shinning, we were beaming as everyone was roaring with enthusiasm about the performance. Later at the prizegiving ceremony, when our band was crowned second place, the euphoria knew no limits; our mission was accomplished!
This magnificent feeling about the result kept simmering in the band for several days or even weeks.
Our result did not escape the notice of the officials of the RSPBA (Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association), especially since at this major we had to play an MSR (March, Strathspey and Reel). Consequently, a few weeks ago we were promoted from Grade 3A to Grade 2.
Antwerp & District is the first Belgian band to reach this grade and officially now belongs at the top on the European Continent.
This means that after approximately 30 years in Grade 3 and 3A we will be able to compete against former and prospective Grade 1 bands.
Our efforts over these past years have been rewarded, the band is in Grade 2 and staying there will be the next challenge.
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