Three new champion band banners will be awarded for the first time at the Diamond Jubilee year Australian Pipe Band Championships at Maryborough Victoria on 4 and 5 April 2020.
The banners for the newly introduced grades of Grade 4B, Novice Juvenile A and Novice Juvenile B will be named in honour of three stalwarts of the Australian pipe band movement in the 20th century – Ron Gallacher OAM, Danny McPherson MBE and Ray Lee OAM.
Ron Gallacher was a long-time pipe major of Hawthorn Pipe Band winning a number of Australian Grade 1 championships, an active tutor to many bands and particularly in regional areas and served as Principal Piping of the Australian Pipe Band College for 20 years. He was an inaugural inductee into the Pipe Bands Australia Hall of Fame in 2018.
Danny McPherson served in the Boer War and world War One and then became Ballarat Caledonian Society Pipe Band Assistant Pipe Major before the founding pipe major of the Mildura and District Pipe Band in 1922. Millicent in 1926 and later moving to Melbourne with the Royal Caledonian Society Pipe Band. After World War Two he established the first Scotch College band and then established the pipes program at Haileybury College. He was an inaugural recipient of the Pipe Bands Australian education and training award in 2018.
Ray Lee was for 23 years the Band Master of The Scots College Pipes and Drums Sydney during which time the band won national and state championships and performed in the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo and other international events. During his 23 years, Ray built the Scots program to be one of the largest school-based pipes and drums programs in Australia.
This will be the first Australian championships conducted since the introduction of the additional grades.
Champion band banners were introduced by Pipe Bands Australia in 2016. Banners honouring RJK Semple OAM BEM, Michael Stubbings, Tony Sell OAM, Ewan Masson OAM and Greg Gordon OAM will continue to be awarded in the respective grades.
Entries for the 2020 Australian Pipe Band Championships close on 4 January.