There is welcome news for one of the major names of recent Scottish banding history, as Kirkintilloch has announced that it is aims to return to the contest stage later this year.
It is hoped that an appearance at the Scottish Open at Perth Concert Hall on Saturday 17th November will mark a significant step in the efforts of dedicated members to underpin the long term sustainable future of a band that as recently as 2015 was still competing at the British Open.
Realism though is the key, as Band Manager John Needham told 4BR.
"We've endured a couple of very difficult years that's for certain,"he said. "Perhaps, like many bands we took things for granted for too long and paid the price, but now we're very realistic about where we stand and how we want to build for the future.
We've touched our lowest point, but thanks to the passion and dedication of a core of players and administrators who have the 'Kirky' name in their blood, we're now looking ahead with realistic confidence.
At present we just want to get back onto the contest stage, continue to build on a solid foundation and enjoy our banding once more."
Formed in 1890, Kirkintilloch's last contest appearance was at the Scottish Open in 2017, before they took the difficult decision to withdraw from the Scottish Championship — a contest they have won on five occasions — and the British Open Spring Festival.
John added: "We're all looking forward to the Scottish Open — although we know exactly where we stand. Then the focus will be on a return to the Scottish Championships in the First Section and building slowly but surely for the future.
There has been a great deal of hard work that has gone on behind the scenes — but we know this is now a long term plan for revival and not a short term fix for fleeting success.
It's also why we have welcomed players who share our aims and ambitions and why we hope to add a few more to the ranks.
Kirkintilloch will return. It may take us some time to reach the heights again, but we are certainly going to do it the right way and enjoy it too."
There has been a great deal of hard work that has gone on behind the scenes — but we know this is now a long term plan for revival and not a short term fix for fleeting successJohn Needham
John added that everyone has been delighted by the progress made so far, with the band currently on the outlook for a couple of tuba players and a repiano or tutti cornet.
"We continue to build in the right way,"he added. "So if players want to be part of what we want to achieve and how we want to do it, then please get in touch.
We currently rehearse in Kirkintilloch on Sundays 7.30 to 10.00pm with plans to revert to Wednesday/Sunday ahead of returning to the contest stage, so it would be great to hear from anyone interested."
John can be contacted on 07775 823026 or by email: email@example.com