Band to march into Jubilee Hall

Jubilee Hall will become the new home of Horsham City Pipe Band when the century-old community group moves from Horsham City Oval next month.

The Pipe Band has signed a nine-year user agreement and will base itself in the front section of the Roberts Avenue building.

Formed in 1923, Horsham City Pipe Band continues to encourage and promote the love of pipe band music and the wearing of highland dress in the Wimmera.

For decades the group has practised in a building next to the main clubrooms at City Oval which is set for removal as part of the precinct’s redevelopment.

President Gordon McKenry said the band was looking forward to making the most of renovations at Jubilee Hall.

They include improvements to acoustics, heating and cooling and opening up of spaces and storage that will improve the function and security of the space for its new and existing user groups.

“We had constructive talks with the Council all the way through. Early on we had some issues with the sound due to echoing but they have been fixed and we are looking forward officially moving in to our new home next month,” Mr McKenry said.

“A few people are a bit sad to leave the old hall but overall it is a very exciting time for the band. We feel like we are on the verge of a bit of a period of resurgence,” he said.

Horsham Rural City Council manages Jubilee Hall and is continuing to work with the city’s other major musical ensemble Horsham Rural City Band to ensure it accommodates the needs of both groups.

The Brass Band is also based at a soon-to-be-removed Council-managed building at City Oval and it too has been offered a nine-year user agreement at Jubilee Hall.

“It will be good to have the Brass Band come in and use the hall too,” Mr McKenry said.

“We are all musicians and although we have very different music and different styles it will be good to cross paths every now and then.”

Mr McKenry said the group played with other musicians from Naracoorte, and the band had members from across the Wimmera and Grampians.

It is also keen to welcome new members.

“We have just had our 100th year celebration last October and that has given us some impetus,” Mr McKenry said.

“There is a perception that you need to have Scottish blood but that is not necessary.

“The Pipe Band is suitable for anyone 10 years and older. For new members, we have a piping tutor and we plan to have drumming tutors as well.

“This year we will start competing again in mini band competitions. That’s really what drives everyone.”

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