Deacon’s debut

TOMORROW (Saturday) the Royal Burgh of Linlithgow Reed Band will make history.

For the first time, the band’s development wing, the LRB Training Band, will take to the streets to mark the first of the Deacons’ Nights in Linlithgow.

Over the last few years, the Reed Band has blossomed under professional musicians Lex McDowell and Theresa McSherry, and to ensure a steady flow of recruits for the training band, a Bbeginners’ section was formed in 2010, teaching learners of all ages from scratch.

The training band has been extending its repertoire and, in January, took part in a Community Wind Band Festival for the first time. They have also featured at Reed Band concerts this year, but Saturday’s debut marching engagement is the most challenging activity the fledgling musicians have so far undertaken. There will be a range of ages taking part, from primary school pupils to retired people who have recently taken up an instrument.

Band spokesperson Murdoch Kennedy said: “The Reed Band first marched at a Deacons’ Night in May 1956 and this year, the training band will follow this tradition, playing at the Saturday evening parades on June 4 and 11.

‘‘The trainees have rehearsed three marches for the Deacons’ Nights – On Wisconsin, Mary of Argyle and Ingleside – and they will be helped by a small number of experienced Reed Band players, who will have the responsibility of guiding them along the street.

“This is a major milestone in the 55 year history of Linlithgow Reed Band.”

The 49 training band members and 25 beginners meet every Sunday evening in the Longcroft Hall. Some of the original trainees from 2008 have already graduated to the main band.

Murdoch added that the training band was very grateful to Mr and Mrs Gibson of Platform Three whose recent donation of £400 helped provide marching lyres for all the musicians involved.