It is always important to recognize members who have made considerable improvements in their playing over the course of the year. Last year I created 3 new awards to help honor the hard work and dedication of both current and retired players in the band. The awards were named after three past members who dedicated many hours of their free time to help make what the band is today. Every Robbie Burns event from here on in, 3 current/past members will be recognized for their efforts.
The Bob Moisey Memorial Award For Outstanding Service and Commitment
2013 Recipient - Marv Bishop
I was lucky enough to play/learn under Marv's watch. He was the Pipe Major for the band for many years and helped put the band on the competition map in the late 90's. I received lessons from his late father Don Bishop, and owe nearly everything I have learned as a Pipe Major to him. Marv has recently taken a much deserved hiatus from the band. I hope to have him involved in our teaching program sooner than later.
Tom Gougeon Memorial Award - Most Improved Piper
2013 Recipient - Joseph Rugman
The 2013 summer was Joe's first competition season with the band . He has only been on the pipes for a couple years now and has proven to me that he has what it takes to play in the front rank. He has great fingers and a very promising future as a piper in our band. Joe will be competing in the Grade 4 piping category in the upcoming 2015 season.
Neil Hartwell Memorial Award - Most Improved Drummer
2013 Recipient - Kavan Johnstone-Schulz
Kavan is like a little brother to me. I have seen him grow up in the band and couldn't be any more proud of where he is today. Kavan left the band in early 2014 to pursue a new position as Drum Sergeant in the newly formed juvenile band - Ryan Russell Memorial Pipe Band (Toronto Police Pipe Band). He will be competing solo in the Grade 3 category in 2015 and will be playing with the Toronto Police Grade 3 competition band.
Congrats to all the winners!
Here is a little information on the awards and who they are named after:
Bob Moisey - Bob was a member of the pipe band for 30+ years. He never missed a parade and set the standard for commitment to the band. He always had time to chat with the young/new students and always put everyone in a good mood.
Tom Gougeon - Tom was a former Pipe Major of The Barrie & District Pipes and Drums in the 1980's. His son, Barry Gougeon, played bass for the band for many years (Barry is our current Drum Major). I unfortunately did not have the chance to meet/play with Tom however I know he was instrumental in the bands development while in charge. The chanter, which is mounted on the award, was played by Tom and was generously donated by the Gougeon family.
Neil Hartwell - Neil was a Drum Sergeant/side drummer in the band for many years. He always had a smile on his face and could make anyone laugh. Neil competed with the Barrie & District Pipes and Drums in the 1990's and was an important part in our drum corps development at that time.
All three of these members are no longer with us however we were very fortunate to have had them in our presence. Honoring them through these awards is the least we could do.