Connecting during the Corona crisis – Irvine and Dreghorn Brass

Wednesday 6 May 2020

Irvine and Dreghorn Brass is next up in our continuing series on how Scottish bands are staying connected during the Coronavirus pandemic:

Irvine and Dreghorn Brass was formed as a schools band in 1975 and transitioned to a community band in the 1990s. We compete in the 2nd section under the direction of MD Lewis Bettles and have a thriving junior band and learners group led by John Boax.

Our band is busy throughout the year with concerts, gala days, charity events, parades and carolling. We are known as a hard-working and fun banding family. Over the years we’ve had good contest success resulting in seven appearances in the National Championship finals.

Before the lockdown we were working to take ownership of the Dunlop Hall in Dreghorn from North Ayrshire Council. Unfortunately, Coronavirus has delayed our move, but we are excited about the future and have ambitious plans to make the hall a fantastic place for the band and wider community to enjoy.

We’re naturally sad that rehearsals and summer events are cancelled. Lewis and John are, however, doing great work to keep us playing by using tools such as Facebook Live and Zoom to provide tuition for seniors and learners. We had an attempt at virtual recording at Easter and have on-line quizzes on band nights to connect young and old and keep us in touch.

Best wishes to all our banding friends. Stay safe until we all meet up again.

• Let us know about your band. Tell us about some of your successes, when you were founded, where and when you rehearse (when things are back to normal), and how your members are coping during the Coronavirus emergency situation.

Just send a couple of photos and a short write-up to Nigel Martin at


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