Drum sounds good, looks good

News Article / September 13, 2017

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75th anniversary art shows off 14 Wing band members’ pride

By Sara Keddy

While the sound of the base drum definitely gets attention – this year, it’s what it looks like.

Through 2017, the Pipes & Drums of 14 Wing Greenwood, Nova Scotia, is marking both its 75th anniversary and the establishment of Greenwood as a Royal Air Force training airfield in 1942. Why not show off?

Pipe Major Sergeant Andrew Bruce started early in 2017, gathering designs of anniversary art from base draftsman Bruce Gormley, modifying those files with Brian Graves, graphic designer at The Aurora (Greenwood’s base newspaper), and adding a photographic underlay by wing photo-journalist Sergeant Pete Nicholson.

“It’s kind of unique,” Mr. Gormley says of the resulting design that appears on the drum skin. “We’re proud to show it off for the whole year.” The design includes a graphic created from a photograph of the skin and rivets of Aircraft 119*, now featured as a display in the Greenwood Military Aviation Museum’s airpark.

The drum debuted in the nearby Kingston Barbeque parade on July 8, 2017, and made several appearances during the busy change of command activities at 14 Wing the following week. With more ceremonies and community events to come, it will certainly get the chance to be noticed.

“The drum is in the middle of the band – it drives a whole parade.” Mr. Gormley says. “And it’s the most visible identifier of a band – people see the drum crest and think, ‘Oh, that’s Greenwood.’ Our drummers are pleased, and we’ve had really positive reactions from the public when they’ve seen it so far.”

Mr. Gormley says the band members in both the pipes and drums and the brass and reed contingents are feeling quite pleased this season; their anniversary is a milestone, their performances are always appreciated, and they’re sporting brand new uniforms for the first time in 30 years. For a group that includes Canadian Armed Forces members and community volunteers, it had become increasingly challenging to keep everyone looking sharp. “Everyone’s always wanted to feel a part of the bands,” says Mr. Gormley, “and the uniforms now really show the wing’s commitment to the bands.”

As 2017 ends, the anniversary drum art will be divided. A skin will be added to the music branch’s museum display at 14 Wing, another will be displayed in the band room, and a third will be presented to Colonel Pat Thauberger, the wing’s commanding officer through the anniversary year.

*Aircraft 119 is one of three CP-140/A Arcturus aircraft purchased by the Canadian Armed Forces and delivered to Canadian Forces Base Greenwood between December 1992 and April 1993. The Arcturus augmented the CP-140 Aurora fleet in Arctic/Maritime surface surveillance, search and rescue, drug interdiction, and pilot training roles. Aircraft 119 was retired and transferred to 404 Squadron to be used as a maintenance trainer for structural- and avionics- related systems. In July 2016, 119 was transferred to the Greenwood Military Aviation Museum.

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