Updated: Nov 9, 2020
Wake and District is proud to support and promote three of our very own running for Eastern United States Pipe Band Association Southern Branch leadership roles.
Michael Iannuzzi is running for Southern EUSPBA Branch Chair: I want to take this time to formally announce my candidacy for the Southern Branch Chair of the Eastern United States Pipe Band Association.
I have been a member of pipe bands in the Southern US for over 20 years. I started off playing in a local pipe band in Lee County, Florida, called the Lee County Pipes and Drums. Since then, I have played with the Harp and Thistle Pipe Band of Lee County, Florida, The St. Andrews University Pipe Band in Laurinburg, North Carolina, and most recently, the Wake and District Public Safety Pipes and Drums in Raleigh, North Carolina. Outside of the piping and drumming community, I have helped grow tech companies in North Carolina and internationally as a revenue leader. Due to my role, I have a deep understanding of project management, conflict resolution, diversity, inclusion, and so much more. Furthermore, I believe my experience owning a consulting firm and growing billion-dollar companies gives me the experience to look at the Southern Branch from a different and progressive perspective that the branch has been lacking. This has been most apparent during this digital transformation we’ve undergone due to COVID-19 and the need for online competitions.
We must be more progressive as a branch in order to not only maintain the current membership but grow the branch membership and involvement to preserve the piping and drumming tradition we all love.
During my time in pipe bands, I have been an integral part of leadership working on up-leveling musicality, developing inclusive communities, and the overall organization of bands. I’ve had the privilege to represent the branch both as a solo competitor, and drum/ensemble leader at major national and international competitions. I also had the unique opportunity to be an instructor at the North American Academy of Piping and Drumming. During my time at the camp, I was able to work with many of the youth in our organization, which I believe we need to invest in more over the next two years.
It is clear we must be more progressive as a branch in order to not only maintain the current membership but grow the branch membership and involvement to preserve the piping and drumming tradition we all love. I believe the branch needs a voice that is more open-minded to change, more involved, more inclusive, technologically savvy, less involved with the politics of social media, and more focused on the needs of ALL members. I am not a judge. I do not run any highland games. I will have no personal kickback if I am elected to this position. I want to represent all members of the Southern Branch, and I believe I am the person to do it during this challenging but opportunistic time.
It would be a privilege and honor to serve as your Branch Chair. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me directly with any questions, opinions, or concerns.
Michael Iannuzzi Michael.Iannuzzi91@gmail.com 239.362.4571 EUSPBA Member Number | ES0323
Kenny Hiner is running for EUSPBA Southern Branch Vice-Chairman. Here is some background information on Kenny:
I first entered into the pipe band world in 1999 learning flourishing tenor in a small G5 street/competition band in Memphis, TN. After several years in my local band learning tenor I turned to the outer pipe band community to further my education. I started attending every workshop and school I could attend all while taking in every ounce of information I could find on the internet. One of the biggest jumps in my drumming career came from attending the North American Academy of Piping and Drumming and meeting/learning under Sally Warburton who helped push me from my early stages well into reaching the professional level. After learning tenor and bass I continued my pipe band education adding piping and snare drumming to my repertoire. On pipes I have competed in Grade 4 solos as well as in Grade 4 and 5 pipe sections and am currently working towards getting upgraded to Grade 3.
Since those early days I have won multiple awards rising through the ranks to reach professional level on tenor and bass, instructed the Chicago Scots G4 mid-section (2012-2013), instructed midsection classes at the DELCO workshop (2015) and competed in three bands on pipes, tenor and bass in Grades 5, 4 and 3 having won multiple contests. I am currently active in three different levels of our piping community, a non-competition public safety service band, a newly formed performance/competition band, and a multi-tiered competition band:
Shelby County Sheriff’s Office Pipes & Drums, Memphis, TN – Pipe Major., Instructor, Admin
City of Memphis Pipe Band, Memphis, TN – Pipe Major, Business Manager, Instructor, Grade 5 Bagpiper
Wake and District Pipes & Drums, Raleigh, NC – Grade 3 Flourishing Tenor, Grade 4 Bagpiper
In 2007 I founded FlourishingTenor.com with a sole mission of bringing mid-section resources to those who needed it most. Having struggled heavily with my initial pipe band drumming education due to my geographical location and lack of online resources at the time I met many others in my similar situation and started a project hoping to help out. Since 2007 FlourishingTenor.com has offered free mid-section tutorials, product reviews, interviews with world class drummers, affordable online one on one instruction and more.
In 2020 I have continued to help build the piping and drumming community in Memphis with the founding of a brand new performance/competition band The City of Memphis Pipe Band. This organization is geared towards giving the pipers and drummers in Memphis an outlet for higher education, entering into competition and becoming a part of the larger pipe band community.
Building a stronger network...
Over the years I have been active in online piping and drumming forums having been a moderator for several, including the previous ‘Unofficial Southern Branch Network’ and the current ‘Piping and Drumming Community of the Southern United States’. I am tech savvy having aided in the recent redesigns of both the MacLellan Bagpipes and Melvin Reeds websites while also assisting multiple non-profit organizations operate their social media platforms. My biggest skill is that I play every instrument in the circle at varying levels giving me a solid overall insight into everything we encounter as pipers and drummers.
As Southern Branch Vice-Chairman I would work hard at building a stronger network among the musicians in our branch with an emphasis on reconnecting to those bands and soloists that are non-competing. I believe with my history, band participation, relationships with those throughout the pipe band community stretching outside of our association and my social media outreach all combine into characteristics that make me a perfect candidate for the position of Southern Branch Vice-Chairman. If elected I will do everything in my power to assist the Branch Chairman in further ensuring our piping and drumming community’s success!
EUSPBA Member Number | ES1701
Andrew Kerr is running for Southern EUSPBA Secretary: My name is Andrew Kerr, and I am seeking your nomination for EUSPBA Southern Branch Secretary.
Some have said that I was born into bagpiping. My grandfather, and father were both in the Kings Own Scottish Borders as bagpipers. My father also played with the London Scottish Pipe Band and Thanet Pipe Band during the 60s and 70s. After moving to the United States, he aided the development of many Florida pipe bands. I have been a member of EUSPBA for around 25 years, and have been involved in various activities in support of the association. I have worked my way up through the solo piping grades to Amateur 1, and have been successful at each level. Before retiring from the United States Air Force, I was fortunate enough to live in the United Kingdom and competed successfully in RSPBA and local branches during my time there. I have played in bands overseas and within EUSPBA in Grades 5, 4, and 3.
I have held various board positions; working as public relations officer, Secretary, Vice President, and President in many professional organizations that have aided my skills to benefit the association and patrons. It is always enjoyable to meet dear friends and make new connections with other musicians across our branch. Additionally, I have worked the highland games committee for the Smoky Mtn Festival and Games since 2015, and I have been on the Board of Directors of the games overseeing Piping & Drumming and Dancing for the past four years. We continually look for avenues to improve our games and services to ‘all’ patrons and clansman.
Communication and transparency.
Over the years I have worked to improve communication and transparency in regards to our musical art. Our membership deserves open and transparent communication to discuss matters of concern to themselves, pipe bands, or games and festivals. I was influential in the push for a social media presence, and have been moderator for these forums. Social media and website communications provide a method of communication, however if not kept current it does not provide any beneficial services to members. We hope to bring new methods of communication and event opportunities to our patrons.
Hosting additional events that cater to the needs of patrons in various methods is an on-going initiative, and I hope to continue refining that arena for our members in the future.
As Southern Branch Secretary, I would work hard at building an improved network among the branch committee while working to reconnect ‘all’ members of the association with transparency. I believe with my prior association service, band participation, and relationships within the pipe band community make me a respected candidate for the position of Southern Branch Secretary.
I would be honored to have your vote as EUSPBA Southern Branch Secretary, and if elected I will continue advocating for improved communication amongst patrons, and connecting EUSPBA to its members.
EUSPBA Member Number | ES0961