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The Way We Were: 1990s

The Nineteen Nineties saw the Monaghan Pipe Band Come out of its brief exile. The organization found new life with the bulk of its membership stemming from a group of people who were dismissed by another band. These musical rebels were joined by a few old time members of the Monaghan Band. They took the competition field by storm in 1991 and won the EUSPBA Grade Five Champion Supreme Title in 1992. The band then spent a short three years in grade four, where they ranked number two in the EUSPBA for the 1995 Competition Season. The band was then promoted to grade three where they currently compete. From a new birth to grade three in six quick years... not too shabby. Here are some memories of that great decade.

Lean but Mean

After blasting their way through grade five in 1992, Monaghan persevered through a lean year in 1993 as it began its grade four venture. The band fielded the minimum amount of pipers and sides with the above crew. Back Row (L - R) Annalita Gonzales, Pipe Sgt. Pat McGuire, Bob Costigan, Nike Donoghue, Pipe Major Tom Hoins, Annette Duffy. Front Row (L - R) Drum Sgt. Martin Duffy, Tara LaBella, Denis Gordon.

Annette just wants to go home
Back Row, L-R:Pipe Sgt. Pat McGuire, Peter Skae, Patrick Martens, James Neggie
Front Row, L-R: Denis Gordon, Drum Sgt. John Ruxton, Peg McGuinley, Jim McWhorter, Sandy Ross, Janet McWhorter, Annette Mohan, Pete Duffy, Martin Duffy, Pipe Mjr. Thomas Hoins

That's a clean shaven Martin Duffy behind him
Monaghan's steady rise over the decade was due in very strong part to Pipe Major Thomas Hoins, who is pictured on the right. Born in New York, but raised in County Tyrone, Tom played with two of Ireland's best bands; St. Patrick's - Donaghmore, and Ballinderry Bridge. With such experience, Tom has been looked upon as the elder statesman in Monaghan's formation years despite his young age. Tom took over the band in the fall of 1992 and has brought it a long, long way. He has shaped the band with his teaching wisdom, and molded its character with his patience and even temperment.

The Mighty Ruxton

John Ruxton helped lift Monaghan to a new level during his tenure as drum sergeant from 1994 through 1997. John, a native of Dublin, was already a well decorated drummer upon his arrival to the States. His well earned titles include World Champion Juvenile, All Ireland Champion Juvenile and the Ulster Senior Champion. At the time of his winning the later title, John had become the youngest man to ever win the Ulster Senior Title. He also became the first competitor from the Republic of Ireland to walk off with this prize. In 1996, John showed off his chops to the U.S.A. while winning the North East Invitational. Many drum corps titles were won under John's direction.

'98 Band
Back Row, L-R: Pipe Sgt. Byrne O'Sullivan, Annette Mohan, Brian Burke, Kiki Culleton, Mary Hamilton, Brendan O'Reilly, Gerry Damon, Jim Harigel, Jim McWhorter
Front Row, L-R: Jim Feeley, Jim Cameron, Gregory McLaughlin, Bobby Costigan, Glenn McCartan, Kevin DiFiore, Eddie Cameron, Pete Duffy, Lachlan Cameron, Mike Smith, Pipe Major Thomas Hoins, Drum Sgt. Martin Duffy

Denis G
Denis Gordon lead the drum corps in the band's revival year of 1991.

Gr V Champion Supreme

Grade Five at the Nassau County Feis, 1997
The band added on a second competitive unit during the 1997 season. This unit would go on to win the Grade Five EUSPBA Champion Supreme title in 1998. Left to right: Pipe Sergeant Mike Smith, Drum Sergeant Jim Cameron, Paul Breen, Danny Hamilton, Gerald Damon, Kiki Culleton, Peter Duffy, James McWhorter, Glen McCartan, Pipe Major Jim Feeley.

Bobby C
The ever versatile Bobby Costigan has served the band in many capacities. Bobby was the lead drummer in the mid 1970s. He took on the bass drum in the early 1980s on his way to becoming one of the most distinguished bass players in the EUSPBA. Bobby has also served as a tenor drummer and a drum major.

An influx of talent rejuvenated Monaghan in the fall of 1996 when pipers Eddie Cameron, Lachlan Cameron, Mary Hamilton, Byrne O'Sullivan, Kevin DiFiore and drummers Jim Cameron and Glenn McCartan all joined Monaghan together.

Snare Line
1999 Snare Line, L-R:
TJ Hagan, Glenn McCartan, Martin Duffy, John Bussard, Gregory McLaughlin

On your mark, get set...
Up To The Line, Rockland Feis, 1999