Both bands had a solid group of pipers and drummers but were with respectively 7 and 9 pipers to small to compete in contests successfully. Due to this Antwerp and District B pipe-band had disappeared from the contest-circuit for some time. The Kempen Area pipe-band kept competing, but with little success. The Kempen Area pipe-band however had a very successful group of female Highland-dancers. End of September 2003 Andrew Tierney (Pipe-Major of Antwerp) contacted Marco De Clerq (Pipe-Major of Kempen Area) with a request to determine if there was an interest for a fusion between both bands. Both Pipe-Majors contacted the other members of their bands to hear their opinion, this with the known result. In Februari 2004 we started practising as one new band. One hurdle we still had to overcome, and that was to decide what name the new band would have. Many options were observed and discarded, due to the fact that in the mean time several members from other bands had joined up we ultimately decided to name our band: The Belgian Blend Pipe-Band. Besides the music the members of the band also cherish the friendship amongst one another, and as a striking result of this the group attracts more and more young people amongst their new members. History of The Kempen Area Pipe-Band. The Kempen Area Pipe Band was established in 1995 by a group of friends whom where very enthusiastic about Scottish traditional music. The name of the group was derived from the area in Belgium in which they lived, the Campagne (in Flemish Kempen), and to be more specific the village of Oud-Turnhout. The founding members had all earned their stripes in another band and thought it was time to widen their horizon and, with the example of some Scottish bands in mind, form a band that offered something better and new to its audience. Besides its traditional musicians the Kempen Area Pipe Band also had a respectable number of female Highland-dansers. Ever since the early days Pipe-Major Marco Declerq and Leading-Drummer Eric Schoenmaeckers were responsible for the musical side of the band, while Leading-Dancer Marie-Christine Vissers was responsible for the Highland-dansers. Those three people were very focused on raising the level of performance year after year. The members of the band chose the Ancient Red Macpherson Tartan and coat of arms, this tartan was worn by the musicians as well as the dancers. Each year the band also took part in a number of competitions, this with changing success.
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