Donald had his first taste of banding when in 1919 as a 12 year old boy he joined the local Duke Memorial Flute Band, Craigavad in Co. Down, there he learned the rudiments of Flute playing.
Donald Sloan (left) with fellow members of the Ulster Amateurs.
Some years later Donald joined the Ulster Amateur Flute Band which was to become a formidable combination. During the following years his enthusiasm for banding was instrumental in the formation of the Flute Band League in 1946. As well as being its first secretary, Donald Sloan also served as Chairman, President and Vice President and treasured his 50 year service medal.
Donald organised the first F.B.L. Solo, Quartet and Drum Contest in 1947 and in 1961 along with the late Joe Simpson was behind the organisation of the first F.B.L. Own Choice Contest. He also served on the Executive Committee of the N.I.B.A.
After the sad demise of his beloved “Amateurs” in the late 1970s Donald could be found assisting bands all over the country before settling in at Ravenhill Temperance Flute Band.
Donald on parade with the Ravens
Outside the band movement, he was involved with Musical Festival activities and teaching at the Ulster College of Music, Grammar Schools and the Fleming Fulton School, Belfast.
Although difficult to record Donald said he took part in 500/600 band parades and 300/400 contests.
Donald Sloan, Rev. Martin Symth MP and Pastor Alvin Mullan at the launch of the Corps of Drums first CD in 2001.
In 2001, age 90 he played the flute in France and Belgium with the Corps of Drums Northern Ireland, a trip he enjoyed specially visiting his fathers WW1 grave.