Band News: Glasgow Skye, NZ Police, Buchan Peterson

Douglas Orr of Glasgow Skye Association Pipe band has sent this:

On Thursday night at a full meeting of the band, Ewan Henderson (pictured) was elected as the new Pipe Major of the Glasgow Skye Association Pipe Band. The Band members are delighted with the appointment and everyone is keen to see the progress that is made under the new leadership. band news pic 1Ewan brings with him a wealth of experience, both as a solo and band player. Originally taught by his dad Philip in Yorkshire, Ewan  joined the Strathclyde Police in 1996 and joined the Pipe Band in 1998. He was pipe sergeant under Donald Mackay before taking on the role of P/M of the Grade 2 Williamwood Pipe Band from 2010-2013. He returned to the Police in 2013 under the leadership of Duncan Nicholson. This is an exciting time for the Skye and it is hoped that under his leadership, the Band can now move forward on a positive footing. Any piper or drummer interested in joining at this exciting time can either contact Dougie Orr (band treasurer) or come along to one of our practice nights (Tuesday and Thursday) at the Glasgow Gaelic School.

New Zealand Police have confirmed the appointment of Field Marshal Montgomery piper Emmet Conway as their new Pipe Major. The band’s website reports:

Emmet Conway

NZ Police Pipe Band Announces Change in Leadership Wellington 5 October 2014 – Today Iain Robertson announced that he is stepping down from the office of Pipe Major of the New Zealand Police Pipe Band after eight years. Taking up the leadership of the band is Emmett Conway formerly of Field Marshal Montgomery. Conway has played as a guest player of the NZ Police Pipe Band for the past two seasons. Commenting on the change of leadership Iain Robertson said ‘After an extensive period of rebuilding and changes in the band, I am very proud of the advancements the organisation has made. There are too many highlights to mention but bringing the band back to a point where we can once again resume competing at an international level was always the main goal and we have achieved that. I feel the time is right to hand over leadership to someone who will be able to take the band to the next level on the world stage. It has been an honour and a privilege to lead the NZPPB and there are many people who have supported me over the years that I will be personally thanking. However special mention must go to my family, especially my wife Claire, who has supported me all the way through the good times and the down times. I am looking forward to spending some more time with my family. ‘I am pleased to be handing Emmett a band that is on the up and ready for the injection of enthusiasm, experience, talent and skill that he will undoubtedly bring to the organisation. Emmett and I have become great friends over the past few years. I have been very lucky to have someone of his calibre playing with us as a guest player for the past two seasons and I can’t think of a better person to take over from me. I was very pleased when I offered Emmett the role that he accepted with such enthusiasm. I am looking forward to supporting him and playing under his leadership.” Robertson will continue in a ‘caretaker’ role until Conway physically arrives in New Zealand in January 2015 this will mean the last time Robertson leads the band on to competition will be Palmerston North Square Day, December 2014. Conway will immediately assume the musical leadership and begin working with Drum Sergeant Angus Crowe and the existing musical leadership of the band. Pipe Major Conway said: ‘I am honoured and delighted to be the new Pipe Major of New Zealand Police Pipe Band. When Iain offered me the position I had no hesitation in accepting. Having been a guest player for the past two years I know the quality and calibre of players there are to push the band forward. I am looking forward to working with Drum Sergeant Angus Crowe whom I know shares the same vision on how to move the band forward to the next level. The band scene in New Zealand is strong and I will be looking forward to tapping into that talent to build a stronger pipe corps and band. We will be recruiting new players with immediate effect and anyone wishing to join the band should not hesitate to get in contact with myself via Facebook or e-mail:’ ‘I take over from Iain who has done a fantastic job as PM this past eight years and I am delighted that he is staying on to play in the band. He steps down leaving the band in a very strong position, and I hope to take advantage of his considerable experience in the future.’ Emmet joined Field Marshal at the age of 16 and  he leaves after six years. ‘Leaving FMM after the most successful period in the band’s history was difficult. I’m leaving behind many friends, however opportunities like this do not present themselves that often. I would like to thank Pipe Major Richard Parkes for giving me the opportunity to play among such a talented group of players. I have learned so much under Richard’s musical leadership and I will always be extremely grateful for that. It has been a privilege and an honour to have played with Field Marshal Montgomery.’

Duncan Watson reports on the successful ‘Pipes for Pints’ night run by Buchan Peterson PB at the weekend:

The event was held at the Culter Mills Social Club on Saturday 4 October 2014.  The format was that pipers would play selections for about 25  to 30 minutes and then the audience would vote at the  end  for the piper whose performance was the most entertaining. The compere for the evening was Scott Oliphant who is the pipe major of the Buchan band.
It was planned to have Craig Muirhead, Glenn Brown, Gavin Walker, Graham Drummond, Alistair Henderson and Angus MacColl  Snr. as our entertainers. As Glenn Brown  and Gavin Walker called off, the breach was filled by the local lad Calum Brown..
There was a decent size of audience, but this could have been improved had the  event been better advertised.   I only found out by accident that the event was to take place.
The audience was treated to the players performing  some familiar and  unfamiliar tunes and all the players played well on good sounding bagpipes all of which had slightly differing tonal qualities. It was a matter for the audience to make judgements and at the end of the night Angus MacColl was adjudged the winner of the ‘entertainment competition’.
I do not wish to single out the players but feel compelled to say that the young man, Calum Brown, who is only 14 years of age, acquitted himself very well and was not out of place  among his senior fellow performers.  Incidentally he had just arrived back from the Falkirk Tryst competition having won the first prize.
Another point of north-east interest is that Graham Drummond has in recent times been appointed as a Bagpipe Instructor at Banff Academy. Had I known of the event earlier, I would have been able to encourage a few others to attend to swell the audience.
For young  pipers in the area such events help in their appreciation of well tuned bagpipes of  different tonal quality.
Whether it was the lack of advertisement of the event or some other odd reason, there were not many young pipers in attendance.