Shotts: Band President and Chairman Talk of Future for the Band

Shotts and Dykehead Caledonia Pipe Band have a new leading drummer. He’s Andrew Lawson and he takes over after 12 years playing under former leading tip, the world-renowned Jim Kilpatrick.

Andrew’s immediate task will be to fill several vacancies in the Shotts corps which resulted from the recent changeover.
Ewan McAllister, Band Chairman, said ‘Shotts and Dykehead Caledonia Pipe Band has a long and successful history. Andrew will help lead us into the next era in the band’s future.’

Andrew said: ‘I am very proud to be the next leading drummer of Shotts and am honoured to help lead it into what I believe will be a very exciting future. I look forward to getting on with the job.’

The band is already back at practice, and has turned its attention to recruitment. The band’s pipe corps is now full with 26 members, but positions are available to snare drummers and tenor drummers who wish to join the band.

Jim Kilpatrick at this year's World Championships…it proved to be his last as Shotts leading drummer and the end of his 30 year career with the band
Jim Kilpatrick at this year’s World Championships…it proved to be his last as Shotts leading drummer and the end of his 30 year career with the band

Talking more broadly Ewan McAllister added: ‘The aim is to be out again in 2016. The pipe corps is doing what it would normally do at this time of year, learning new material. Yes, we are re-building at the back-end and that will happen in due course. The intention is to defend our World title and to be out on parade on the 19th of May at the British Championships at Paisley. It will be a hard task but we will do it; we will be out there.

‘Sandy and myself have been with the band for many years and what has occurred with the drum corps leaving is not new. It has happened in other bands as well. It has happened in Shotts over the years a couple of times. In fact this will be the third time the band has had to re-build because a drum corps left for one reason or another. We lost a drum corps to Invergordon [in the 1960s] and we lost a drum corps to Canada and B Cal, so it is not unfamiliar territory that the band’s in at the moment.

‘Each time we’ve come back strongly and eventually won a World Championship; so there is a bit of a precedent there, we’ve just got to make sure we follow that precedent. Looking back on the summer where we won the World Championship – and I think everyone was thrilled that we brought the title back here after ten years – it has been a very difficult roller-coaster that we are on so you’ve just got to be careful that you treat it the right way and that you don’t panic over it – which is obviously easy to do. You’ve got to make sure that what you do is the right thing.

Band President Sandy Bell added: ‘It is well within our capabilities to rise to the challenge now facing the band, to carry on in the way Ewan said. It is a re-build situation again; we’ve dealt with it before and I’m sure we’ll deal with it again. We have a first class pipe major to take us forward. At the end of the day he’s the man who sets the standard and hopefully that will continue. We hope that with our heritage and tradition we will come back stronger than ever.’