The Pipes and Drums of The Police Service of Northern Ireland have announced that after 7 years at the helm, Colin McClelland is stepping down as Pipe Major. Taking the reins and leading the band with immediate effect is Robert Cupples, a longstanding associate of the band.
Colin has had a 25 year involvement with the band as a player and as the Pipe Major. Robert is pleased to announce that Colin is to remain with the band and he will take up appointment as one of the Pipe Sergeants.
Robert has been associated with the Police Pipe Band for over 28 years and served from 1999-2001 as Pipe Sergeant in the Grade 1 Pipes and Drums of the Royal Ulster Constabulary GC. Robert is the former Pipe Major of Cullybackey Pipe Band and led them when they won the 2007 World Pipe Band Championships in Grade 2 and their subsequent promotion to Grade 1.
Commenting on the change Colin said “I feel the timing of my decision to step aside for Robert is right. I wanted to stand down as Pipe Major at a time when the band was in a position of forward momentum and I feel that we are in that place. The plan is to take the band to a new level and I believe under Robert’s stewardship we can achieve that”.
Speaking about his appointment Robert said “It is an honour to be asked to lead the Pipes & Drums of the Police Service of Northern Ireland; I have enjoyed a long association with the band. I want to thank Colin for all his hard work and commitment. He took the band back out onto the competition circuit in 2009 after an absence of several years; he has led the band to success and he delivered the promotion of the band to Grade 2. The band is firmly established amongst the top six in the World in Grade 2 having recorded a 5th place finish at the 2015 World Pipe Band Championships and my objective is to take us further. I count Colin as a very close friend and I am delighted that he will remain with us and he will assist me to ensure a seamless transition in leadership”.
The Chairman of the Pipes and Drums of the PSNI, Assistant Chief Constable Stephen Martin, who made the appointment, thanked Colin for his efforts and leadership and said that he was sure the band would continue to progress and achieve great success under the new Pipe Major Robert Cupples.