Police Scotland have issued the following statement to Piping Press regarding the recent announcement of the departure of Eric Ward as Leading Drummer of the Greater Glasgow Police Scotland Pipe Band.
It reads: ‘Statement from POLICE SCOTLAND MEDIA SERVICES which was endorsed at Assistant Chief Constable Level:
‘A decision was made recently by Inspector Niall West, the Officer in Charge of the Greater Glasgow Police Pipe Band, to appoint a new leading drummer to the band.
‘This was a purely musical decision and one which Police Scotland fully endorses.
‘The band would like to thank Eric Ward for his contribution to the band over the past 21 years, which has been central to its success.
Media Services may forward this to other outlets at a later time.’
The statement follows an earlier statement on Thursday from the band’s Pipe Major Iain MacPherson which read: ‘Greater Glasgow Police Scotland Pipe Band announce that Eric Ward is no longer leading Drummer of the band.
‘The band recognises with gratitude his massive contribution over the last 21 years, which has been a key factor in the band’s success over that period. His is, without doubt, a legendary name in pipe band drumming and his very high standards of rudimentation and musical interpretation have been widely acclaimed for many years.
‘The band now invite applications from individuals to take on the role of leading drummer with immediate effect. Potential applicants should, in the first instance, note their interest via email to email@example.com by 1200 hrs on Friday 23 September 2016. All applications will be treated in strict confidence. All applicants will receive an initial response immediately on receipt of notes of interest.’
The Editor writes: ‘The support from the upper echelons of the Police Scotland command structure will be very welcome for P/M MacPherson and Mr West. The band has had a difficult year prize wise, and will now want to concentrate on building a successful outfit pushing for the top prizes once more.
‘I am sure everyone in the pipe band world wishes them well for the future whilst acknowledging the tremendous contribution Eric has made to Greater Glasgow Police and to the wider pipe band movement. Not many have achieved what Eric has and all will wish him the very best in the next career move that he makes.’
The picture up top shows Greater Glasgow Police drum corps performing at their widely acclaimed ‘Ceolry’ concert in 2013. Officer in Charge Niall West can be seen on bass drum with Leading Drummer Eric Ward (in glasses) to the fore.