The death has been reported in New Zealand of one of the great pipe band side drummers of the 20th century, Robert Turner.
Robert was trained in the 214 Boys Brigade pipe band in Glasgow and after winning all the Juvenile titles with that band went on to take over as leading tip of the legendary Muirhead & Sons Pipe Band.
There he won five World Championships in a row 1964 – 69 plus many other awards. Seldom did he win corps titles however. Like his contemporary Alex Connell at Strathclyde Police, Robert was more concerned with his rhythmical contribution to the band than anything else.
Renowned for his complex style of drumming, viewed by many at the time as over detailed, his approach has been vindicated in the modern era where drum corps emulate his intricate and finely crafted stick work.
His close association with P/M Robert Hardie and the resultant attention to musical detail took the band to a new level of march, strathspey and reel playing and was the the foundation of its success.
After the demise of Muirheads in 1978, Robert, a pattern-maker to trade, joined the British Caledonian Airways (Gatwick) band for a short period before working and teaching in the Middle East, ultimately emigrating to New Zealand.
Five years ago the Robert Turner Drumming Championship was inaugurated at the Waipu Highland Games and it is now one of New Zealand’s largest solo pipe band drumming contests.
Our condolences to Marion and family at this time. RW
- We will add to this story as more information becomes available. If anyone would like to leave a tribute please do so below. Listen to Robert in action with Muirheads here: