The Grade 1 Fife Constabulary Pipe Band of Fife, Scotland, has confirmed the circulating rumours that founding Pipe-Major James Murray has stepped down from the position following his decision to move to Australia.
The band officially appointed Drew Mathieson, who had served under Murray as Pipe-Sergeant since the band started in 2007, to the leadership role.
Since both Murray and Mathieson helped to start the new band four years ago after playing with House of Edgar-Shotts & Dykehead for several years, Fife Constabulary has qualified for the Grade 1 Final at the World Championships each year. The and finished eighth overall at this year's World's, and gained a sixth prize at the Scottish Championship and fifth at the European.
"I would like to thank all the members for their efforts over the last few years and also give a big thanks to Fife Constabulary for their support and the opportunity to lead the pipe band," Murray said in a statement. "This is the right and proper time for the band to have a new pipe major and allow them to prepare properly for the forthcoming season."
Both Murray and Mathieson have been highly successful on the solo circuit; Murray won Gold Medal at the Argyllshire Gathering in 1997 and the Silver Star MSR at the Northern Meeting in 1999.
Mathieson commented in the same statement: "I am sorry to see Jimmy go, but wish him and his family all the best, however I am delighted to be given the opportunity to lead Fife Constabulary pipe band and hopefully move forward from where Jimmy has left us. He will be a hard man to replace but along with our leading drummer Mick O'Neill, I will give it my best shot."
Reports of Murray's departure had been circulating since after the Cowal Championships. Murray had said that there was "no truth to this" when asked in late-August to substantiate the rumours.
Murray has not yet said what his plans are in terms of piping when he moves to Australia.
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Pipers: The golden rule when working with a reed is, "You can always take material off the cane, but you cannot put it back." So, remember, when removing the slightest amount of material, blow the reed again.