After 12 years with the band, the last five as Leading-Drummer, Glenn Kvidahl has been dismissed from that role with the Grade 1 Los Angeles Scots, and has left the band altogether. Bryce Parker, who has been a snare drummer with the band for more than 10 years, has been appointed L-D.
The LA Scots did not qualify for the Grade 1 Final at the 2014 World Pipe Band Championships, and band President Scott MacDonald said that the result had nothing to do with the decision to “part ways” with Kvidahl. The band’s drum section placed fifth in the Medley and seventh in the MSR in a group that included Simon Fraser University and three of the eventual prize-winners in the Final. LA Scots finished seventh in each event in the 11-band heat.
“The Los Angeles Scots Pipe Band has decided to part ways with Leading-Drummer Glenn Kvidahl,” said MacDonald. “After several years in the L-D position, Glenn has had many successful corps and competition results. We appreciate the time it takes to be a L-D at this level and Glenn did a great job. This decision was difficult. To be clear, this decision was not based on our recent failure to qualify for the final at the World’s. This was the first step of several to prepare the band musically for the upcoming 2015 pipe band season and beyond.”
According to a source close to the band, who spoke on condition that his/her name not be used, other drummers have either left or are planning to leave the band, but that conflicts with MacDonald’s statement that, “Bryce has confirmed that everyone is staying on with the band in the drum section and he has commitments from additional snare drummers for the upcoming season.”
MacDonald said that the band is planning to attend the 2015 World Championships, and that the band planned to make the change regardless of its placing at this year’s World’s.
Kvidahl, who was appointed L-D in 2010, following the early-season dismissal of Richard Baughman, said that work commitments in Northern California this year made travel to practice difficult to keep a mostly out-of-town drum corps sharp. He said that the section essentially had one week in Scotland to work consistently with the entire corps.
In addition to drumming, Kvidahl is an accomplished piper and has composed several pipe tunes, contributing to the band’s repertoire from both sections.
“This year was definitely the most difficult for me to run the drum corps,” Kvidahl commented. “I’ve composed/arranged every aspect of our musical performances – pipes, harmony, drums, tenor, bass – for almost 10 years and I’m very proud of the music we played. Playing with some of the most talented musicians in the world has been truly an honor. I also feel the band as a whole was never as strong in competition than they were this year. There are a lot of people who make the organization successful and I thank them for their support of my efforts and the efforts of each band member to have a world-class band from Los Angeles.
“I’m looking forward to being able to pipe/drum for enjoyment more now. I’m also composing quite a bit of tunes again and I’d like to keep busy with that, too.”
A Las Vegas resident, Bryce Parker has experience as a leading-drummer when he attended St. Andrews University, and has success in solo competition.
MacDonald said that the LA Scots were not invited to compete at the annual Pleasanton Highland Games in San Francisco this past weekend due to the games’ investment in bringing in the Scots Guards band to the event. He said the LA Scots have already been invited to the 2015 contest.
Here’s a video of Kvidahl and LA Scots Pipe-Major Colin Armstrong performing in the 2012 Pipes+Drums recital at Piping Live!, an event sponsored by pipes|drums Magazine.