MacKenzie Caledonian changes L-Ds mid-performance

Published: September 30, 2012
(Page 1 of 1)

The Grade 2 MacKenzie Caledonian Pipe Band of Dundee, Scotland, made what is thought to be a first for the piping and drumming world when the band officially changed leading-drummers in the middle of its medley competition performance at the last contest of the season at the Pitlochry Highland Games on September 9th.

The drum section made the move during the slow air when the band played up to Grade 1, and Barham Brummage transitioned duties to new lead-tip Calum Burns.

“It was suggested by the Pipe-Sergeant in a moment of madness that it would be a good idea to make the transition mid-way through the Grade 1 performance,” Brummage said. “An appropriate moment was identified in the slow air and the change was made ushering Calum Burns into his position as Leading-Drummer of the band. I would not imagine such a transition has been done before and certainly not so public. Not all changes are done with general disharmony.”

While drummers have at times had to take over the lead-tip position mid-performance due to illness or instrument malfunction, a permanent transition of duties mid-competition-performance has likely never occurred before.

The majority of leadership changes in pipe bands are made with some acrimony, and most recently the Grade 1 Peel Regional Police Pipe Band of Ontario dismissed Leading-Drummer Graham Brown, with most of the drum section following him in protest. Brown subsequently joined House of Edgar-Shotts & Dykehead. The band has reportedly already built a drum section of eight under new Leading-Drummer Graham Kirkwood.

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  1. uilleannonlooker

    can’t see the problem in it, seems like a nice gesture, might not be for a major championship but at a minor games and if no rules are infringed, why not? they were just thinking outside the box inside the circle.

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TIP OF THE DAY
Pipers: Blow your drones without the pipe chanter for a few minutes when you first take your pipes out of the box. Initially, the blades on your pipe chanter reed and the tongues on your drone reeds will be dry (not pliable), which will make the chanter reed stiff and often too much for the drone reeds – causing them to shut off. The warm air that is blown through the drone reeds will make the tongues more pliable and receptive to handling the strength of the pipe chanter. This applies to synthetic and cane drone reeds.
John Cairns, double Gold Medallist

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