Drew Mathieson has stepped down as pipe-major of the Grade 1 Police Scotland Fife Pipe Band and Douglas Murray has taken over. Mathieson cited “time constraints as a result of increasing family commitments and his work with the junior band” as the primary reasons for the move, and said that he will stay with the Grade 1 band in support of Murray.
Mathieson had led the band since September 2011 and kept the group at a constant rate of success after Douglas Murray’s brother, James, left the pipe-majorship to move to Australia, where he subsequently became pipe-major of the Grade 1 Western Australia Police Pipe Band.
In a statement issued by Police Scotland Fife, Mathieson said, “I would like to thank all of the players in the band who, over the last two seasons, have given me nothing less than 100 per cent effort. It has been an honour to be given the opportunity to be Pipe-Major of the band, however, I feel that I am unable to give the time required to carry out the job to the best of my ability due to increasing family commitments with my two sons now involved in motor racing and my continued commitment to Kirkcaldy High School Pipe Band.”
Mid-season Pipe-Major changes are unusual, but the last few years have seen several examples at the top levels. The band said that the move had originally been planned to take place after the 2013 competition season, but Mathieson added that, “we have decided to bring this forward to help the band to progress.”
Douglas Murray, who like his brother and Mathieson has enjoyed success as a top-flight solo piping competitor, has been a member of the band since its inception in 2007. Leading-Drummer Mick O’Neill remains in that position.
“I am very excited and confident about taking the band forward as Pipe-Major of Police Scotland Fife,” Douglas Murray said in the same statement. I . . . am looking forward to working with Leading Drummer Mick O’Niell and Pipe Sergeant Blair Porter, who have both worked very hard for the band over the past few years. We have a bright future ahead. I would also like to thank all members for their help and support and look forward to the rest of the season and beyond.”
So far in 2013, Police Scotland Fife has finished eighth under Mathieson at both the British and European Pipe Band Championships. With the consolidation of police forces to a single Police Scotland in April of this year, the Pipes & Drums of the Fife Constabulary changed its name to Police Scotland Fife.