Murray to move to Oz; Mathieson new Fife P-M

Published: September 30, 2011
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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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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

FROM THE ARCHIVES