What a difference a year makes for the storied Shotts & Dykehead Caledonia Pipe Band of Scotland as the historic band enters the 2013 season with an overhauled membership, website and brand identity following the appointment of Ryan Canning as Pipe-Major in August 2012.
With more than 50 percent of the registered pipers and drummers new to the band, Shotts has kept its 2013 roster relatively quiet, but released details along with the launch of its new website. The band last year closed out its sponsorship with the House of Edgar company and returned to its original name without the HOE prefix.
Twenty-two of the band’s 43 total competing members have joined since its tumultuous 2012 season that saw Pipe-Major Gavin Walker’s resignation in July, and Leading-Drummer Jim Kilpatrick suspended by the RSPBA for a comment he made on Facebook regarding a judge.
The new roster features several pipers who have come to Shotts from Inveraray & District, as well as David Anderson, Kenny McBride, and Jake Jorgensen, who are former pipe-major, pipe-sergeant, and leading-drummer, respectively, with the now defunct Lothian & Borders Police Pipe Band. Seven pipers remain from last year’s Shotts roster. Other new players come from Torphichen & Bathgate, Manawatu Scottish and Field Marshal Montgomery.
Shotts also revealed that it has an entirely new repertoire, with every tune from competition MSRs and Medleys to tune-up tunes introduced in 2013.
“I’m very happy with the band’s progress over the winter,” Ryan Canning said. “Over half the team is new this year, and we’ve introduced an entirely new repertoire for 2013 which has been a massive undertaking. There has been a lot of music to learn and a lot of work needed to develop an essentially new band – certainly a new pipe corps. It will be great to get onto the grass at Gourock and, of course, at the British Championships and to continue the band’s development throughout the summer.”
Canning joined Shotts after 16 years with Field Marshal Montgomery, where he was part of six World Championship wins and more than 40 other RSPBA Championship titles.
The band’s new logo continues the traditional use of the “MacLean Castle” motif, which is taken from the MacLean clan crest. One the band’s original founding members was a MacLean, and the band has worn the MacLean of Duart tartan and cap badge for nearly a century. According to the band the new logo is “a modern take on the traditional castle – so the idea is a bridging of old and new.”
The logo will be engraved on the band’s new sporrans and cap badges and embroidered in its bag-covers.
“With so many changes happening at Shotts this year, it was only fitting to create a new logo to represent this next chapter in the band’s history,” said Ryan Canning. “I hope people recognize the McLean castle from the band’s past, but will also associate the new logo with the new band Jim [Kilpatrick] and I have been working hard to put forward.
Canning is the seventh pipe-major of Shotts since the 1930s, following Tom McAllister Sr., John K. McAllister, Tom McAllister Jr., Sandy Bell, Robert Mathieson and Walker. In the band’s 103-year history, Shotts has achieved 15 World Pipe Band Championships, 100 SPBA/RSPBA major championships, and 17 Champion of Champions titles. The band’s drum section under Kilpatrick has won 59 RSPBA drumming championships and 19 Champion of Champions titles.