Stafford resigns from Torphichen & Bathgate

Published: August 31, 2009
(Page 1 of 1)

Gordon Stafford has resigned as Pipe-Major of the Grade 1 Torphichen & Bathgate Pipe Band of Scotland. The move comes only two days after the World Pipe Band Championships, where the band failed to reach the afternoon final, finishing thirteenth in the 15-band qualifying competition.

“Torphichen & Bathgate have reluctantly accepted the resignation of Gordon Stafford as Pipe-Major,” band Chairman Fergus Philip said. “Gordon was instrumental in resurrecting the band and leading us into Grade 1 in five years, which is no mean feat.”

Under Stafford, Torphichen & Bathgate was resurrected from a disbanded state to winning the RSPBA Champion of Champions title in 2008, finishing third in the grade at the World Championships and winning the British, Scottish and Cowal championships that year.

The band had finished near the bottom of Grade 1 in the other three major championships so far in 2009, but had enjoyed a second in the Medley event at North Berwick and another second-prize at Dunbar.

It is not known at this time who Stafford’s successor will be or whether the band will compete at remaining events this year, although Philip said that the band would “take a couple of weeks off and will advertise for a pipe-major when we get back.”

“[We} thank Gordon for all his hard work and dedication to the band and wish him well in whatever ventures he chooses to pursue,” Philip added.

Stafford indicated that he had no plans at the moment to play with another band. He is a partner in employed by Bannatyne Bagpipes. The band has been using the organization’s products, including a new model of a blackwood chanter.

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Quality reed selection is a pre-requisite to obtaining a good tone in a pipe corps. Four criteria to consider when testing reeds are balance, vibrancy, volume and strength. Check the High A Low A balance against a single sounding tenor drone – if these two notes are in the ballpark chances are the rest of the notes can be tuned.
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