Swinton retires after 34 years with Midlothian

Published: November 30, 2008
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Ian Swinton, a living legend in North American pipe band circles, has announced that he is retiring from competition after 34 years with the Grade 2 Midlothian Scottish Pipe Band of Chicago. Adrian Melvin takes over as Pipe-Major.

Swinton started Midlothian as a Grade 4 band after moving to the United States from Uddingston, Scotland, in 1968. In Scotland he was a member of the Rutherglen Pipe Band.

He immediately established a teaching program in the Midlothian area of Chicago, and gradually built the talent in the band to the point where, in the 1970s, it became and remained a pre-eminent band in the United States’ Midwest. The band rose to Grade 1 status in 1985, and remained at the top grade for several years before settling back to Grade 2.

Swinton plans to remain active in the piping scene, serving as an accredited judge with the Midwest Pipe Band Association.

Adrian Melvin has played with Midlothian Scottish for several years, and was previously a member of the 78th Fraser Highlanders, City of Washington and the Victoria Police.

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  1. AR2

    Ian has had a long, successful and enviable run by most modern standards. 34 years as Pipe Major of the band he founded!! It was a pleasure being part of his organization for a decade and a half when I was just learning to play and getting my footing in the pipe band world. Congratulations to Adrian for being appointed to the helm. Best wishes to the new P/M, to Jim Sim – who has been Drum Sergeant since the very beginning – and to the rest of the band for continued prosperity.

  2. Henry

    Congratulations to Ian on a well-deserved retirement, and cheers & best wishes to Adrian! This is always an exciting organizations to watch!

  3. hosbilt@bmts.com

    I LOVE Midlothian! Ian has done an in-measurable amount of good in the Mid-West. Growing up watching, hanging with and competing with the band was a hoot! All the best Pipe Major. HOSS

  4. Kev

    Best wishes, Ian. You’ve always been a tough but fair judge whose comment sheets always contain good advice. Congratulations, Adrian! You have big shoes to fill!

  5. TheCaptain

    Congratulations, Ian on years well spent. Know for a certain that piping and the band scene in the Chicago area is what it is today in huge part a result of your efforts. I am sure Midlothian has been left in good hands. All the best, as you join our ranks. Ken Eller

  6. CBarr

    Ian’s been the face of the band for so long. Its going to be different. Congrats to A Melvin! Much deserved and Im very confident you’ll do a great job. Cheers! C & K Barr

  7. MADDOC

    Ian, it has been a pleasure knowing you as the PM for so long. The standard you set has been the standard by which other bands in the Midwest have been judged, it is a very high standard. As the former PM of Inveraan, we met on many, many occasions and it was always great to see you and the outstanding group of players you trained. I hope to see you and your family around the games for many years to come. I know that you have left the band in good hands and I look forward to continuing great things from Midlothian. Martin Docherty

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