Inveraray & District, one of the world’s most popular, successful and talented pipe bands, is undertaking several significant changes this spring as the young group looks for an extra edge to push it to the very top.
The band has reportedly appointed Alasdair Henderson to the position of pipe-sergeant following the departure of Dougie Campbell, who had held the position for several years, and who was considered by many to be instrumental to the band’s sound and success.
No reason has been given by the band for Campbell’s exit, although several sources have said that it was the ultimate result of years of friction with the band’s leadership, as well as an influx of new young players. It is not known if Campbell has joined another band.
Henderson takes the pipe-sergeant post after several years in Inveraray, following a sting in Grade 1 rivals ScottishPower. Well known in solo piping circles, Henderson’s most recent success was winning the Silver Medal at the Northern Meeting in Inverness, Scotland, last September.
Inveraray & District has also reportedly changed its chanter setup, dropping wooden Sinclairs for new plastic G1 instruments matched with reeds by David Chesney. The band had been playing G1 chanter reeds with the Sinclairs. Inveraray had been testing other makes of chanters over the winter, again according to sources, and ultimately settling on the G1, made in Kirkcaldy, Scotland.
Leaders of the band did not respond to requests for comment.
Among those joining the band are Greig Canning, the former pipe-major of the Grade 1 Dysart & Dundonald Pipe Band and a prominent solo competitor on the Scottish circuit.
The band enjoyed a significant year in 2013, highlighted by its triumphant Pre-World’s “Ascension” show at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, and subsequent release of a double-CD. The story of Inveraray & District’s rapid rise to the top has been well-documented, with the band taking only six years to reach Grade 1 after its start as a Novice Juvenile band in 2005.