Al-Cal shakes up leadership; Smith new P-M, Gattinger stepping down

Published: August 31, 2010
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Just two days before the band competes at the 2010 World Pipe Band Championships, Alberta Caledonia has decided to make a change in pipe-major, with incumbent Jamie Gattinger giving way to Andrew Smith effective September. According to the band, Smith was voted into the position.

Andrew Smith is currently the Pipe-Sergeant of the Grade 2 Rocky Mountain Pipe Band of Calgary, his home town, and he was a member of Alberta Caledonia for 10 years before joining Simon Fraser University in 2008. He has enjoyed competitive success as a Professional-level solo piper.

Despite living in Houston since 2008, Gattinger has continued to lead Alberta Caledonia, commuting to run practices and lead competitions. He will reportedly continue to play with Alberta Caledonia under Smith.

Band sources did not indicate whether additional changes to the band will be coming.

The move follows a similar announcement by House of Edgar-Shotts & Dykehead in which Pipe-Major Robert Mathieson resigned the position to incoming leader Gavin Walker.

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TIP OF THE DAY
To ease the blowing-in period of a chanter reed, simply press the reed firmly in the lowest part of the blades between the finger and thumb until you feel both blades ease gently together. Continue to do this and keep blowing the reed until you find the reed giving an acceptible weight.
Tom McAllister, Jr.