Bert Barr, 1936-2008
The piping and drumming world was saddened by the sudden death in Scotland of the famous and well liked snare drummer, Bert Barr, on September 24, 2008, at the age of 72 of an apparent heart attack.
Barr was born in Wishaw, Scotland, in the heart of the pipe band drumming world. He took up drumming at age 10 and played in Craigneuk Parish Church Pipe Band. He joined Shotts & Dykehead in 1953, and in 1957 was united with Alex Duthart when Duthart was made Leading-Drummer.
Bert Barr and Alex Duthart would go on to play together for more than 30 years. Barr was considered Duthart’s right-hand man until his untimely death in 1986. In addition to Shotts, Barr and Duthart were together in the Invergordon Distillery and British Caledonian Airways bands.
Bert Barr retired from competition in 1987, and by then had gained three World Solo Drumming Championships, eight World Pipe Band Championships with Shotts, 15 World Drum Corps titles, and numerous other championships.
In the last 25 years Barr was the drumming instructor at St. Thomas Episcopal School in Houston, Texas. He also committed a great deal of his time to instructing at summer schools and workshops around the world.
Known throughout the pipe band world as a kind, helpful and fun-loving man, he is survived by his wife, Eileen.
We extend our condolences to Bert Barr’s family and his many friends at this sad time.
A church service will be held at 12:15 pm on October 2nd, at Wishaw South Parish Church, Academy Street, in Wishaw. In honour of Bert Barr’s memory a composite drum corps will play part of the original Alex Duthart Fanfare outside of the church and at Daldowie Crematorium thereafter.
The salute will be led by the House of Edgar-Shotts & Dykehead drum section, and it was agreed that, because of the many of players and bands whose lives Bert Barr touched, that any drummer – regardless of their ability – wishing to take part is welcome.
Shotts’ Leading-Drummer Jim Kilpatrick can be contacted at by e-mail for further information.