Glenn and Graham Brown have officially become Pipe-Major and Leading-Drummer, respectively, of the Grade 1 Peel Regional Police Pipe Band of Brampton, Ontario, replacing John Elliott and Craig Stewart. According to sources, eight new snare drummers are also joining the band, including Blair Brown, another brother. Stewart has departed along with the snare drummers who had played with Peel in 2007.
The Browns have all played with the House of Edgar-Shotts & Dykehead Pipe Band of Shotts, Scotland, for the past six years.
Elliott will stay with the band “as long as the mitts allow,” adding that “the potential here is astronomical and I definitely want to be part of it.” He resumed the pipe-majorship in 2000, replacing Michael Grey who had led the band for four seasons. When Grey took on the band it was also from Elliott, whose tenure with Peel expands to the 1990s when the band merged with the former Grade 1 Toronto & District Pipe Band, which Elliott also led for more than a decade.
“For me this year has been without a doubt the most fun and best group of people I have ever had the privilege of working with,” Elliott said, “but it is time for a new voice and younger blood to keep moving the band forward for years to come. I also want to thank Craig [Stewart] for all the time and effort he has put in over the years to making the drum section as good as it possibly could be.”
Stewart returned to the Leading-Drummer spot when Doug Stronach left the band to join the Grade 1 Toronto Police, whose drum section he continues to lead.
All three Brown brothers have had very good success in solo competition at the highest levels.
In a message to band-members, Elliott also thanked Pipe-Sergeant Lynda Mackay and various band managers and police force liaisons over the years. The band’s sponsorship is known to be one of the most lucrative among the world’s Grade 1 bands.
“My brother Glenn and I are very excited about the challenge that is now before us,” Graham Brown commented. “Having played with Shotts for the past six years, we feel we now understand what is needed to run a successful first grade band, and are ready to begin the next chapter in our pipe band careers. We hope to bring to Peel a youthful energy, and to impart the same knowledge we have acquired through years of success at Shotts. Without the support of Pipe-Major Robert Mathieson and Jim Kilpatrick we wouldn’t be where we are today, and wish to thank them very much.
“Jim and I would like to thank Glenn, Graham and Blair for their service to the Shotts band over the past six years,” Robert Mathieson said. “It has been a pleasure working with them. We have watched them develop from enthusiastic kids to professional piper and drummers over more years than we wish to declare . A solid catch for any band and an astute move by Peel Police. Good luck on your new journey, boys, from all the guys at Shotts.”
House of Edgar-Shotts & Dykehead recently lost two other pipers, James Murray and Andrew Mathieson, to the start-up Fife Constabulary Pipe Band.
Elliott concluded in his message to band members, “I can assure you that the Browns . . . have every intention of making Peel a world champion band and I believe they will do just that.”
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