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In the latest shake-up of top bands, Glenn Brown has stepped down as Pipe-Major of the Grade 1 Peel Regional Police Pipe Band, and John Cairns, former Pipe-Sergeant of the Scottish Lion-78th Fraser Highlanders, has taken the post.
Brown, who lives in Glasgow, has joined the Grade 1 ScottishPower Pipe Band. Graham Brown, Glenn Brown’s brother, will continue as Lead-Drummer at Peel Police.
Glenn Brown had become Pipe-Major of Peel following the 2007 season, taking over from long-serving leader John Elliott. Brown had at the time moved back to Milton, Ontario, after living in Scotland and playing with the House of Edgar-Shotts & Dykehead Pipe Band for six years, but then decided to move back to Scotland to be closer to his Scottish girlfriend.
“I am honoured to accept the invitation to become the new Pipe-Major of the Peel Regional Police, and am delighted to begin working with all of the talented musicians in this band.,” Cairns said. “With a continued level of commitment, dedication and teamwork, I am confident that the band will achieve continued success on the pipe band circuit. Although I will miss working with the wonderful people in the Scottish Lion-78th Fraser Highlanders and wish them success, this exciting new venture is one I look forward to.”
Cairns has played with the Scottish Lion-78th Fraser Highlanders for 12 years and in the last 10 played a significant role in the band’s musical arrangements. A full-time teacher of piping through his Bagpipe Solutions business, Cairns brought several of his pupils to the band, and six of them will reportedly follow him to the Peel Police.
“Due to living in Glasgow, I have decided to step down as Pipe-Major of the Peel Police,” Glenn Brown said. “I’d like to thank everyone in the band especially John Elliott and my brothers Blair and Graham for the opportunity I was given. I feel as though the band had a really good year and I wish them all the best. I am sure that Graham, Blair and John Cairns will make a great team and continue the progress the band has made the last few seasons. I am very much looking forward to playing with [ScottishPower] and continuing on with the solos.”
Under Brown’s guidance, Peel maintained a solid Grade 1 standard, and competed at the 2008 World Championships, but did not manage to qualify for the Final competition.
Before joining the 78th Fraser Highlanders, Cairns led the now defunct Grade 1 Scotsaire and St. Thomas pipe bands. As a solo piper he had much success, including winning both Gold Medals in 1999 and the 2004 Bratach Gorm.
The change comes on the heels of other post-season shake-ups, including changes in leadership at Vale of Atholl, Clan Gregor, Lanark & District and Lomond & Clyde, in addition to the complete dissolution of the Grade 1 Windsor Police.