Published: December 31, 2011

Cowan tradition returns to Annan with third generation leadership

The third generation of Cowan family pipe-majors in Annan, Scotland, will continue with the appointment of Euan Cowan as leader of the Grade 3B Royal Burgh of Annan Pipe Band. Cowan replaces Chris Shearer, who had taken over previously from David McCracken. McCracken was the band’s first pipe-major when it formed in 2004.

Euan Cowan will be assisted by his brother Craig in the pipe-sergeant’s spot. Both men played previously with the Annan Ex-Service Club and Dumfries & Galloway Constabulary pipe bands, and Euan Cowan was also with the 1st Battalion Scots Guards where he earned his Pipe-Major’s certificate in 2000. He taught for two at the Army School of Bagpipe Music and Highland Drumming in Edinburgh.

Euan Cowan is the third generation of Cowans to lead an Annan-based pipe band. The tradition started with his grandfather, Walter Cowan and great uncle Jack Cowan, who led the Royal British Legion Pipe Band, and were succeeded by Jack’s son, Walter Cowan, who, along with John Cowan, became Pipe-Major and Pipe-Sergeant of the newly named Annan Ex-Service Club Pipe Band, which climbed from Grade 4 to Grade 1 status.

The Royal Burgh of Annan Pipe Band was formed as an amalgamation of the Annan Ex-Service Club and the MacLean of Annan pipe bands. Royal Burgh of Annan also runs a Juvenile band.

The second Walter Cowan is also an accomplished competitive solo piper and now commits much of his piping time to judging and teaching.

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