Published: September 30, 2006

David Barnes appointed L&B pipe-major

David Barnes of Whitburn, Scotland, has been named the new pipe-major of the Lothian & Borders Police Pipe Band, replacing Keith Dawes who resigned the post in late-August.

Barnes had been the pipe-major of the Grade 2 Polkemmet Pipe Band, a band that he returned to to resurrect after several years in Australia.

He takes on the Lothian & Borders’ position with some feeling that the band is on the brink of relegation to Grade 2 after a lacklustre 2006 season. The RSPBA’s Music Board is scheduled to meeting on Saturday, September 23, to make grading recommendations. The appointment of Barnes could stave off downgrading.

“We are confident that P-M Barnes has the musical talent, experience, ambition, and leadership qualities necessary to take the band back to a position where it is once more a Grade 1 force to be reckoned with,” said band director John Rae.

Davie Barnes was pipe-major of Polkemmet in the late-1980s and early-’90s when he and Leading-Drummer James King led the band to a second-place finish in Grade 1 at the World Championships.

Sources have reported that several Polkemmet pipers will come with Barnes to the Lothian & Borders Police.

Barnes reportedly had been short-listed for the police band job two years ago.

The Lothian & Borders Police Pipe Band, which was the Edinburgh City Police Pipe Band until 1975, is one of the world’s oldest bands. Its list of pipe-majors includes many famous personalities, such as Donald Shaw-Ramsay, Iain McLeod, John D. Burgess, Harry McNulty and Colin MacLellan. The band’s glory years were from the mid-1960s until the late 1970s, when it won five World’s titles under McLeod.

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