February 29, 2004

David Urquhart Travel makes leadership change official

After weeks of rumour and speculation, the David Urquhart Travel Pipes & Drums have officially confirmed that Chris Armstrong of Airth, Scotland, is the band’s Pipe-Major.

Armstrong replaces Don Bradford, who led the band for the past three seasons.

“As a long standing sponsor and supporter of the band, David Urquhart (Travel) Limited hopes that the band can continue to grow from strength to strength and we look forward to many years of ongoing development under the leadership of Mr. Armstrong,” said David Urquhart, managing director of the band’s sponsorship company. “The promotion of opportunity to younger persons allowing them to release their potential, is of paramount importance to the company.”

The band referred to Bradford as a “temporary pipe corps leader.” Bradford took over after the band’s long-serving Pipe-Major, Alastair Fletcher, resigned. David Urquhart Travel finished eighth at the 2003 World Championships.

“The band is thankful to Alastair and Don for all the effort they have put in over the past few years,” said Neil Whitelaw, band chairman. “That is all in the past now and the band must look to the future. In doing so, there can surely be no better person to lead the band into that future than Chris Armstrong.”

Armstrong has focused his time on the solo piping competition, having won, among other awards, the Highland Society of London’s Gold Medal for piobaireachd at the Northern Meeting in 2003, and the Former Winners MSR at the Argyllshire Gathering in 2002. A prolific composer, his tunes and playing are featured on two solo recordings.

“I’ve been asked to do the job and I’m doing it,” Armstrong commented. “I’m just taking my time, there’s no hassle; there’s no pressure.”

Bradford is reportedly attempting to assemble a new Grade 1 band with former Royal Ulster Constabulary leading drummer Gary Corkin.


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