April 30, 2010

Future of Hamilton Police Grade 2 band uncertain after Aumonier resigns

The Grade 1 78th Fraser Highlanders will reportedly expand their pipe section with the addition of Peter Aumonier, Stuart Aumonier and Steven Jenkins from the Grade 2 Hamilton Police Pipe Band, from which Peter Aumonier officially resigned as pipe-major on April 17th.

The status of the Hamilton Police band is not known, although sources have said that the band has “collapsed.” Lead-Drummer John Gaudet resigned several weeks ago, and the band was down to fewer than a dozen pipers at the time of Aumonier’s resignation, whereas it had more than 20 on its roster in 2009.

Hamilton Police won the Champion Supreme award in Grade 2 in 2009, and is the flagship band of the organization’s system, which also comprises Grade 4 and Grade 5 bands.

The Hamilton Police and 78th Fraser Highlanders created an alignment in 2008 intended to create a means of feeding new talent to the Grade 1 band.

Livingstone said that he expects further players from the Hamilton Police organization to join the 78th Fraser Highlanders.

Should the Hamilton Police not continue in Grade 2, it leaves the Ontario scene with only Glengarry and Penatangore in the grade. Earlier in the year the Niagara Regional Police closed its Grade 2 band. The Grade 3 Burnett’s & Struth are reportedly considering an application to move to Grade 2.

The Grade 1 Toronto Police Pipe Band will reportedly gain Hamilton Police piper Lori Wilson-Gaudet and tenor drummer Emily Gaudet.


  1. I had posted a previous comment on this site a while back indicating that GrII was the one to watch in Ontario this year. However, this isn’t exactly what I meant………As an old friend of mine said, That’s why they call it the Highland Games”!”

  2. Unreal! The grade 2 scene in North America is getting weaker and weaker. Something that was so strong 5 to 10 years ago is now at it’s weakest point. What ever happened to band loyalties and working hard to breaking into the next grade. Hamilton was well on its way to getting to that next level and now only two bands left in the grade in Ontario. We should really look at Inveran (sp?) Pipe Band as an example and try to build within to make it happen. I used to look forward to the grade 2 in Maxville and on the East Coast of the US. Now there is nothing to watch… Sad.

  3. Too bad to see but grade two is always the hardest to maintain. Are things as bad as all that?? I see two bands coming up to grade two and 2 bands leaving. City Chicago is in there now and the Stuarts just beat the Orans I saw lately.

  4. I find it a little ignorant to suggest Hamilton fell apart because of a lack loyalty or a poor work ethic. Sometimes good things come to an end. The band started from the bottom, and through hard work, accomplished a great deal. What would be sad, would be to see the band slowly fall apart. I don’t think there is any problem with the development of young bands in Ontario. Look around, new bands are emerging all the time, hungry to get to that next level.

  5. All the best to all the band members on their new pursuits. I’m not sure I would go so far to say the North American grade 2 scene is weak. Just ever evolving. It is hard to keep going, some bands aspire to grade 1, some bands get moved up from the grade 3 ranks and don’t want the pressure of the next big move. It’s the nature of the beast. Out here in Winnipeg I have a vested interest in the grade 2 scene, and I must say I’m very very excited about the upcoming season. So many changes, so many unknowns. Gonna be exciting!

  6. This is actually an all too familiar pattern here in Ontario and I’m sure elsewhere. We had a great band here in the Niagara area that rose from a small legion band up through the ranks to top grade 2. When many of us expected them to go into grade one the band disbanded. On the positive side the PM and many of the players went on to bigger and better things and more power to them. However if you are a loyal follower and your band shuts down it impacts you and the local piping and drumming scene. Good or bad can be argued but sad is a fact of life!

  7. The nature of the beast in Ontario seems to be either you play grade one, or three. Anyone good enough to play grade one is either playing, or doesn’t want to play grade one, and plays in 3, with grade two being nearly the same from a time/repertoire level. So, we get a logjam in grade 3, with probably the top 2 or 3 bands that would have been in grade 2 10 years ago..

  8. This really is too sad. It does seem like Gr. 2 bands are the hardest to maintain. If we look at the last umm say five years we can see a distinct pattern. 2004 North Coast Pipe Band wins the North Americans, rushes off to Scotland with big hopes……THEN….dies in Feb. In 03/04 the band did go to Scotland. Now lets look at what was a dynasty, Windsor Police Pipe Band. between 2002 and 2005 the band won North Americans on several occasions. Took placings at the worlds anywhere from 5th to 3rd. In 2005 the band took nothing less then four first at ALL contests in Canada. Got 8 firsts at Maxville, VERY hard to do. Went to Scotland got TWO firsts in Piping, Third ensemble and thirteenth in drumming, got third place as a band overall, cracked into grade one had a respectable first season, then started losing momentum and….died as well. Next we can look at the long lasting Midlothian Scottish Pipe Band, that recently shut its power off in the fall. Midlothian was a band that everyone always knew and that was highly regarded band for some 25 years. NEVER ONCE were they able to crack the top and win Maxville, they came very close last year, but recieved a low placing in their medley to keep them at second. The band did make a few trips to Scotland, earning a second in grade 3. Niagra Police another great example to view, These guys were in a similar Windsor situation. They never won Maxville but made a few trips to the worlds in Grade 2, and as of recent fell. My point here is that it is interesting to note that all of these bands worked very hard at doing the same thing. It is like these bands spent years and years banging their head into a wall chasing a grade 2 worlds title, and as a result lost thousands of dollars, players, and bands. I wonder, if all these bands are falling because they are not focused on the more important goal which would be to get to grade one and actually last. Not work all the way into grade two and then, decide to spend four or five years chasing a worlds title. HPPB is another example of all the aforementioned. Great young players with all the heart in the world. Great leadership to harness the players talent. It is always sad to see great bands die. I think HPPB deserves a congratulations for their long hard run and achieving many different goals. The grade two scene is defiantly going to take a blow without this band around. As a member of CoC, I was looking forward to competing against the HPPB again. It would certainly make for an interesting day. At any rate I wish all the members of HPPB the best of luck with what ever move they decide to make as players and as a band. Congratulations again for all you accomplished as a band!!!

  9. Thank you Peter and Linda for your dedication to the band for all those years. What each member of the organization has gained in experience, is a direct result of your positive influence. Thanks Just Pat



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