The absence of the world’s most famous tenor drummer will not adversely impact House of Edgar-Shotts & Dykehead, according to Leading-Drummer Jim Kilpatrick after Tyler Fry decided to take a one-season leave of absence from the Scottish Grade 1 band.
Fry, who has been a driving force behind the renewed importance of tenor drumming in pipe bands over the last 15 years, opted for a summer off from commuting to the UK from his Ontario home due to conflicts with at least two RSPBA major championships due to the weddings of friends.
“I’m just taking the summer away from Shotts,” Fry said. “Several of my best friends are getting married on the same day as some of the major championships this year. I wish I could do both, however, unfortunately it’s not possible this year.”
“It was agreed that the best thing for the short term, was for Tyler to take some time out so he can fulfill all his other commitments,” Kilpatrick commented. “Neil Bruce has been in charge of the mid-section for over four years. Neil writes all the bass and tenor scores, along with arranging all of the voicing, and I give him total control over everything in that area, and to be honest, he has done a brilliant job . . . The net impact is, we had eight tenors and now have seven.”
House of Edgar-Shotts & Dykehead is in a building year, with newly appointed Pipe-Major Ryan Canning in charge, following the mid-season departure of Gavin Walker. Canning, a veteran front-rank member of the Grade 1 Field Marshal Montgomery Pipe Band, has brought in several new members to the pipe section. Kilpatrick has also welcomed new members, including snare drummer Graham Brown, who departed as Leading-Drummer of the Grade 1 Peel Regional Police Pipe Band last fall, and Gold Medalist piper Glenn Brown, who joins as Pip-Sergeant.
“The way I left it with Tyler was, we can discuss 2014 at the end of this season,” Kilpatrick concluded.