Midlothian, Chicago Metro Converge
The Midlothian Scottish Pipe Band of Chicago, Illinois, USA, and the Chicago Metropolitan Pipe Band have merged with the intention of becoming a Midwestern United States pipe band “powerhouse.” The combined band will apparently operate for now under the name Chicago Metro/Midlothian Pipe Bands.
The new band will compete in Grade 3 in 2001, with the aim of moving to Grade 2 the following year.
Ian Swinton, who was pipe major of Midlothian since the band’s start in 1975, officially will become a piper with the new band, and Bob Boyle remains the leader of Chicago Metropolitan. The lead drummer of Midlothian, Jim Sim, will reportedly also keep playing, but not as drum sergeant.
“The philosophies of these two organizations are quite similar and the friendships and mutual respect are second to none,” said Pipe Major Bob Boyle. “The long term vision would be to build not a band or a few bands, but an organization that attempts to build a depth and quality of piping and drumming in the midwestern United States that rivals others worldwide. Short term this will mean one band this year, probably add a lower grade band next year with the expectations that a strong juvenille program be built within this area that will prosper for years to come.”
The Midlothian band was by far the most successful competition pipe band in the Midwest, winning the PPBSO Champion Supreme Award three times, and winning the North American Championship several times. In 1996 Midlothian finished sixth in Grade 2 at the World Pipe Band Championships.
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