Off-season L-D changes continue in Grade 2: Brown to Regina, Dawson to Penetangore

Published: September 30, 2010
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Lead-Drummers coming and going are not limited this year to Grade 1 bands, as City of Regina of Saskatchewan and Penetangore of Burlington, Ontario – both Grade 2 bands – have revealed moves with drum section leaders.

Pipe band veteran Blair “Buz” Brown has joined the City of Regina Pipe Band, replacing Ian Aastrom as L-D. Aastrom will continue to play in the band’s corps. Brown comes to City of Regina after serving with numerous bands over the years, including Simon Fraser University, Durham Regional Police and Hamilton Police.

“The band owes a lot to Ian Aastrom,” said Iain MacDonald, City of Regina pipe-major. “Ian stepped up to the plate when the band was in a terrible state, and there would be no CRPB if it wasn’t for his hard work and enthusiasm. Having Blair as L-D brings another level of experience to the picture, however, and it reinforces just what a contributor Ian is that he is willing to step aside and play in the corps.”

Brown said, “I’ve been a supporter of the band for a long time, and it’ll be good to play with a prairie outfit.”

The Grade 2 Penetangore Pipe Band has confirmed that Harvey Dawson has taken over as its Lead-Drummer, replacing Graham Kirkwood, who will play with the Grade 1 Peel Regional Police Pipe Band. Penetangore is the designated “feeder” band for the Peel Regional Police. The two bands share repertoire.

Dawson has led several Grade 1 drum sections, including that of the 78th Fraser Highlanders in the 1990s and the now-defunct Toronto & District in the 1980s. More recently he has worked with several bands as an instructor and served as an adjudicator with the Pipers & Pipe Band Society of Ontario.

Other top-grade North American bands confirmed that they were “stable” so far this off-season, with the 78th Highlanders (Halifax Citadel), Simon Fraser University, St. Andrew’s Society of Winnipeg and City of Chicago all saying that changes, if any, were not significant.

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Use earplugs. Good music shops will sell ones that block out mainly lower frequencies, protecting your hearing but still allowing you to tune your drones. Ask for them in the percussion section.
Jenny Hazzard, Edinburgh