Parkes clarifies what happened at the British
Rumours have already flown around following the British Pipe Band Championships on June 28th at Birmingham, England, at which Field Marshal Montgomery finished sixth after Pipe-Major Richard Parkes did not play with the band, but nonetheless led it through the MSR event.
Piping judge Tony Sloan placed FMM last, while his counterpart, Peter Snadden, put the band first. According to a well connected source, Snadden allegedly admitted that he did not notice that Parkes was not playing.
pipes|drums decided to ask Parkes for his take on the matter, to find out definitively what took place on the day. Here’s what he provided.
“What actually happened at the British was, that upon trying to strike in, I was unable to inflate the bag due to a drone stock becoming loose,” Parkes said. “Despite the obvious concern within the band, they still managed to play very well. After re-tying in the stock I led the band on to the finale.
“I would like to warmly thank all those in the pipe band fraternity who expressed empathy with my mishap on the day. This is a totally separate incident from what happened at Banbridge the week before, when, due to extreme weather conditions, I put the band’s performance first and decided not to play.
“Not a good week for me, but I’m very proud about the way the band handled both competitions.”
Had Sloan placed FMM first, the band still would have finished second to St. Laurence O’Toole due to FMM’s marks in drumming and ensemble. It is not known if ensemble judge Trevor Dear saw that Parkes was not playing and, if so, whether it contributed to him ranking the band fourth.