The 2010 Australia Pipe Band Champions, the Pipeband Club, have formally voted in Angus Roberts as Pipe-Major, assuming leadership from Scott Nicolson, who led the band for more than a decade. The decision was made at a general meeting on October 16th in Sydney.
“I am delighted to have been given this opportunity to lead the Pipeband Club although I am the first to admit significant challenges lie ahead,” Roberts said. “Keeping an organization like this together is an administrative battle, never mind the economics of finding the cash to keep going and travel to Scotland every year.”
Under Nicolson the Pipeband Club was a regular competitor at the World Pipe Band Championships in both Grade 1 and Grade 2. The band qualified for the Grade 1 Final competition in 2009, but missed the cut in 2010.
When asked if the Pipeband Club intends to compete at the 2011 World’s, Roberts said, “It is too early to say if we will make the World’s in 2011, as we may have to consolidate our position at home. We are actively looking for sponsorship and of course we are keen to go over but the first priority is to stabilize the ship and progress things on the musical front. We are also looking for a replacement Lead-Drummer and want to find the right person for the job. So one step at a time.”
In 2009 the band parted ways with longtime sponsor, The Band Club-Sydney, an organization that sponsors regular musical events in the St. Mary’s region of Australia’s biggest city.
“I would like to take this opportunity to publicly thank Scott and Dougal [McConnell] for their immense effort over the years and hope they enjoy their well-earned rest from the rigours of leadership,” Roberts added.
The 31-year-old Roberts has played with the band since 2005 and is also currently the head piping tutor at The Scots College in Sydney, a school that runs a full-time piping and drumming program for students. An accomplished pianist, Roberts was taught piping by Bruce Meikle and Jim McConnell. He received a piping scholarship at St. Andrews College at Sydney University while studying immunobiology.