February 28, 2009

Sam Hodgen

Sam Hodgen, a pioneer of pipe band drum design and manufacturing and the owner of Andante Percussion of Northern Ireland, died on February 4, 2009. He had suffered from a lengthy illness.
Hodgen started Andante in 1986 as Pipe-Major of the Moneygore Pipe Band of Rathfriland, Northern Ireland, a group that had experience dissatisfaction with existing drum technology. He designed and built the new Andante snare drum, as well as a range of drumming accessories.
Hodgen built Andante Percussion into a leader in the pipe band market, competing directly with Premier and Pearl. Among the prominent bands currently playing Andante snare drums are Vale of Atholl, Boghall & Bathgate Caledonia, Tayside Police and Lothian & Borders Police.
Andante has also been a sponsor of the RSPBA’s World Solo Drumming Championships for more than a decade.
On behalf of the piping and drumming world, we express our sympathy to Sam Hodgen’s family and many friends.


  1. Sam’s passing is an immense loss for the pipe band world ,for all who knew him and especially for his family. It was a great privilidge to know and work with Sam over many years-we shared the same goal of striving for the best possible drum sound. There are two words for me that describe Sam -he was both a Genius and a Gentleman. Through sheer strength of personality,determination and committment he succeeded where most would have failed and in a very competitive and difficult market he carved out a significant brand -ANDANTE” – which he was so proud of (and he had every reason to be!) Despite his success he remained generous with his time and had time for everyone but especially he loved to provide encouragement for young players. Sam lives on in our memories and through his wonderful legacy -Andante! My deepest sympathy to his wife Mary

  2. This is a very sad day in the pipe band drumming fraternity. Sam was a gentleman of the highest degree and designed a magnificent product. I recall when I was a kid, he presented a drum to me in Bathgate and ever since he has supported and encouraged me every step of the way. My sympathy goes to all of his family and friends.

  3. Very sad news. In 1993 or 1994 Sam outfitted the L.A. Scots with a brand-new set of Andantes; a fresh white set of his latest model arrived immediately after our band agreed to play them. We were stunned by the man’s generosity and passion. Every time I was in the same place as Sam he sought me out and was very kind. I will remember him as always being in the same mood – proud and happy. We need more Sams.

  4. Jim Kilpatrick : Like many pipe band drummers, pipers and people involved with pipe bands across the world, it was with much sadness to hear about the passing of Sam. Sam took drum technology and design to a new level and was always full of energy and passion. He will be greatly missed by everybody, and in particular by his close friends and family. My heart goes out to his wife and family at this sad time….. JIM KILPATRICK

  5. Sam loved to share his passion about his drums. He especially loved young players, and it was a thrill for me to watch his smiling face last August while a group of youngsters played a drum fanfare in front of the Andante booth at the Worlds. He created a wonderful legacy with his children and his company. Sam will be missed by his family, friends, and drummers around the world. Cliff Davis

  6. Sam was a gentleman and a genius with drums. Many people may not know but i was very luckey one day when in the workshop he asked me would i like a tune on his pipes of course i said well if you want me to i will play a wee tune and the pipes was pure class and i then asked what kind of pipes are those, Sam he just smiled and said well i kinda made them myself what do you think, This man could make anything and will be a massive loss to the pipe band world.

  7. I’m sorry to see this but it gives us time to reflect on the good times. One day a Strathclyde Uni, talking with Sam when a young guy came up to us to be introduced to him. When asked his name, he said Sam, then was then asked for his full name, when he promptly replied, Samuel. Say no more!



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