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Ian Swinton, a living legend in North American pipe band circles, has announced that he is retiring from competition after 34 years with the Grade 2 Midlothian Scottish Pipe Band of Chicago. Adrian Melvin takes over as Pipe-Major.
Swinton started Midlothian as a Grade 4 band after moving to the United States from Uddingston, Scotland, in 1968. In Scotland he was a member of the Rutherglen Pipe Band.
He immediately established a teaching program in the Midlothian area of Chicago, and gradually built the talent in the band to the point where, in the 1970s, it became and remained a pre-eminent band in the United States’ Midwest. The band rose to Grade 1 status in 1985, and remained at the top grade for several years before settling back to Grade 2.
Swinton plans to remain active in the piping scene, serving as an accredited judge with the Midwest Pipe Band Association.
Adrian Melvin has played with Midlothian Scottish for several years, and was previously a member of the 78th Fraser Highlanders, City of Washington and the Victoria Police.