August 31, 2007

Updated: Murray, Mathieson to head up new Fife Constabulary Pipe Band

The world-class pipers James Murray and Andrew Mathieson will be Pipe-Major and Pipe-Sergeant, respectively, of a new band forming in the Fife Region of Scotland, pipes|drums has confirmed.

The Fife Constabulary Pipe Band, sponsored by the regional police force, will officially begin practices in the fall, with plans to compete in the 2008 season Grading of the band will be determined by the RSPBA.

Murray and Mathieson are both currently members of the Grade 1 House of Edgar-Shotts & Dykehead Pipe Band.

When asked for information on other members, a source close to the new band stated that “there are other players on board, but out of respect and courtesy to their current pipe bands we will not divulge who they are.”

“I would like to take this opportunity to wish Andrew and Jimmy the best of luck with their new venture,” said Robert Mathieson, House of Edgar-Shotts & Dykehead pipe-major. “Both these players have been good solid reliable friends and band members for several years. They made me well aware of this potential move several weeks ago. They leave the current Shotts band in good health with a remaining 25 pipers, so we are currently in good membership numbers.

“Off-shoots of the Shotts band have previously spawned Pipe majors, leading drummers and key players in recent years for good bands including ScottishPower, Dumbarton and Clan Gregor. The depth within the ranks has always allowed the band to flourish after any previous membership change. This is a distinctive feature in the recurring history of the band. This is the hallmark of many top bands. We relish the challenge to develop and recruit for next season.”

The formation of the new band comes at a time in the Scottish pipe band season when historically there are significant changes in the band personnel. The Cowal Pipe Band Championships, the last RSPBA major 2007, are to be held on Saturday, August 25th, in Dunoon, Scotland, and band members typically wait until the contest is over to make noteworthy moves.

Regarding the grade of the band, the source stressed said, “We will gladly respect whatever decision [the RSPBA’s grading committee] reach.”


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  1. These young men have what it takes to make a first class band and they will without doubt do it in short order. It’s fabulous to see Fife Police have their own band and to see it get off to a great start by having this talent at the helm. I’m looking for big things for this band.

  2. I would like to wish James Murray and Drew Mathieson all the very best in their new venture, two great guys and even better pipers who have a very exciting future ahead of them. Very best wishes guys. One negative point, I feel it was highly unprofessional of to publish the story the night before the final major championship of the season which would no doubt have had a negative effect on their current band and of course James and Drew themselves, they are two very professional guys who would have been aware of the job they still had to do with Shotts. Yet again we see how unprofessional the management of this site are, would the same story have broken if this involved a North American Grade 1 band before a major competition? I think we all know the answer.

  3. I don’t think that P|D did anything but post what was already commonly being discussed in band halls all over Scotland. Cowal Games is the season closer, and rumours have been flying since the Worlds about who is going where, which drum corps are moving, etc. The players involved are all big people, and clearly many were already in the know. Shotts is one of the bands that has survived and flourished through many changes, and with 5 World Championships under his belt as PM, I’m sure RM knows what to do next. Good luck to the players and bands involved for the next season.

  4. Did you read the story, man? Did you miss their current pipe major’s comments? He essentially gave them his blessing. I don’t see where there is anything scrupulous about Andrew posting the story nor do I see where the nationality of the band has anything to do with it. Besides, there are plenty of North American players in that band.

  5. Just a bit of background: I was well aware of this rumour for weeks, as were many pipers and drummers. It wasn’t until information arrived from the police force itself that the story was verified. Robert Mathieson was equally professional when he provided commentary on it, never requesting that the story not be posted until after Cowal. But, come to think of it, pipes|drums is not my profession, just a hobby. But I do strive for professionalism at all times. As always, if there’s anything anyone likes or dislikes, wants or would rather not see, I am all ears. Constructive and intelligent dialog is what it’s all about.

  6. The original posting didn’t have any quotes but the updated story which came after Cowal did have quotes. If it happened to any band I would find it unacceptable and would wish that in future any such story in future would be held back out of courtesy to the people involved no mayyet the band or grade. It’s only fair to all involved.

  7. The story was updated at about 7:30 pm Friday, August 24th. It doesn’t matter anyway; it’s news that was verified and would have appeared regardless, as any high-standrad publication would have done.

  8. Professionalism for a news organisation means publishing the news/facts without fear or favour. For Andrew to have do have done (or do in the future) anything else would (or will) damage the site’s reputation for impartiality and accurate reporting. And as Andrew points out Robert Mathieson was given the opportunity to comment and did so – and it seems to have done so professionally as one would expect him to. One of the reasons I log on to this site each day is because it seems to me that it is professionally edited by someone for whom piping/drumming and pipers and drummers are important, and who seems to believe in accurate, up-to-date, objective reporting. Neill

  9. On 24th August 2007 the following post was placed on a discussion forum which had been speculating on the prospect of a Fife Constabulary Pipe band. “All, Having read your posts I have been gratified with the overall support for the notion of a Fife Constabulary Pipe Band. There has been no hidden agenda behind the ‘silence’ perceived in some quarters rather a conscious decision was made to cause as little disruption to the efforts of current bands by taking a low key stance whilst considering the implications of setting up a Fife Constabulary pipe band. Now that the season is coming to an end I am pleased to announce a decision has been made to progress matters to the formation of a band for the 2008 season. In official terms: “On 31st August the Chief Constable of Fife Constabulary will invite support for a new pipe band to be established in the Kingdom; plans are advancing quickly and a formation meeting is due to be held in late September.” Whilst acknowledging the points raised regarding long-term viability, finances and affect on existing bands I can only reiterate that the formation of the band has been made with a view to adding to, and supporting, the existing pipe band set up locally and nationally. I wish you all the best in your own endeavours and look forward to meeting many of you in the future.” This was done to minimise the possibility of disruption to existing bands prior to the end of the season. However, prior to a similar email being sent to your publication you published news of the bands development, and names of prospective members. The source, whoever that may be, was not authorised to do so by Fife Constabulary. In the interim should anyone wish further information regarding the band they can contact the Band Manager, Alex Jarrett at, or Kenny Chatham, Band Secretary, at Yours, Alex Jarrett

  10. Alex, Thank you for posting this information, interesting to read that the date of publication didn’t come with consent of the band. I assume the publication date you would have wished for would have been the 31st Aug or at earliest, after the Cowal Games competition. Simply the respectful and professional decision. May I take this opportunity to wish yourself, all the new members and of course the guys at the top all the very best for the future. Regards.

  11. Since when is news” reported only with the consent of those involved? I think some folks are mixed up about what is “news” and what is “press release.””

  12. This band’s creation has been an open secret for some time. I think some people are being a little bit prima donna in their attitude if they think it really make a whit of difference to bands when a news publication finally gets a story it can run. And as for the authority of the Fife Constabulary…welcome to pipe band rumourmongering 😉

  13. PD gives the piping and pipe band world a constant source of news and comment. We don’t always have to agree all of the time but it seems a bit hypocritical to admit to having posted something on a forum in quasi official manner and then get into the pd for repeating it in a manner which I consider to be good reporting. Good luck to the new band!!…whoever is in it



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