Barry Wilson confirms 2014 will be final season with ScottishPower

Published: May 30, 2014
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Barry Wilson in a 2010 photo.

Following the 2014 UK pipe band season, the Grade 1 ScottishPower Pipe Band will be without Leading-Drummer Barry Wilson, who confirmed to pipes|drums that he will retire after 12 years with the band.

Although Wilson has shared his intentions, ScottishPower Pipe-Major Chris Armstrong said that the 2014 competition campaign is fully on, with full focus on the events ahead.

“We are very much concentrating on the job at hand, and the rest is a secondary concern,” Armstrong said about the situation.

Wilson said that his decision was for “personal reasons.”

Several high-profile candidates are said to be possible replacements to Wilson, but none have confirmed their intentions.

The 42-year-old Wilson is a four-time winner of the World Solo Drumming Championship, and has been Leading-Drummer of ScottishPower since 2002, working first with Pipe-Major Roddy MacLeod and then with Armstrong. He started in 1982 with the Mauchline & District Pipe Band, a few years later joined the Killoch Colliery Pipe Band, and after only five years playing became a member Shotts & Dykehead Caledonia, where he stayed for 15 years playing under Kilpatrick.

The news comes on the brink of the first RSPBA major, the British Championships in Bathgate, Scotland, on Saturday, May 31st,, at which ScottishPower is drawn first on in the 12-band medley contest.

Considered one of the greatest pipe band drummers of all time, Barry Wilson was a featured performer with Chris Armstrong at the 2012 Pipes+Drums Recital at Piping Live! sponsored by pipes|drums Magazine.

ScottishPower began its season at Dunfermline last week, debuting a new medley that was widely applauded for its musical ingenuity.

pipes|drums published a “10 Questions With . . .” interview with Wilson in 2008. He won the World Solo Drumming four straight times, from 2007 to 2010.

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TIP OF THE DAY
When competing, play to your strengths, not your weaknesses. It’s useless to play ‘Susan MacLeod’ if you are not able to make strong clear darados. Steer clear of the ‘Atholl Cummers’ if you can’t make F doublings. Concentrate on tunes that allow you to show off the best of your finger technique.
Colin MacLellan, Edinburgh