June 20, 2024

Dunedin makes a big change at the big drum with appointment of Elkins

The Grade 1 City of Dunedin of Florida has officially appointed Ben Elkins as bass drummer.

Elkins had been filling the role for the first few competitions of 2024, taking over from Taylor Tibe, who had succeeded Christina Henry after the 2023 season. Tibe was previously the bass drummer for the various Dunedin organization bands: Dunedin Middle School, Dunedin High School, and City of Dunedin Grade 3.

Elkins is a two-time North American Gold Medal Bass Drumming Champion at Winter Storm and was previously bass drummer for Grade 2 MacMillan of Maryland. He joined the City of Dunedin Pipe Band in 2018 as a snare drummer under Leading-Drummer Eric MacNeill.

Ben Elkins

“Taylor put a lot of work in to make the jump up to Grade 1,” MacNeill said. “I’m very proud of the progress he has made. However, as is the case for many developing players in their first year in Grade 1, he’s just not quite ready to go for the task of all four circles at the World Championships stage just yet.”

City of Dunedin will compete at the European Championships in Perth, Scotland, on August 11th and at the World Championships in Glasgow on August 16th and 17th.

According to the band, Tibe will continue developing as a future bass drummer “with the chance to be mentored in this new arrangement by Elkins.” Both Tibe and Elkins live locally in Dunedin.

“I’m pleased with this development of the role of bass drummer for the band,” said City of Dunedin Pipe-Major Iain Donaldson. “It’s great to see a plan in place to continue to mentor Taylor for the future. I also believe Ben stepping in on bass will be an immediate asset to the band’s performance on the field.”

As part of the organization’s 60th anniversary in 2024, the Grade 1 and Grade 4A City of Dunedin will compete in Scotland this August, with 73 rostered band members making the trip. Thirty-one of the pipers and drummers are alumni of the Dunedin Middle and High School pipe band programs.






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