Published: October 14, 2014

Ian K. MacDonald resting comfortably following minor heart attack

Ian K. MacDonald in a 2013 photo.

Pipe-Major Ian K. MacDonald of the Grade 1 Toronto Police Pipe Band is in good spirits and resting comfortably after a minor heart attack in Newmarket, Ontario, on the evening of October 13th.

One of the world’s pre-eminent solo pipers, MacDonald experienced discomfort in his chest after playing sports with his kids on the Canadian Thanksgiving weekend. Being a long-serving police officer, MacDonald decided to contact emergency services when the pain did not subside, and was taken to cardiac care at a local hospital.

According to Toronto Police Pipe Band Pipe-Sergeant Sean McKeown, Emergency Medical Services and hospital staff were quick to identify the problem and treat MacDonald.

“No permanent damage was detected, and he is showing signs of a positive recovery,” McKeown said. “I was with him today, and he is in good spirits, and feeling good considering the circumstance. He had a smile on his face, and was already talking about the new set of pipes he just bought!”

McKeown added that the prognosis is good, but that he will need some down-time, but he appreciates the thoughts and concern from his friends.

MacDonald has led the Toronto Police Pipe Band for the better part of the last 20 years, and manages the overall Toronto Police pipe band organization. In addition to his work with the band, he is one of the world’s top solo pipers, one of the few eligible to compete in the Silver Star March, Strathspey & Reel at the Northern Meeting. MacDonald has frequently been in the prize lists in the Highland Society of London’s Gold Medal competitions at Oban and Inverness, and was second in the event at the Argyllshire Gathering this year.

In 2004 Field Marshal Montgomery Pipe-Major Richard Parkes suffered a stroke, but made a full recovery, going on to lead his band to another six World Championships and a few dozen other major titles.

On behalf of the piping and drumming world, we wish Ian K. MacDonald a speedy and full recovery.

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