Only a few days after winning the 2017 New Zealand Pipe Band Championship, Jamie Hawke and Brayden Drummond were named the new pipe-major and leading-drummer, respectively, of the Grade 1 Canterbury Caledonian Society Pipe Band of Christchurch, New Zealand.
The Canterbury Caledonian Society, a Scottish cultural group established in 1880, will officially ratify the appointments at its AGM on March 28th.
Hawke succeeds his father, Richard Hawke, and Drummond follows James Laughlin after they announced last December that they would step down following many years of success leading Canterbury to six straight national overall and drumming titles (2012-’17) and qualifying for the World Pipe Band Championship Grade 1 final several times, in 2014 finishing ninth overall. Both the younger Hawke and Drummond have been members of the band for several years.
Jamie Hawke lives in Melbourne, Australia, where he is a professional musician, and his brother, Harry, will run band practices along with co-pipe-sergeant Liam Kernaghan in Christchurch when Jamie isn’t there.
“I am delighted to be given the opportunity to lead the band into the next phase of its history,” said Jamie Hawke in a statement.
The winner of the 2007 Highland Society of London Gold Medal at the Argyllshire Gathering, Richard Hawke had been pipe-major since 2008, and Laughlin, a native of Northern Ireland, joined in 2009 after playing with the Grade 1 Simon Fraser University for several years.
The band has no plans to attend the 2017 World Pipe Band Championships, a trip that costs antipodean bands more than $100,000 to make. The band said that it plans to return to Scotland in 2018.
“We have a very strong roster at the moment, and the band is incredibly excited about returning to Scotland as soon as possible,” Jamie Hawke said. “It’s important for us to work through the changes in leadership before we head back across. Scotland in 2018 gives us something to work towards that and focus our efforts on. We are more determined than ever to continue to compete at the highest level amongst the world’s greatest pipe bands.”
Simultaneous double-leadership changes are rare for any band, and almost unheard of at the Grade 1 level.
Hawke and Laughlin were each awarded lifetime honourary memberships to the Canterbury Caledonian Pipe Band, following the band’s win at the New Zealand Championships.
Canterbury Caledonian was connected with recent and ongoing controversy regarding Melbourne-based RSPBA judge Nat Russell pictured wearing a Canterbury baseball cap after the band won a competition. The photo became the context for alleged critical comments on the now-defunct Grade 1 City of Whitehorse Pipe Band’s private Facebook page, eventually resulting in the suspension of its pipe-major and lead-drummer for four years and two other members for two years by Pipe Bands Australia.
Formed in 1902, Canterbury Caledonian is one of the world’s oldest continually sustaining pipe bands.