Pipe band drumming legend Jim Kilpatrick has departed Pearl Percussion, joining The British Drum Company of Manchester, England, as the three-year-old company’s Marching Specialist.
The 16-time World Solo Pipe Band Drumming Champion and lead-drummer of 19-time World Pipe Band Drumming Championship winning corps, Kilpatrick will continue his own highly successful Jim Kilpatrick Percussion drumming instrument and gear dealership and teaching efforts.
The British Drum Company has so far focused mainly on the drum kit side of the manufacturing business, but is now pushing into pipe bands and marching bands, and is making a major statement by coaxing Kilpatrick away from his role with Pearl, with which he had been involved since 2009. He previously had a long business relationship with Premier Percussion, until severing ties with the company in 2004.
The most successful drumming competitor in pipe band history, Kilpatrick was made a Member of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2004 Queen’s Honours for his services to music.
The British Drum Company, which launched in September 2015, was founded by master drum maker Keith Keough; Kasabian drummer Ian Matthews; top-level marching specialist Stu Warmington; product designer Alan Kitching; and comedian and drum enthusiast Al Murray. In 2017, Pete Salisbury, drummer with The Verve and the Charlatans, joined the company.
“When we started the company it was my dream to bring on the top professionals in their relevant fields and when it came to the pipe band world there was no one better qualified for the job,” Marching Division Manager Warmington. “To actually have Jim join the company is a great day for the British Drum Company. The expertise and knowledge he brings to the company is second to none and we relish the opportunity of working with him.”
Warmington would not say when his company plans to bring pipe band drums to market.
“I’m thrilled to join the British Drum Company team, a company that has the most talented people in the industry with a deep commitment to excellence,” Kilpatrick said in the same statement. “When I look at the British Drum Company, I see a company that has already made a huge mark on the global drum kit market and I’m excited about many of the things in the marching and pipe band range that we’ll be working on together in the near future.”
Following a decade under Alex Duthart in Shotts & Dykhead Caledonia (1971-1980), Kilpatrick served as lead-drummer with Grade 1 Polkemmet (1980-1986), Shotts & Dykehead Caledonia (1986-2016), and, most recently, Spirit of Scotland (2016). He retired from competitive drumming after the 2016 World Pipe Band Championships.