With nearly a total of a quarter-century of service with the Glasgow Skye Association Pipe Band, Pipe-Major Kenny MacLeod will step down from the post after the 2014 World Pipe Band Championships. He latest stretch with the band was four years, when he returned to help rebuild the then-struggling Glasgow-based Grade 2 band.
Before the fall of 2010, MacLeod previously was a member and pipe-major of the band for some 20 years, playing in the band with other members of his family.
Under MacLeod’s most recent direction the band has returned to the height of Grade 2 on a world level, last year consistently placing in the top three at major championships, including a fourth at the 2013 World Championships. In the 1990s he brought the band for a brief period to the Grade 1 level.
“I’ve played in the Skye for a total of 24 years over two stints, and enjoyed every minute of it,” MacLeod said, “but it was always the plan that I was coming in this time to steady the band on a short-term basis, and the long-term future of the band was always the most important thing for me. When I joined we were very low in pipers and we’ve built that back up to healthy numbers again. We’ve replaced the drums, jackets and waistcoats and kilts and generally improved the uniform. Perhaps most importantly the band is financially secure.”
“It really is a great prospect for a new pipe-major to come in and look at things as a long-term project. I decided that it was better to announce now that I would be stepping down at the end of this season, so any candidates could contact the band for more details, and then have time to think about their future, well before the end of their season. I will play absolutely no part in the selection process and it will be the band members who will pick the next pipe-major.”
So far in 2014 Glasgow Skye has not fared quite so well at majors, with a fifth-prize at each of the British and European championships.
“The season isn’t over, though, and I hope we can improve our placings after some mixed results so far,” MacLeod continued.
The band recently travelled to California to compete at the Costa Mesa Highland Games.