Maggie McIver, 1962-2019 (updated)
The accomplished snare drummer Margaret Anne “Maggie” McIver died on December 4, 2019, age 57 years old, following a two year long battle with cancer.
Maggie was a member of the Grade 1 78th Fraser Highlanders in the band’s earliest years and played on the band’s debut album of 1983. She performed in the “Live In Ireland 87” concerts in Glasgow and Belfast in 2016 and 2017, a tribute to the band’s 1987 World Championship.
Maggie McIver started drumming with the Grade 2 Glenmore Pipe Band of Toronto under Pipe-Major Chris Anderson. She joined the 78th Frasers’ drum corps in 1982, along with husband-to-be piper Ross Brown and his brother, drummer Scott Brown. In 1984, she celebrated a third-place with the band at the World’s, at that time the highest prize awarded to an overseas band. In 1985, the band was second in drumming. As a soloist, Maggie won the 1986 PPBSO Championship Supreme award for Grade 1 solo drumming. She left the band that year to have her first child.
Maggie continued her hiatus from drumming for more than two decades, focusing her musical energy on mastering the fiddle. She played fiddle with the Kingston Ceili Band for approximately 20 years, and continued to play well after her cancer diagnosis, giving up only when her illness rendered her physically unable to play.
In recent years, Maggie had resumed drumming with various pipe bands, including the Durham Police, Penatangore, Arnprior McNab and Rob Roy.
McIver’s talent, skill, and work ethic rightfully placed her in a top corps among some of the best drummers in the world. She was one of very few women on the Grade 1 band scene at a time when women were less accepted in top tier bands. Her hard-earned success therefore speaks not only of her talent, but of her individual strength, and her unfailing insistence on pursuing her passions and being true to herself. She was, in many ways, a pioneer for women today in pipe bands everywhere. She will be remembered for her individuality, tenacity, sense of humour, and integrity.
Maggie was predeceased by her father, George, and her sister, Sue. She is survived by mother, Elizabeth Staveley, stepfather Bob Staveley, husband Ross, and their three children Susan, Alasdair and Islay, sisters Martha and Sheila and their families, mother-in-law Molly Brown, brother-in-law Scott Brown and his family, and several aunts, uncles and cousins.
The visitation will take place on December 13 from 6:30 to 8:00 at First Christian Reformed Church on Kingscourt Avenue in Kingston, Ontario.
A memorial service will take place at 11 am on December 14 at the same venue, and a reception is at 1 pm on December 14 at the Rideau Acres Banquet Hall, 1014 Cunningham Road, Kingston.
We extend our sympathies to Maggie McIver’s family and many friends at this sad time.