Melvin, Hickling resign as Greater Midwest leaders
The Grade 2 Greater Midwest Pipe Band of Battle Creek, Michigan, is a good success story for piping and drumming in the United States, the band rising up and doing well under the direction of Pipe-Major Adrian Melvin and Lead-Drummer David Hickling, but both have confirmed that they have stepped down.
Band members Ben Peterson and Cameron Bolley are the new pipe-major and lead-drummer, respectively. Peterson had held the pipe-sergeant post for the last three years, and was previously pipe-major of the Grade 3 Chicago Celtic for five years.
Melvin has led the band since 2014 when it was ushered into Grade 2in its first competitive season. He cited family and his expanding reed-making business as the reasons for his departure from the band. Hickling will reportedly remain as a corps drummer.
“I am very much looking forward to the opportunity to serve as pipe-major for this band,” Peterson said in a statement. “This is one of the best groups of people that I have ever had the privilege to play with. The potential with the group is truly great, and we are fortunate to have a great foundation, established by the preceding leadership, from which to take off from.”
Bolley has played with no fewer than five bands in his 12-year career, including the Grade 1 Dowco Triumph Street.
Greater Midwest won Grade 2 at the North American Championship at Maxville, Ontario, in 2015. The band’s last contest under Melvin and Hickling was at the Kincardine Scottish Festival in Kincardine, Ontario, on July 6th where they finished first in a field of three.
Before Greater Midwest, Melvin was a member of the Grade 1 Peel Regional Police, and before then he was pipe-major of the Grade 2 Midlothian Scottish, and a playing member of Grade 1 bands 78th Fraser Highlanders, City of Washington Victoria Police and Vale of Atholl.
Greater Midwest confirmed that they do not plan to compete again in 2017.