#TBT – a pipes|drums throwback pic

Published: October 12, 2017
(Page 1 of 1)

Our latest original, never-seen-before photo takes us back to July 1983, at a sweltering St. Louis Highland Games held under the famous Gateway Arch on the western banks of the Mississippi River.

Our subject is the late Alex Duthart, who was brought in to the event as an adjudicator, along with Roderick MacDonald of Delaware (left) and Reay Mackay of Toronto, with whom Duthart is having a conversation.

At the time, Duthart was lead-drummer of the Grade 1 British Caledonian Airways, the last band he would play in before November 27, 1986, when he died suddenly while  performing with the group in New York City.

With a career that spanned more than 50 years, Duthart began in the top grade with the Dalziel Highland Pipe Band in 1942 under Lead-Drummer Jimmy Catherwood, becoming lead-drummer himself in 1949. He joined Shotts & Dykehead Caledonia in 1957 as leading-drummer and had stints with Invergordon Distillery and the Edinburgh City Police before returning to Shotts, where he played until 1982.

He won the World Solo Pipe Band Drumming Championship six times –  the third-most wins,  bettered only by Steven McWhirter with seven and Jim Kilpatrick with 16 World titles.

Alex Duthart was voted by a panel of experts to pipes|drums’ list of the Greatest 10 Pipe Band Drummers in History.

+ The Greatest 10 Pipe Band Drummers in History

Alex Duthart, St. Louis, July 1983. [Photo copyright pipes|drums]

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Always be thoroughly prepared. No substitute or shortcuts here. Simulate the completion in your mind when practising. Breathing is crucial to sustain good tone throughout a performance.
Murray Henderson, Kirriemuir, Scotland