A blockbuster. After only a handful of hugely successful years, including 2015 a World Championship, Shotts & Dykehead Caledonia Pipe-Major Ryan Canning stepped down, leaving the band entirely. He had led the storied Shotts for six seasons, after being a member of Field Marshal Montgomery for almost 20 years. When he took over the band, Shotts was in dire straits. With Lead-Drummer Jim Kilpatrick, he put the group back into form, within a few years returning it to regular top-six finishes at major championships. His World’s win was history-making in that it was the first time ever that a Grade 1 band’s pipe-major’s first-ever championship was the World’s. That had never happened before. Canning’s departure underscored once again the challenges and stress that leading a top-grade pipe band can bring, as the role increasingly is a full-time job for those who have a real full-time job. It requires full-time commitment, and the news of Canning choosing to leave it was not the first and will by no means be the last such development. We can only expect that the average tenure of pipe-majors and lead-drummers at the top levels will get shorter. Whether a Grade 1 pipe-major will be able to accomplish as much as Canning did in so little time is unlikely.
So, there you are. The 20 most-read pipes|drums news stories of 2018. We hope you enjoyed this look back, and look forward to an even more newsworthy year ahead.
Stay tuned . . .