Published: December 26, 2015

The top 15 p|d stories of 2015


Jim Kilpatrick steps down from Shotts; Blair Brown new L-D – October 12th

Jim Kilpatrick

If you were like tens of thousands of pipes|drums readers worldwide, you saw this headline and thought, “WTF?!” The world’s greatest pipe band drummer departs the new World Champion, not even two months since winning the big prize? How could this be? What at first was believed to be a retirement quickly turned out to be something far more complicated, and what followed were weeks of turmoil, controversy and speculation, including the eventual resignation of Blair Brown as L-D. This story achieved an all-time record number of visits to pipes|drums, exceeding 35,000 in a single day.

Why was this story important? Even freshly-minted World Champions have problems familiar to pipe bands of any grade. But this was no ordinary problem. Regardless of what went on behind the scenes, the spectacular rise of Shotts to being the best in the world was a sensation and due in no small way to the quality of Kilpatrick’s corps. That the reigning World Champs would be willing to disrupt and even say goodbye to that was, according to one rival band’s pipe-major, “mind-boggling.” Lessons will be learned from this and, who knows, it could be a blessing in disguise for many. For 2015, though, it was the biggest pipes|drums story of the year.



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