Toronto Police Grade 2 make a lead-drummer change
Even under self-isolation and the entire pipe band world in hiatus, bands are still making moves.
The Grade 2 Toronto Police have appointed Dan Funchion lead-drummer, replacing John Gaudet.
According to sources, the move was sudden and unexpected, especially with communication by necessity being made by email to band members.
Funchion will work with Pipe-Major Scott Russell, and the new lead-drummer had been a member of the corps under Gaudet. Funchion has been a long time member of the Toronto Police Pipe Band, with was lead-drummer when the Grade 2 band was in Grade 3. He played in the Toronto Police Grade 1 band for six years under lead-drummers Doug Stronach, Craig Stewart, and Ken Constable. He took time away from the band after the 2017 season when the Grade 3 band won the Champion Supreme aggregate title in the Ontario circuit.
He is a fourteen-year veteran as an officer in the Toronto Police Service, and now works in the Major Crimes Unit.
Russell became pipe-major of the band in late 2019, replacing Scott Harrison, who remains with the organization.
Gaudet had previously been lead-drummer of various other successful bands, including the Hamilton Police, which rose to Grade 2 status before folding, the Grade 1 Peel Regional Police in the 1990s, and now defunct Grade 2 Jervis Bay on New Brunswick, Canada.
Gaudet has apparently decided not to remain with the band, and said he is weighing a few new possibilities.
“I met and played with some amazing players and really good people who will be lifelong friends,” Gaudet said about his experience with the Toronto Police.
The Grade 1 Toronto Police is still operational, but have not competed since 2018 after the departure of Stewart, and the band has so far been unable to secure a suitable full-time lead-drummer.
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