(Update 1) Western North American top-grade bands shuffle bass drummers

Published: January 17, 2014
(Page 1 of 1)

Steve Foley

A three-way movement of bass drummers between the Grade 1 Simon Fraser University of Vancouver and Los Angeles Scots and the Grade 2 Prince Charles of San Francisco has kicked off the New Year in a big way.

Sources have confirmed that Kathryn Tawse, has stepped down as SFU’s bass drummer, giving way to Steve Foley, who resigned from the LA Scots to take the role, while Amber Bartholomeusz has reportedly left Prince Charles to take the big drummer spot with LA Scots.

Kathryn Tawse

Each of the four three bass players is well established, with Foley probably having the most prominence as a competitor and teacher. Foley last weekend won the Gold Medal bass drumming event at the annual Winter Storm competitions in Kansas, while Bartholomeusz finished second in the same contest. Tawse had played bass with SFU since 2001 2003, and came to the band from the organization’s Robert Malcolm Memorial feeder system.

Amber Bartholomuesz

“We are excited to announce that Amber Bartholomuesz (Formally of the Prince Charles Grade 2 Pipe Band from San Francisco) will be the new bass drummer for the LA Scots. We welcome her talents as we prepare for the 2014 season,” commented LA Scots Pipe-Major Colin Armstrong. “She is just coming off her second place finish at the Gold Medal Bass Drumming Competition at Winter Storm last weekend. Steve Foley has been the bass drummer of the band since it was resurected back in the early 1990s. Amber is excited with the rare opportunity to play with a Grade 1 pipe band. We also would like to wish Steve and SFU the best of luck this year.”

According to former SFU Pipe-Major Terry Lee, Tawse has decided to retire. Bartholomeusz’s replacement at Prince Charles is still to be confirmed.

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  1. Hossman

    What a MAJOR contribution Kate made to the art form over the years. I remember her first day at Winter School and Jack said to me, “make her great, we need her in Grade 1”. Humble, honest, gracious and seriously gifted that Miss Tawse. Best wishes to all involved in the trades. HOSS

  2. MikeCole

    What a huge rotation of talent! Katherine is, quite simply, one of the all-time greats of pipe band bass drumming. It is hard to picture the SFU circle without her. Having said that, Steve Foley brings a wealth of experience, poise, and musicality to the table…and now the L.A. Scots have a very talented rising star in Amber Bartholomuesz. Exciting times ahead for both bands! All the very best to Kate, Steve, and Amber. Mike

  3. Pipermike

    No need to publish this comment. Just noticed in the article that Terry Lee is referenced as the PM of SFU Grade 1, and I believe it’s Alan Bevan now. Cheers-Mike

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Tenor drummers: When composing rhythmical passages in a tenor drum score, don’t just think about replicating the accented phrases within the snare score, but give equal consideration towhat is happening in the melody. Question your composition. For example, if a triplet occurs in the snare score,check if that triplet exists in the melody. If not,ask yourself if there is any value to that triplet being incorporated into the tenor score. That’s just a short example, but applying that principle is a small step towards improving ensemble.
Scott Currie, SC Drumming, Uddingston, Scotland