Published: July 04, 2020

(video) Richard Parkes on Frank Andrews, tuning technicians and life for FMM under lockdown

He was named the Greatest Pipe-Major of All-Time last year. With 12 World Championship victories, 67 RSPBA major championship titles, and 14 RSPBA Grade 1 Champion of Champions awards, who can argue that Field Marshal Montgomery Pipe-Major Richard Parkes doesn’t deserve that title, too?

After 40 years at the helm of Field Marshal Montgomery, Parkes, like everyone else in a pipe band in the northern hemisphere, is sitting out the competition season thanks to the COVID-19 global health crisis.

July 4th would have been the date of the 2020 All-Ireland Championships, an event dear to Parkes’s heart. His band’s won it an astonishing 25 times but, more importantly, it would have been the first All-Irelands without Frank Andrews.

Andrews died suddenly on March 8, 2020. As the band’s tuning technician, he was instrumental to the success of Field Marshal Montgomery, helping to create their hallmark perfectly drone sound that over the last two decades has been at times a benchmark for the art.

The day also would have been the 75th anniversary of the All-Ireland Championships, and event created to help bring together Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland through the commonality of pipe band music.

pipes|drums checked in with Richard Parkes to get his thoughts on Frank Andrews, the importance of the role of the tuning technifican for any pipe band, and life during the pandemic for Field Marshal Montgomery.

 


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