The news that came directly from the Greater Glasgow Police Scotland Pipe Band that Lead-Drummer Eric Ward is no longer with the band is being vehemently denied by Ward.
“Regarding myself no longer being with Greater Glasgow Police Pipe Band, this is not true,” Ward said in response to a request for comment immediately following receipt of the band’s statement. “Earlier today [Sept. 15] I was told to retire by the pipe-major [Iain MacPherson] and bass drummer [Niall West] of the band, however, when I refused to do so they went ahead and started this campaign for a new leading-drummer. All this was done without consultation or knowledge from the band and drum corps.”
When asked to comment on Ward’s inference that he is still with the band, MacPherson said, “He has, without question, been informed personally. He is not. Just as per the earlier statement, we are seeking a new L-D and this decision was arrived at through the Officer-in-Charge, Niall West and myself.”
Ward went on to say, “The drum corps has won several championships under my leadership and most recently the two drumming championships won in 2015. The band has had a tough year, however, I have spoken with members of the drum corps who have shown their support for the band and genuinely believe this is not in the band’s best interest. I enjoy playing and I am more than capable of doing so. I don’t intend on giving up my position as leading drummer at this time and will provide updates when this matter has more transparency.
“I do not plan on leaving voluntarily. There was no vote put to the band to see what members thoughts were. This is usually the case for a civilian band who would hold an AGM to address such matters. However, given the circumstances of our organization, the only other route would have been for the police authorities to make such a decision. The police authorities are not involved as of yet. This has been solely created by the pipe major and the bass drummer as stated previously. The drum corps remain in tact and are giving me their full support.”
The apparent dispute appears to be trending along a familiar pipe band path, reflecting to some extent last year’s disagreement between Shotts & Dykehead and former Lead-Drummer Jim Kilpatrick, and, more recently, the Grade 1 City of Whitehorse of Australia contention that it could not be suspended by Pipe Bands Australia because they had quit the organization first.
Stay tuned for more on this story as more information emerges.