Grampian Police Pipe Major retires

fifteen years in the band: After one and a half decades of service to the pipe band Drew Sinclair has stepped down as Pipe Major
fifteen years in the band: After one and a half decades of service to the pipe band Drew Sinclair has stepped down as Pipe Major

After 15 years at the helm of one of the most successful North East Pipe Bands, Drew Sinclair has stepped down as Pipe Major of Grade 1 Grampian Police Pipe Band.

Drew made the surprise announcement to his band after careful consideration over the last few months. His successor is the current Assistant Pipe Major, Chief Inspector Colin Walker.

Drew, who originates from Newtonmore, will not be leaving the band having expressed a desire to stay and play in the ‘back ranks’. He explained:

“I have been in the band for 26 years now, ;three seasons as a corps player, eight seasons as Pipe Sergeant and have been Pipe Major for 15 seasons.

“I have been aware for some time that my drive, enthusiasm and hunger to effectively push the band forward has diminished as other aspects of my life have taken on greater importance to me.

“This has been offset by the tremendous support Colin has given me since he joined which has effectively squeezed a few extra seasons out of me.”

He continued:

“It was always our intention that Colin would take on the PM role permanently and the change has been discussed amongst the management team in earnest at the end of each of the last two seasons.

“However, it was agreed to continue as it was working and delivering results. Add to that Duncan working on the sound side and we were ultimately operating as a threesome leading the corps forward and sharing the burden.

“I, like many of us, had been anticipating another year in Grade 2. However, as we know, others had a different view and we were promoted to Grade 1.

“I have long said I shouldn’t be the person to lead us into Grade 1 again as it needed a fresher, longer term approach with greater commitment than I can now offer.

“It feels right and natural to do it now and give both Colin and our recently appointed lead drummer Ian Thomson the chance to form a new partnership and lead the band forward once again into Grade 1.”

During Drew’s leadership the Band have travelled extensively and have enjoyed continued success at both local and major competitions and were most recently crowned Grade 2 Scottish and overall RSBPA Champions of Champions in the 2010 season. The band also retained the Scottish Grade 2 Championship in 2011. These successes effectively securing the return of the band to Grade 1 for the third time in its history.

Drew also led the band through its Centenary Celebrations in 2007 and along with Drum Major Bill Barclay designed the Grampian Police tartan to mark this milestone.