The Drum Corps

It takes a great blend to make up a championship winning band. The drum corps of Greater Glasgow Police Scotland Pipe Band has more than held up their end and picked up awards to prove it. The first Leading Drummer of the Govan Burgh Police Pipe Bandy was a Drum Major Walker, who held the position until it was eventually taken over by Drum Major Jack Seton. He was in turn superseded by his son Robert Seton, who held the position until he emigrated to New Zealand. Exact dates of their term of office axe not on record.
After the second world war, the band continued it’s activities on the competition field. At this time the leading drummer was Drum Sergeant Alex McCormick, who was one of the most gifted pipe band drummers of that time. It was under his leadership that the drum corps had it’s first success in competitions by winning the World Drum Corps Championship in 1949 and then twice in succession in 1951 and 1952. Drum Sergeant McCormick emigrated to Australia in 1954 and the leading drummers’ position was taken over by John Whalley, who held it until 1961, when the post was taken over by Alex Connell.
It was under Alex’s guidance that the drum corps started to assert itself once more in competitions and won top honours in the World, European, Scottish and Cowal Championships. Drum Sergeant Alex Connell relinquished his leading role in 1985 and the position was taken up by John Kirkwood, a native of St Catherine’s, Ontario, Canada. John remained as leading drummer until his retirement from the band in 1992. Veteran snare drummer Roddy Darroch was appointed Drum Sergeant, a position which he held until 1995.
Our current leading Drummer, Drum Sergeant Eric Ward was appointed and he has renewed the drum corps’ reputation as being a contender for top awards. Under Eric’s leadership, the drum corps has become a regular fixture in the top 6 at major championships.
Eric Ward began drumming in his home town of Banbridge in Northern Ireland with the local pipe band and was taught to play the snare drum by Frank Gibson and the late Bobby Rae, both being major influences in his early drumming life,.Eric played in Ireland with the bands Cullybackey , Ballycoan and Dromara before moving to Scotland in 1980 to play in the legendary Alex Duthart’s drum corps at Shotts and Dykehead and B-Cal He played with Alex until his untimely passing in 1986.At this time Eric was appointed Leading drummer of the B-Cal band and he led the drum corps to win all major championships and the champion of champions. In 1996 Eric took the position of Leading Drummer with Strathclyde Police Pipe Band.  Over the years Eric has won every major championship – Scottish, British, European, Cowal and both the MSR and medley sections at the world pipe band championships.  Outside of the band circle Eric is a world renown solo drummer and has be a constant feature in the world solo drumming final and runner up several times.  With his unique and technical style of pipe band drumming, Eric has travelled the world to give drumming tuition.
Greater Glasgow Police Scotland Pipe Band drum core has enjoyed success winning every major drumming title under his leadership. Scottish, British, European, Cowal not to mention the world championships, MSR and Medley sections many times. The individual players in the corps also feature strongly in the pipe band solo drumming competitions such as the world solo drumming championship. This year the drum corps saw 5 of the drummers feature in the semi finals Eric ward, Cameron ward, Gregor Davidson, David sheridan and Chris McNicholl. The final of the World solo drumming championships 2012 saw Eric ,Cameron and Chris advance through to the final which made Strathclyde police the most represented band in the final.
The Bass Section of the corps has also enjoyed success having won every major championship and making Pipe Band history to be the one and only Bass section to win all major championships in the one year creating a grand slam a record which still stands to date.