Jim Kilpatrick, legendary Leading Drummer for 29 years with Shotts & Dykehead Caledonia Pipe Band, has released a statement claiming he has been ousted from the band. In his statement – which appears in full on the College of Piping website – Kilpatrick says his removal was, “the final act in what has been a long-running, premeditated and well-planned coup d’état orchestrated by Ryan Canning, Blair Brown, Glenn Brown and perhaps three other members of the Shotts band.”
Blair Brown, brother of Shotts’ Pipe Sergeant Glenn, has been named as Kilpatrick’s successor. The Piping Times understands that the band is delighted with Brown’s appointment. Shotts Pipe Major Ryan Canning told the Piping Times, "We had been looking forward to rolling out a year-long plan to celebrate Jim’s final year, ensure that he was given a proper send-off from the band, and work together to ensure a smooth transition of the lead drumming role to Blair Brown. After a disagreement as to the terms of the transition, it quickly became clear that a smooth transition year would not be possible. I accepted Jim’s resignation at a meeting with him and a band committee member held soon after.
"This was in no way a coup d’état, planned or otherwise. As Pipe Major, such a move would have in no way served my aims for the band's future. As for Blair and Glenn Brown, their relationship with Jim extends beyond the band and for over a decade. Both regarded him as a mentor and father-figure. To suggest they would maliciously look to oust Jim from the band is completely untrue and very disappointing to read.
"Whilst we are disappointed that the departure has not been pleasant, we continue to wish Jim all the best in his future endeavours.”
It is fair to say that Kilpatrick is the greatest pipe band drummer there has ever been. Under his tenure as Leading Drummer Shotts won 60 major drum corps titles, 31 major pipe band championships, and six World Pipe Band Championships.
* Yesterday, the College website contained a statement from Ryan Canning regarding the recent departure of Jim Kilpatrick from Shotts & Dykehead Caledonia Pipe Band. We removed the item shortly after it appeared and we wish to make it clear that the statement was an excerpt from a wider report into the story which appears in the next issue of the Piping Times. We apologise to readers for any confusion caused, and to Ryan.