Killyleagh pipe major stands on top of the world

Killyleagh pipe major stands on top of the world

22 August 2018

A FORMER Killyleagh man is celebrating after guiding Field Marshal Montgomery Pipe Band to yet another world title.

Richard Parkes is pipe major with the Lisburn-based band which was named Grade A world pipe band champions for the 12th time in Glasgow at the weekend.

“The whole band is over the moon with the result,” Richard said afterwards. “We are so happy to win a 12th world championship.

“The standard was very high and considering we hadn’t won anything of a major level this year it’s a very special win.”

On a personal level for Richard, it’s a record-equalling 12th world title as a pipe major. “It’s a dream come true for me to equal the record and I’ll now be trying for a 13th title to take it outright.”

Richard, who has been pipe major since 1981 and now lives in Comber, is the longest serving member of the band.

For many years he was joined by his brother, Gordon, who was first drummer for the first two world titles in 1992 and 1993. He left the band in 1998 and is now a competitions adjudicator.

After Richard, the current longest serving band member is Brian Martin, from Ballynahinch.

Around 8,000 pipers and drummers from 214 pipe bands took part in the two-day championships on Glasgow Green.

They came from 13 different countries including New Zealand, Australia, Denmark, France, Canada, Oman, Switzerland, Zimbabwe, the Republic of Ireland, USA, England, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Ian Embelton, chief executive of the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association, said: “The World Pipe Band Championships has always had the capacity to bring the very best out of the hugely talented pipers and drummers that work so hard in their bands to be the best.

“This year, we have been treated to a wonderful example of how compelling and dramatic this competition is, even though it is always contested in the best possible spirit. As always, the pursuit of perfection has been a joy to watch and to listen to.”

Glasgow’s Lord Provost, Eva Bolander, who was Chieftain of the World Pipe Band Championships, said: “My heartiest congratulations to everyone who competed at the World Pipe Band Championships.