Glasgow Police Pipe Band are delighted to announce the appointment of Alisdair McLaren
as Pipe Major. Alisdair takes the reigns from Pipe Major Iain MacPherson, who will remain within the piping ranks.
Alisdair has vast experience having previously been Pipe Major of Western
Australia Police Pipe Band, before moving to the UK. He played during a successful
period with Strathclyde Police before enjoying huge success with Field Marshal
Montgomery Pipe Band.
Alisdair is very well acquainted with leading Drummer David Henderson through years of
collaboration via the National Youth Pipe band of Scotland.
On his appointment, Alisdair said:
“I am honoured to be appointed to the position of Pipe Major of The Glasgow Police Pipe
Band. As a young piper growing up in Perth, Australia, the Strathclyde Police Pipe Band, as
it was known then, were one of the top bands which inspired me throughout my musical
development. To now have the opportunity to lead such an important and iconic band is a
great responsibility and privilege.
I would like to most importantly thank Iain for his dedication, leadership and support to
me over the last few seasons and I look forward to his continued involvement within the
pipe corps. Going forward, I'm very excited about working with Drum Sergeant David
Henderson and the rest of the team, as we look to further build a solid foundation into
next season and beyond.”
Leading Drummer David Henderson commented:
“ I’m delighted with the appointment of Alisdair McLaren as Pipe Major. Alisdair brings
with him a wealth of experience at the highest level, knowledge and enthusiasm; all
necessary attributes when striving for success. I am positive that together we will build a
team capable of reaching our short and long term goals and I look forward to the journey
I would like to thank Pipe Major Iain MacPherson for his dedication and leadership of the
band as Pipe Major. He has been a driving force in building a young band with huge
potential for the future and I am grateful for the time I had working with him. I am
delighted he will be continuing as part of the team going forward.
I look forward to what are exciting times ahead for the Glasgow Police Pipe Band.”
Departing Pipe Major Iain MacPherson said:
“I was fortunate enough to initially play with the band in the 1980s and it was an honour
to serve as Pipe Major after my retirement from the Police in 2012.
I am indebted to Duncan Nicholson and Niall West in working so hard to avoid the band
folding during a most difficult phase several years ago. In that regard, many thanks are due
to the Scottish Police Federation who recognise the worth of our historic band and now
provide significant financial and administrative support.
I feel that, as Pipe Major, I was in a bit of a “caretaker “ role recently, whilst trying to build
for the future. It’s really pleasing that positive interest in the band is on the rise again from
Police Scotland and the worst years are behind us. I’m moving from the central belt for
family reasons, but plan to continue having a tune with the band next season! Good luck
to Alisdair, he has my full backing and ongoing support.”
Band Manager and Drum Major Niall West said:
“ I’d like to extend congratulations to Alisdair McLaren, the new Pipe Major of Glasgow
Police Pipe Band. His experience, drive and musical attributes will serve him well in what is
undoubtedly a challenging but prestigious role. His appointment comes as a result of
succession planning, and he has been instrumental in the last 3 years, along with Iain
MacPherson, in building and continuing to build a pipe corps of talented individuals who
this year surmounted a steep learning curve to achieve very good performances and
commensurate results at the World Pipe Band Championships. Under Alisdair and David
Henderson, I anticipate that the future of the band is very healthy. In addition, our
heritage as a Police Band is of significant historic and cultural importance and Alisdair as
much as anyone is keenly aware of that: he was Pipe Major of a “full time” Police band in
Australia, a former player with Strathclyde Police Pipe Band and he upholds the standards
which underpin our Police band philosophy. At this time I’d like to thank both Iain
MacPherson and his predecessor, Duncan Nicholson for their unstinting commitment to
making our band the best it could be in the most trying circumstances over recent years.
Indeed, that period was marked with some excellent performances, not least of all, the
“Ceolry” concert. It is a result of their efforts, among other factors, that we are now able to
look forward to an exciting future in a stable and positive environment, supported by the
Scottish Police Federation. Good Luck, Alisdair!”
We would like to thank Pipe Major MacPherson for his leadership and guidance over the past few years. It is due to him that the band is in a much healthier state than it was and the foundations have been laid for a bright future. We look forward to the journey ahead with Pipe Major Alisdair McLaren at the helm!