Home > Band News > A fond farewell to a good friend, bandsman and lead tip

A fond farewell to a good friend, bandsman and lead tip

RCMP E. Div. Pipe Band Drum Sgt. Gwyn MacGregor

If our RCMP Red Serge tunics had numbers on the back, his number would be respectfully hanging from the rafters of the Justice Institute of B.C.

After more than five years with the RCMP E. Division Pipe Band, Drum Sergeant Gwyn MacGregor is stepping down and departing the band. Gwyn made the announcement earlier this month, citing personal and family commitments. His leadership, musical ability and friendliness at band practice and while on performance will be greatly missed.

Gwyn took over the Drum Sgt. Role from fellow Maple Ridge Pipe Band alumni Alistair Fraser, who was a founding member of the E. Division Pipe Band. Gwyn has been part of the piping and drumming scene in British Columbia for many years. Starting with Nelson’s Kootenay Kiltie Pipe Band in the late 1970’s, he took over drum sergeant duties before moving to the Lower Mainland and joining the Grade 2 Sir. John A. MacDonald Pipe Band and then moving into the Grade 1 Triumph Street Pipe Band. From there to Maple Ridge, a growing family, a Director’s chair on the BC Pipers Association board and eventually to the E. Division Pipe Band. His contribution to the piping and drumming scene in BC has been enormous. “The E Division Band has been fortunate to have Gwyn as a member of the drum corps since the bands inception”, says E. Division Pipe Major Hugh Peden. “Gwyn’s musical talents were not limited to the snare drum.  On several occasions, Gwyn performed on his kit drums along with the band both locally and on recent trips to Palm Springs.  Gwyn, along with his wife Brenda, contributed to the ongoing operation of the band and their efforts have been greatly appreciated”.

Gwyn now hands over the “baton” to fellow E. Division drummer and Drum Corporal Carol Fraser, who is also an accomplished musician and readily able to take over the lead tip position. ”The band has been fortunate indeed to have the depth of talent within the side section to have someone of Carol’s ability to step into the role”, says Pipe Major Peden.

Gwyn’s talent will be missed, but like all bands, change is part of life. We gain and lose players, change leaders and repertoire and sometimes even change our names. However, the core of what we do is play great music together, in a spirit of fun and camaraderie. A great ensemble sound of a pipe band is an elusive beast that takes a lot of work, practice and dedication. Our band has been fortunate to have a surplus of experienced players like Gwyn who have helped to create our sound, develop a fun and dedicated band corps and help lead the E. Division Pipe Band into the future.

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